Recently, I wrote an article about the different beer education opportunities available in San Diego for the West Coaster Magazine. I elicited the help of a lot of my friends/students in the UCSD Extension Brewing Program for quotes to use in the article, asking why they chose the UCSD Extension Brewing Program and what has been their favorite part of the program. I only had room for a few quotes for the article, but I wanted to share all of the quotes here. Hopefully the quotes will provide some perspective and insight into the program from other students.
I had been on the waiting list for UC Davis for the last 3 years when I heard about the UCSD Brewing Certificate program and applied. I was accepted into the UCSD program right away to become part of the first class of students. Because of the shorter waiting list, lower costs, and night schedule of classes, I chose to attend UCSD’s program rather than the UC Davis program. I was able to get through the UCSD program while working. The program has even helped me land my dream position as a Quality Lab Assistant.
It has been an amazing experience learning from the top brewing professions in the industry. Within San Diego, and perhaps the world, names like Chris White, Yuseff Cherney, Peter Zien, Patrick Rue, Tomme Aurthur…etc are well known. There is no other program that offers such a diverse group of teachers that are active professionals within the brewing industry.
I have also met a great group of students from diverse backgrounds. It has been a great source of networking and meeting new friends.
I decided on the UCSD Extension Brewing Program because of the balanced curriculum and unique opportunity to learn from the founders of the San Diego craft beer scene. I am looking forward to the required internship which I believe will be very helpful before applying for jobs in the industry.
The best thing about the program so far has been making new friends who share the same passion for craft beer. I am grateful for starting these relationships and hope to one day work alongside these future professionals.
For me, one look at the list of instructors and proposed curriculum was enough to convince me that the program would have the breadth and depth to cover what an aspiring nano-brewer would need to know. There is a large gap between homebrewing and the technical and quality-focused aspects – not to mention the business aspects – of scaling-up to even a small commercial operation, and I hoped that the program would be able to bridge that gap. It certainly has.
Somewhat surprisingly, I found that the local industry is mature enough to provide opportunities for students to get involved by putting their professional backgrounds to use. As these companies grow, the need for professionals – accountants, engineers, scientists – will increase. Having a technical understanding of the science of brewing will better prepare these professionals to find a place in the industry. Turns out, we don’t all need to open our own brewery.
And if all I took away from the program were the tips that I learned from Mitch’s, Chris’ and Gwen’s classes, it still would have been worthwhile. I think my own brewing has improved as a result of putting their advice into practice.
I chose the brewing program because I wanted guided assistance with transitioning to a new industry and education from the brewing industry’s experts. I see a lot of my own values overlapping with the industry: strong work/business ethics, community outreach/support, collaborative, and a strong sense of entrepreneurial spirit. This program offers a focus on the science and technology of brewing, which appealed to me because I’m looking for technical knowledge and experience, even if I’m planning on supporting the business side of the industry. The best way to make business decisions is to understand all the parts that make the whole and how they each impact each other. I felt that this program would be a perfect blend of learning for what I’m interested in pursuing.
My favorite part has been the passion and accessibility of the professors and guest lecturers. I’ve seen a genuine desire to teach and develop the industry’s future brewers, scientists, and business people by building a foundation for a lifelong path of learning. The connections made within our cohort and professors has been invaluable in my life and I’m extremely thankful for the experience.
Thanks to my friends for taking the time to write these quotes! My article about beer education comes out in the West Coaster in August. I hope you will check it out!