Menu

Student Russell McMinn pours ground malted barley into a mash tun during CALS' new class on the scientific techniques of fermenting beverages like beer.

It sounds like a student’s wildest dream – a course in which the homework is beer. But Microbiology 375: Introduction to Zymurgy is no party. The new course-built around pilot-scale brewing equipment donated to the college by MillerCoors-aims to teach upper-level microbiology students the finer points of fermentation, a process used to produce foods like bread and wine, antibiotics and pharmaceuticals such as human insulin. Students must show off mastery of this science while making four progressively more challenging brews, which are graded for quality and purity. And while instructor Jon Roll BS’88 PhD’96 says students do have an opportunity to sample their work, beware: This is one class that cards. Only students over 21 can participate in class tastings.