Yuengling scholarship includes Penn College brewing program

Published 12.08.2020

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Brewing & Fermentation Science
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With the objective of encouraging and supporting women in the brewing industry, the Pink Boots Society and D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. have partnered to fund a scholarship and included Pennsylvania College of Technology’s brewing and fermentation science program in the initiative.

The Diversity in Brewing Scholarship provides exceptional women of color in the brewing industry up to $10,000 in scholarship funds to further their brewing education. Students can apply for the scholarship through six brewing programs, including Penn College’s one-year certificate program. Two scholarships are available for Fall 2021; award amounts vary per program, with $9,250 designated for a Penn College scholarship applicant.

Penn College brewing logo“I am always encouraged whenever the brewing industry proactively supports education. I applaud Yuengling’s leadership in this area. I also welcome the work of groups like the Pink Boots Society and their efforts to celebrate and encourage diversity in the American brewing industry,” said Timothy L. Yarrington, Penn College brewing instructor.

Applicants for the Diversity in Brewing Scholarship must be members of the Pink Boots Society, a nonprofit global organization created to empower women beer professionals to advance their careers in the beer industry through education. The society has professional memberships for women who earn at least 25% of their income from the fermented beverage industry, as well as student memberships that do not require working in the industry.

While the modern brewing industry features a male-dominated workforce, Yarrington points out that female brewers were prominently engaged in the craft in its earliest years.

“Women were typically the brewers in Medieval times,” Yarrington points out. “The name brewster refers to a female brewer.”

According to the National Women’s History Museum, women’s involvement in brewing beer has been documented back to 4,000 years ago in Mesopotamia and possibly earlier.

“Historically, women were involved in brewing since it was seen as another domestic task,” cites the museum’s website. “There were also many taverns owned by women and, thus, it is likely they also brewed their own beer. Fast forward to Colonial America. The craft of brewing beer was brought over from Europe, and women resumed their roles in society as tavernkeepers and brewers.”

The museum cites Mary Lisle as America’s unofficial first brewster when she took over her father’s brewhouse in Philadelphia in 1734.

Today, women are actively engaged in the beer business – and that begins with the science of brewing.

“I got interested in brewing because I love the science behind fermentation and alcohol production,” said Montana L. Bilbay, of Jersey Shore, one of two female students currently in Penn College’s brewing major.

Bilbay’s advice for women entering the industry? “Learn as much as you can. Never turn down an opportunity to learn. The more you know and understand, and can correctly apply that knowledge, the more likely you are to succeed,” she offered. “Also, make sure you like science. … You are essentially becoming a biochemist, and it’s a lot of work.”

Tammy A. Miller, instructor of biology, is inspired by the efforts to engage and support more women in the science and business of brewing.

“The artisan beer industry is a male-dominated field, but industry and academia are working hard to include more women. Scholarships such as those provided by Yuengling and the Pink Boots Society are a testament to their desire to see more women brewers,” Miller said. “Here at Penn College, brewmaster Tim Yarrington empowers women to have a strong voice in the industry by encouraging them to critically think through the science of brewing while still providing them the space to apply their own creative flair to the products they produce. As a faculty member in the program, I have appreciated and benefited from the inclusive learning environment Tim has created and love that I get to be a part of such a program. I feel confident any novice brewer, male or female, would share in my enthusiasm for learning here!”

More information about the Pink Boots Society and the Diversity in Brewing Scholarship is available on the organization's website.

To learn more about Penn College’s brewing and fermentation science certificate, call the School of Business, Arts & Sciences at 570-327-4521.

For more about the college, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free at 800-367-9222.