Erie Community College has prided itself for decades on its ability to craft its curriculum for career-focused students interested in entering Western New York's growing industries. So with the proliferation of small breweries not only in Buffalo Niagara, but also across upstate New York, the college has stepped up with possibly the most refreshing courses in its nearly 70-year history.
Starting with its fall semester, ECC will welcome students into New York's first one-year certificate program in brewing science and service. Approved by the state's education department Feb. 5, devised by faculty members Donald Spasiano and Eric Paner, and informed by such local brewers as Big Ditch, Community Beer Works and Flying Bison, the 31-credit program in the college's business and public service division will offer such courses as intro to brewing, filtration and finishing, and brewing microbiology.
Courses take place on the college's north campus and will serve to educate local students on the finer points of craft beer brewing, and also inject skilled candidates into the region's growing craft beer market.
"Our tireless faculty and staff have met with business community members and determined an opportunity in a growing local industry," ECC President Jack Quinn said. "Local brewers have expressed a need for qualified personnel to help grow their offerings across the region, so we plan to work with those in this field to equip brewing science and service students with not only what they'll need to become successful, but by providing the same type of professionally crafted education common throughout all ECC courses and programs."
The certificate program will provide students with the knowledge and skills to earn employment with breweries, beer distributors, sales teams, grocery stores, beverage centers and a hospitality industry now eager to sign candidates qualified to educate consumers on both the styles and processes associated with the modern brewing landscape. Hands-on training along with theoretical courses and internships will enhance student knowledge in this specialized field, which currently includes brewing technology, operations, sales and management, and advanced beer-related or brewery-related business sectors.
For more information about ECC's brewing science and service certificate program, contact Spasiano in the college's hospitality management department at 716-851-1393 or [email protected].