Poet Charles Bukowski once wrote, “Stay with the beer.” And that is exactly what we’re doing: The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is offering a new session of its popular course “Small Batch Brewing” for those who not only wish to stay with beer, but make their own craft beer while being mentored by craft brewing experts including Anders Kissmeyer of Royal Unibrew/Anders Kissmeyer Master Brewer, Jan Paul of Svaneke Bryghus, and featuring a one-day master class with Shaun Hill of Hill Farmstead Brewery.
Kissmeyer and Paul, internationally acclaimed brewing experts, will lead students in a hands-on, two-week summer course in the heart of Vermont, home to over 50 craft breweries. During the class, held July 24–August 4, 2017, students will roll up their sleeves and have hands-on sessions in raw materials, yeast, malting, brewing, fermentation, barrel aging, bottle conditioning, cold hopping, cask ale, microscopy, and plating. The course also incorporates fundamental microbiological concepts, critical safety considerations, beer classification, beer styles, and sensory evaluation. The capstone to the course will be a single master class and brew day with Shaun Hill, the founder of Hill Farmstead Brewery, considered by many to be among the best breweries in the world.
“What I hope is conveyed to students in this course is the importance of science and process, in addition to lineage and place, as a foundation for their brewing operations,” said Shaun Hill. “I want aspiring brewers to leave this course with a self-critical, reflective ability to create beers that are precise and inspired by their region.”
The classroom will extend beyond Sterling College’s campus and Hill Farmstead with field trips to some of the area’s most talked-about breweries, such as The Alchemist and Lost Nation Brewery.
“The quality and character of a beer is the result of the passion, philosophy, and methodology of the brewer behind it,” said Anders Kissmeyer. “I look forward to having fun, getting personal, and really digging deep into the science and techniques of small-batch brewing with students.”
“We hope to teach students to produce beer that is as artful and sustainable as it is delicious. Sterling College is the perfect place to elevate the ecology of brewing and consider the efficiency of breweries, and explore how attention to sustainability supports flavor development,” added Jan Paul.
“Anders, Jan, and Shaun are innovators in the craft brewing revolution who bring the highest of standards and ideals to their breweries. They also happen to be trio of great friends whose mutual respect and admiration provide the foundation for incredible collaborative teaching,” said Nicole Civita, Assistant Director of the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Sterling College. “This class provides ample time with acclaimed brewmasters and entrepreneurs, who are not shy about sharing their stories, hard-earned knowledge, and divergent opinions about what makes an exceptional beer. It will prepare both enthusiastic, experienced home-brewers and aspiring craft beer impresarios to radically rethink their beers.”
The class is being offered at Sterling College as part of the School of the New American Farmstead, its continuing education program that provides a variety of classes and workshops for aspiring agrarians, artisan food enthusiasts, and environmental stewards. These hands-on short courses in small-scale food production and sustainable farming offer one-on-one mentorship, inspiration, skills, and new perspectives that will feed the body, the mind, and the spirit.
This is the second year of the visionary School of the New American Farmstead, the brainchild of President Matthew Derr. Under President Derr’s leadership, the College has launched the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems; made substantial progress on renewable energy; transformed its agricultural facilities; and set records for enrollment and fundraising.
The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is generously underwritten by two great Vermont businesses: Chelsea Green Publishing, the preeminent publisher of books on the politics and practice of sustainable living, and Vermont Creamery, an award winning creamery offering fresh and aged goat cheeses, cultured butter, and créme fraîche that combine the European tradition of cheesemaking with Vermont’s terroir. Both Chelsea Green and Vermont Creamery are partner businesses that share a deep commitment to the environmental stewardship mission of Sterling College.
Online registration is now open, but spaces are limited. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Academic credit is available for all courses. For more information this course and to register, visit www.sterlingcollege.edu/brewing.