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New UNH minor taps growing craft beer industry

Union Leader Correspondent

February 25. 2016 9:10PM
Co-founders Nicole Carrier and Annette Lee stand in their Throwback Brewery in North Hampton. Carrier is enthusiastic about the brewing minor being planned at UNH. (COURTESY/MICHAEL PENNEY)

DURHAM — The University of New Hampshire is planning a new minor in brewing, but it’s in response to a growing industry, not the answer to a college student’s dream.

According to Erika Mantz, UNH’s director of media relations, the school will be offering new courses next year as part of an overall effort to meet the needs of local brewers and students. In addition to offering a minor in brewing, the university will open an analytical testing lab, and offer a professional development certificate program.

“Development of the curriculum is still in the early stages, but in general, it will include topics such as the art and science of brewing, fermentation science and technology, ingredients, agronomics and sourcing, brewing production and others,” Mantz said.

School officials expect that some courses may be in place early in 2017; the minor will be offered by the fall 2017 semester.

“We anticipate there will be significant interest based on the popularity of local brewing, the opportunity to merge science with sensory creativity, and the anticipated state and regional career opportunities,” Mantz said.

Local brewer Nicole Carrier, who co-founded Throwback Brewery in North Hampton with Annette Lee, said it will benefit everyone to have students enter the workforce with the scientific knowledge to brew properly.

“There’s a lot of science, a lot of business, a lot of chemistry,” Carrier said. “It’s an area where most brewers get experience by volunteering at a brewery. Having a bunch of students with better knowledge of the science and better problem-solving skills will result in better brewing.”

UNH will open up the program to everyone through continuing education courses offered through the Cooperative Extension program.

UNH Professional Development and Training, a sub-unit of Cooperative Extension, will offer a five-day, non-credit course called “Craft Brewery Startup Workshop: The Business of Beer,” a step-by-step workshop for how to start a craft brewery.

Registration for that will begin sometime after March 30 of this year.

School officials say there are more than 50 breweries in New Hampshire alone, more than existed in the entire United States 40 years ago. Currently, there are only a handful of laboratories around the country that provide analytical testing services to the beer industry, with none in New England.

“The beer industry is not only a strong economic force in the state, but an emerging cultural and creative force as well,” said Marc Sedam, managing director of UNH Innovation. “This effort supports the beer industry in the near and long-term and connects the industry to the intellectual and business resources and facilities at UNH.”

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