CCC&TI brews up a new course

Aug. 05, 2014 @ 06:15 AM

With the number of breweries in North Carolina growing and interest in craft beers also taking off, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute will offer a new program this fall that teaches students the art and work of creating their own brews.

Breweries in both Caldwell and Watauga counties have volunteered to serve as classrooms for the Craft Brewery program, part of the college's Continuing Education Department, with their brew masters as instructors. Jason Howard at Howard Brewing in Lenoir and Bradley Myers at Granite Falls Brewing will teach in Caldwell County, and students in Watauga County will work with Appalachian Mountain Brewery.

Ben Willis, director of technology services for corporate and continuing education departments, said he worked with Blue Ridge Community College in Brevard and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in Asheville starting last year because they already have a similar program and explained “the do’s and don’ts about what to do with this type of program.”

The course, Craft Brew 101, will meet four times over six weeks. The course costs $125 and includes a take-home kit with ingredients that the students get to keep after the course is finished. A second, more intensive class will be offered in the spring.

“This Craft Brew 101 course that we have going out here in the fall is basically an introduction into craft brew, more from a how to do it at home kind of side, just to get you interested and promote, kind of bring energy to the program,” Willis said.

Willis said he has received a lot of interest in registering.

“It’s been crazy. It’s been really good,” Willis said. “This is one of the best responses off of anything since I’ve been here. And, it’s all been positive.”

Jimmie Griffth, a continuing education instructor, said that breweries can sometimes receive negative connotation due to a misunderstanding of what they provide compared to a bar or club.

“This whole notion that breweries are bars, it’s not accurate, and that’s why having these types of classes are helping educate people about what craft breweries are and are not,” Griffith said.