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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – South College is joining a handful of schools across the country to offer a degree in professional brewing science.
Dr. Todd White says the program is about making science cool.
By combining science and beer, White thinks he has a winning combination with a professional brewing science program at South College.
"Being involved in the beer culture in East Tennessee I just saw the need for it," White explained.
Similar programs in Chicago and California have three-year waiting lists. With the fast growing craft brewery industry, especially in Knoxville, the course has already seen large interest.
"They'll learn the history of brewing, the business of brewing, how to make money as a brewery, really from A to Z," White said.
He recruited some of the best in the business, including award-winning brewer Chris Bible, who will teach the science behind a good pint of beer.
"Anyone can brew bad beer," Bible said. "It's a very technical process, it is a very detail oriented process, but it's something anyone can do. But to do it well requires a wealth of knowledge."
The course will take students from the classroom to the real world laboratory, allowing them to receive hands-on experience from one of Knoxville's first craft brewers, Marty Velas of Smoky Mountain Brewery. Students will walk away from the course with the title of brewmaster.
"They will be able to walk into a brewery, a brewpub, Miller brewing, big or small, and be able to be a successful and productive employee," White said.
The nine-month program costs $17,000, but with more than 400 new craft breweries opening last year alone, and the industry growing by 15 percent in 2012, Bible says industry is overflowing with opportunity
"The timing is right, the market's there, and the upswing in craft beer is happening," Bible said.
According to the Brewers Association, the craft beer industry employs 100,000 people, with that number growing every day. A master brewer can make between $35,000 and $50,000 a year.
If you're interested in the course, you can register here.