The brewing & fermentation science program teaches you not only the skills you’ll need to excel in the brewing industry, but the skills that employers want and need. In this innovative program, you’ll learn the science, technology, art, and business of brewing operations.
Why come to Penn College for brewing & fermentation science? We’re glad you asked.
- Gain scientific and technical skills. Working with our pilot brewing systems, you’ll learn about the biochemistry and microbiology involved in producing fermentable sugars, and converting them into beer, wine and spirits.
- Learn from the best to become the best. From an award-winning faculty member with years of industry experience to an advisory board comprised of professionals employed at all levels within the brewing industry, you’ll have access to an unbelievable amount of resources and knowledge.
- Brewing is a growing field. As the brewing industry grows, there’s an increased need for highly-skilled brewers. In this program you’ll learn how to control and assure a quality product, as well as create effective processes, making you an asset to any commercial brewing operation.
- Small classes = big advantage. We keep class sizes small to ensure you get the most out of your learning experience – hands-on time with the brewing equipment and personalized attention from faculty.
- We’re ahead of the curve. The brewing and fermentation science at Penn College is the first and only two-year program of its kind in Pennsylvania.
- Keep going. Add management skills to your technical background with a degree in applied management. The applied management degree allows associate-degree graduates to earn a bachelor's degree in as little as two years.
About the curriculum
View the classes you will be attending in the College Catalog.
Accreditation & Industry Connections
The Master Brewers Association of the Americas has recognized Pennsylvania College of Technology's brewing and fermentation science degree as one of only 12 approved programs - and the only approved program in the U.S. Northeast.
What should I know about this program?
Success in the brewing and fermentation science takes more than a love of beer; this program is about the science behind making beer. In addition to brewing and fermentation classes, courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics will enhance the student’s ability to measure quality standards, and identify and solve problems within the brewing and fermentation process.
Graduates may find career opportunities in the food and hospitality industry as well as technical positions within various types of breweries ranging from small craft breweries to large commercial businesses. The science and technology also relate to other fermentation processes such as wine-making. Graduates are prepared for positions in production and process operations as well as safety and sanitation, and finishing and packaging. Other potential careers include positions within public health sector organizations, government regulators, and as small business owners.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for separating, filtering, clarifying, precipitating, and still machine setters, operators, and tenders was $39,040 in May 2017. The top 10 percent earned more than $64,900.
Industries with the highest published employment for this occupation are:
|Industry||Employment||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage|
|Dairy Product Manufacturing||6,120||$19.96||$41,510|
|Chemical Manufacturing (3251, 3252, 3253, and 3259 only)||3,560||$23.03||$47,910|
|Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing||3,010||$22.45||$46,690|
|Chemical Manufacturing (3255 and 3256 only)||1,620||$18.89||$39,290|
Statistics reported in May 2017
Special Admissions Requirements
Requirements mandate that students must be 21 to complete the final year of the brewing program because the courses involve beer production. Students interested in enrolling in the Brewing and Fermentation Science major who will not be 21 years old by their second year may still enroll in the program. However, they will be strongly encouraged to consider options that would allow them to combine their interest in Brewing and Fermentation Science with another related area of study in order to delay completion of the final year of Brewing coursework until they have reached the required minimum age. This would extend a student’s time beyond two years of study but would ultimately result in earning two degrees. There are many additional majors offered at Penn College that align closely with brewing course requirements and will help students become even more marketable in the growing brewing industry. Some of these majors include but not limited to: Applied Management, Hospitality Management, and Culinary Technology.
This major will follow the transfer standards established by the College. The school dean must approve any exceptions to this policy.
Tools, Uniforms & Supplies
Program supplies and books are available for purchase through The College Store.