It seems not so long ago when we excitedly broke news about the newly-available craft beer minor at Paul Smith’s College. While that wasn’t the first institution of higher learning to offer credited classes in brewing, it made history as the first school to offer a beer brewing minor.
Now, the AP reports that Cal Poly Pomona has set the bar a little higher. In December 2014, it started offering a hands-on brewing course. But instead of just allowing the students to taste, spit, and dump the rest of their brew down the drain—which is what most school-run brewing classes do—Cal Poly Pomona started kegging class brews for sale in the school’s brewpub.
(Looks like we’ve come a long way from that time a professor got fired for having his likeness appear on a local craft beer label.)
The school is located about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, and is situated in a semi-rural part of Southern California. A brewing minor seems like a logical step for a curriculum that also specializes in hands-on farm and hotel operations run by students on campus.
When the build-out of the school’s Innovation Brew Works was happening in 2014, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune spoke to Cal Poly Pomona Foundation dining services director Aaron Neilson.
“We’ll have small-scale bottling as well as kegs, so we can sell our beer from 12 taps in the cafe next door. Our beer will also be sold at the Collins College of Hospitality, the Farm Store, Kellogg West and Round Table Pizza.
We’ll even grind barley from our own fields in a mill room and have a little lab where we can grow yeasts for our different brews.”
Cal Poly Pomona has now installed five 8-foot-tall stainless steel tanks that can hold a total of 1,000 gallons of brew. Neilson adds that there will also be a “smaller 10-gallon system where small groups can experiment with different brewing styles.”
Modern Farmer points out that the school’s emphasis on agricultural science may also play significant role—while hops tend to prefer cooler climates than those available in SoCal, some varieties are hardy enough to still do well on Cal Poly Pomona’s farms.
One more important thing: If you’re thinking of transferring, you should be aware that all students enrolled in Cal Poly Pomona’s brewing course must be 21 or older.
[via the AP]