Sep 27, 2022  
Undergraduate Catalog 2021-22 
    
Undergraduate Catalog 2021-22 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Sustainable Brewing Concentrations (SBOJ, SBRJ)


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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. There are two possible “tracks” that students can choose in this major:

Brewing Track (SBRJ)

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.

Track 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.

Operations Track (SBOJ)

West Michigan has one of the highest per capita densities of craft breweries in the country and Kalamazoo is a destination for educational opportunities in this growing economic engine. In the last decade, the brewing industry has become more competitive, diversified, and multi-faceted. To create and maintain a diverse, broadly-trained workforce that can critically evaluate information to make informed decisions, the overarching goal of this program is to educate students to be problem solvers in the operation of brewing-related businesses. This operations track complements a slate of hands-on brewing courses by providing formal instruction in business, food service operation, and sustainability.

Track Objectives

  • Understand the historical context of brewing in human civilization.
  • Gain first-hand experience going through the process of brewing, “grain to glass.”
  • Examine the place that food production and distribution occupy in human culture and the environmental impact of associated energy demand, water use, waste management, and local sourcing.
  • Learn fundamental business skills to manage and grow the beverage and food industry and respond to changing markets.
  • Develop critical thinking skills to evaluate how and why the brewing industry can become more sustainable.

Sustainable Brewing Curriculum


Requirements common to both tracks (41 hours)


Electives (6 hours)


Chosen from a preferred course list in consultation with and approval by the CAS advising office.

Electives (12 hours)


Chosen from a preferred course list in consultation with and approval by the CAS advising office.

Note


Appropriate substitutions for related coursework or experiences focused on sustainable brewing may be approved by the CAS advising office.

Advising


Given the interdisciplinary nature of this program, it is very important that students work regularly with program advisors. Students should work closely with a program advisor to identify appropriate electives. 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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