Thanks in part to Dale Katechis, founder of Oskar Blues Brewery, Alabama's Auburn University will offer a graduate-level certificate in Brewing Science and Operations in the Fall of 2014. Though the pairing of Oskar Blues and the school maybe seem like an odd marriage, Katechis grew up in Alabama, and he, his older brother, and his father all attended Auburn. In fact, Katechis brewed his first homebrew—an early version of what would eventually become the award-winning Dale's Pale Ale—in a bathtub while an Auburn student.
The program—a collaboration between multiple departments at the university—will cover several content areas, including malting, mashing, fermentation, brewing, and business. “Our program is designed to provide people, who already have a bachelor’s degree and an interest in brewing," said Martin O'Neill, head of the school's Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Hospitality Management, "with the necessary educational background to develop their skill base and upon graduation, to sit for the professional certification exams with the industry’s lead certification agency, the Institute of Brewing and Distilling."
The courses will be offered online and won't be open to undergradutes. Instead, the certificate is targeted at commercial brewers who are looking to create a higher quality product.
More with Oskar Blues: 5280 recently caught up with Katechis to talk about his journey from Alabama to Colorado and the early days of the Oskar Blues Brewery in "Pioneers 2.0"—a piece in the September magazine that examines how Colorado's population boom has shaped the state.
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