A New Hampshire university is planning to offer students a minor in beer brewing.
Erika Mantz, University of New Hampshire's director of media relations, says the school will be offering the new courses next year as part of an overall effort to meet the needs of local brewers, like North Hampton's Throwback Brewery.
The demand after just four years in business has forced Throwback to increase its brewing capacity five-fold.
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"We went from a three-barrel system to a 15-barrel system," said co-owner Nicole Carrier.
Carrier showed us their new 5,000-foot restored barn, their new brew house, and their full-service restaurant they opened last year.
"It's way better than we ever anticipated," Carrier said.
Carrier says when they started, there were only about a dozen craft breweries in New Hampshire. Now, she says, there are at least 40 and many more to come.
That's where UNH comes in.
"How can we serve it best," asked Marc Sedam, the director of innovation at the school.
He's been a home brewer for 25 years and is now helping to launch a program at UNH that allows students to minor in brewing science.
"That minor is supposed to launch in the fall of 2017 if all goes well," Sedam said.
UNH bought Throwback's old three-barrel brew house. It's in storage waiting for the program to get up and running.
Sedam says the course will include a pilot brewery for hands on experience, a full classroom curriculum, and also the first quality control lab in New England that local breweries will be welcome to use.
"It's super exciting, the potential of having students not only with hands on knowledge, but the classroom learning," Carrier said.
Carrier says well-educated local brewers will make better local beer and she believes better beer will lead to an economic boost for the entire state.
"What we have found is beer draws tourism," she said. "We could be a destiantion."
The courses at UNH may be in place early in 2017; the minor is expected to be offered by the fall 2017 semester.
Click here for more information on New Hampshire breweries.