Blue Ridge Community College offering degree in beer

Lauren Williams's picture
Friday, July 12, 2013

Capitalizing on a swiftly growing craft beverage industry in Western North Carolina, Blue Ridge Community College is poised to launch a new two-year degree program this fall aimed at training workers for a variety of jobs in the field.

College officials expect final state approval of an Associate in Applied Science Degree program in Brewing, Distillation and Fermentation by July 19. It will be part of an overall collaborative program of the North Carolina Community College System – one of the few of its kind in the country – with BRCC joining Asheville-Buncombe Technical College and Rockingham Community College as the only three schools seeking final approval in the first year.

Chris English, the college’s dean for applied technology who is spearheading the new program, said the surging interest and excitement surrounding WNC’s beer and wine production is reminiscent of California’s Napa Valley in the 1970s as it began transitioning to an agricultural-based tourist destination.

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