Brewing class looks for students

ESCANABA — Residents wanting to learn how to brew beer will soon have the chance to take a course at Bay College in Escanaba that will teach the ins-and-outs of becoming a brew master.

Brew 101-Brewing Science will be offered during the fall semester at Bay and will allow participants in the class to not only learn the brewing process, but also create their own beer.

According to Mark Kinney, dean for business and technology at Bay College, the course was integrated into the college’s curriculum because of the rise in the micro-brew industry around the Upper Peninsula and across the country.

“We just noticed that this was an industry that was growing everywhere. So, we have a lot of breweries in the U.P. that are taking off,” said Kinney, adding in Marquette alone there are seven micro-breweries.

Locally in Escanaba, there are two prominent breweries, Hereford and Hops and Upper Hand Brewery.

Kinney said the college approached the local breweries about creating this course to gain insight. College officials learned the brewers have a difficult time finding people with experience in the brewing industry when jobs open. Kinney said a successful completer of the course will be prepared to pursue employment opportunities within the brewing market.

“We want to give people a chance to enter this industry and become part of it,” said Kinney. “While at the same time, hopefully contributing to our local economy.”

During the course, which will run from Aug. 30 to Dec. 13, participants will study topics such as measurement and unit conversions, sugar and starches, flavor, beer styles, fermentation, and much more.

“What we are going to try to do with this first course, is do a broad overview of everything that is brewing,” said Kinney. “We’ll let people actually brew their own batch under the guidance of a local expert.”

Kinney said the college is working on getting a brewing expert to teach the course, so participants can get first-hand knowledge from an industry expert about crafting beer. In addition to the classroom portion of the class, Kinney said he hopes to incorporate tours of a micro-brew business so students can get a real life feel of how a brewery operates from beer making to the packaging process.

So far, four people have signed up for the course, which opened last month, said Kinney, adding there are 24 seats available and people can sign-up up until Aug. 30. Cost is $500, but financial aid is available, noted Kinney. The class will run every Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m. and will give participants two college credits.

In the future, Kinney said Bay hopes to create a full degree on the science of brewing beer. In order to do so, Kinney said the college would have to look for donations of equipment, funding, and expertise to expand the course into a program.

“My goal for this is to create a whole program, but this is a start,” said Kinney.

For more information about the Bay brewing course, contact Kinney at or visit to enroll.