My parents criticized my amount of drinking in college. They said I spent more time at the bar than in the library, and that I may as well have “majored in getting wasted” while minoring in “ruining your liver.” It’s actually amazing how much nagging they managed to fit into a four-year education. I can’t help it that I was more interested in the ratio of “wine glasses consumed” to “emotional texts to exes” instead of actual ratios in statistics class. And how can you possibly expect me to attend a three-hour Tuesday night lecture when it’s 25 cent pitcher night? I made the right choices.
Fortunately, some colleges are wising up, and they are now actually letting students study…beer. That’s right. Beer. As of the Spring 2015 semester, Paul Smith’s College–a private, four-year college in the Adirondack region of upstate New York–will officially offer a minor in “craft-beer studies.” Praise Yoncé and Sam Adams for letting us see this glorious day.
This actually makes a ton of sense. Craft beer is becoming more and more popular amongst Millennial beer snobs like us, and as a result, independent craft breweries are popping up all over the place. In fact, the number of craft breweries in this country rose more than 15 percent between 2012 and 2013, and there are now more than 2,700 craft breweries across the United States. It seems as if now more than ever, micro-brewing beer isn’t just a cool skill for hipsters in Brooklyn to do on their terraces–it’s actually a viable life skill.
“Regionally, in the Northeast and where the school is located, I found a good deal of action in the craft brew world: brewpubs opening small breweries, our graduates getting into the industry either in the production or promotion or management end,” said Joe Conto, director of the hospitality, resort, and tourism management program at Paul Smith’s College, who designed the craft beer minor. “And there has been a significant shift toward food and beverage tourism across the country.”
But it’s not going to be all fun and games, says Conto. Students will not only take classes on brewing, sipping, and appreciating beer, but they must also take a number of business courses, including management, marketing, advertising, and promotion.
“Our goal is to prepare students for all the management, administrative and operations opportunities the craft-beer industry has created,” Conto said.
Smart move, because we may end up seeing a pretty big change in the brewery market in the next five to 10 years. We could see some small craft breweries become giants, but at the same time, we could also see a large number of them close because so many are popping up every day. I guess if the brewing industry is headed for rapid growth and possible inevitable collapse, there’s always law school as a backup. There are never enough lawyers, am I right?
[via ABC News]