San Diego State University Offers New Professional Certificate in Craft Beer Program

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San Diego State University is launching a Professional Certificate in Craft Beer program during the fall semester through its College of Extended Studies that will prepare students for the industry and its career pathways.

With the craft beer industry continuing to experience rapid growth, San Diego State University is launching a Professional Certificate in Craft Beer program during the fall semester through its College of Extended Studies that will prepare students for the industry and its career pathways.

“This is something San Diego really needs,” says Matt Johnson, general manager, Helms Brewing Co. “When I first started in the industry, it would have been great to go through a program like this. I would have jumped on it.”

Adds Jake Nunes bar supervisor for Stone Brewing Co.: “There is not a lot of formal training available for the craft beer industry. This program exposes students to information that is not available unless they work for a beer company. It’s even good for people working for a beer company to increase their knowledge base.”

The certificate program for adults 21 and older will offer students an opportunity to learn from instructors who are professionals in the industry in an interactive, hands-on learning environment. Classes will be held both at on-site breweries and SDSU, providing students an opportunity to network with local industry experts.

Now is a perfect time to enter the craft beer industry due to its expanding opportunities. According to masslive.com,the industry's growth rate (in volume sold) has been 5.8 percent (2008), 7.2 percent (2009), 12 percent (2010), and 13 percent (2011).

“The craft beer industry is experiencing record growth all over the United States. Many people are interested in working in the business. This will give them a place where they can learn about specialized areas in the field,” says Claudia Faulk, co-founder and partner, Aztec Brewing Company.

Peter Rowe of UT San Diego notes that American Craft Beer Week is May 13-19. “San Diego is home to so many breweries, they are scattered far and wide across the map,” his story reports.

In addition, the San Diego Council this week unanimously approved changes to zoning laws that will allow San Diego's burgeoning craft brewing industry to open full-service restaurants and tasting rooms, according to City News Service. Councilman Mark Kersey says in the story that San Diego has achieved a national reputation for its craft brewing industry. “I think this is a great industry for us to be promoting as a city,” Kersey says. “It seems like every couple of weeks we have a new brewery opening up.”

Students in the new craft beer certificate program at SDSU will enjoy an educational experience while exploring the past and present history of craft brewing, beer tasting, and what the future holds. They will discover that the craft beer industry offers numerous opportunities in such areas as brewing, packaging, engineering, maintenance, information technology, supply chain logistics, management, finance, sales, and marketing.

“The local brewing industry will pair up with the school to offer the students an opportunity to have hands on experience to increase the depth of their knowledge,” adds Claudia Faulk of Aztec Brewing Company.

Based on data from the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, San Diego will be adding local jobs as the craft beer industry grows.

SDSU's College of Extended Studies reaches out to the greater San Diego community, the nation, and the world with a wide variety of lifelong learning classes, seminars, and certificate programs. Career advancement courses are offered in many areas of management, leadership, and quality improvement while self-enrichment courses range from accounting to web design. Additionally, the College offers more than 50 certificate programs, online courses, and many other learning opportunities. For more information or to register, call (619) 265-7378 (SDSU) or log on to http://www.neverstoplearning.net

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Wendy Evers
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