Jun 04, 2023  
Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017 
Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Sustainable Brewing (96-99 credit hours)

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The Sustainable Brewing program is an interdisciplinary four year curriculum that will help position students to enter the craft beer field in a variety of roles. The goal of this program is to educate students who are intimately familiar with the technical features of brewing, have an appreciation for the rich landscape of an industry that has been part of human civilization for thousands of years, and can comprehend and address the environmental challenges faced by the industry in the 21st century. Required Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses for the program will complement a slate of brewing-focused courses, while additional courses in sustainability and other elective fields will provide the breadth of knowledge sought in the industry. The program is supported and advised by an external advisory board with members from the top breweries in the state. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the program and the large number of credit hours required, students in this program are not required to have a minor.

Program Objectives

  • Understand the historical and social forces that were cause and effect of brewing in human civilization.
  • Gain first-hand experience going through the process of brewing, “grain to glass”.
  • Develop a sensitivity for the ethic of sustainability that will inform decisions about energy demand, efficiency, water use, waste minimization, and local sourcing of materials.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the biochemistry and microbiology involved in fermentation and aging.

Program Coordination

This interdisciplinary major housed in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is overseen by an interdisciplinary Program Coordinating Team consisting of representatives from departments and programs with courses included in the program, the CAS Office of Undergraduate Advising, and the CAS Dean’s Office. The Program Coordinating Team will be responsible for supervising and modifying curricula and for student advising.

Sustainable Brewing Curriculum

Required Brewing Courses (28 hours)

CAS for Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) Certificate in Craft Brewing**  Credits: 28 total hours
(will transfer to WMU as A-S 3400 - Sustainable Brewing)

Required Capstone


**Appropriate substitutions for related coursework or experiences focused on sustainable brewing may be approved by program advisors in consultation with the Program Coordinating Team.


Given the interdisciplinary nature of this program, it is very important that students work regularly with program advisors. Advising responsibilities will be shared by the Program Coordinating Team. Students should work closely with a program advisor to identify appropriate electives and to find an appropriate course to fulfill the baccalaureate writing requirement. Students should consult the program website for current advising information and appointments. Transfer students should consult the relevant transfer guides and meet with a program advisor to discuss specific course equivalencies.

Academic Standards

Students in this program must earn a grade of “C” or better in all courses counted toward the major, including those transferred to WMU. A minimum of 30 hours counted towards the major must be completed at WMU.

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