Mount St. Joseph University

Mount St. Joseph University taps into craft beer buzz to offer BRW 101

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Image of the beer brewing poster.

The biology labs at Mount St. Joseph University will be hopping with a new class this summer aimed at showing the scientific side of brewing beer. The university has crafted BRW 101 as an opportunity for students, alumni and beer enthusiasts to learn the art and science of brewing and beer appreciation.

The class, BRW 101: Beer Brewing and Appreciation, will be offered as an introductory course to the science of brewing beer. Mount professors will teach the class weekly from May 20-June 24. The class will focus on topics such as the beer brewing process, proper sanitation, recipe development, styles and history of beer, as well as packaging of craft beer. Students will brew and bottle their own batch of beer. The class is worth academic credit, but non-students are also invited to register for BRW 101. All students must be 21 years old by May 20, 2015.

“Brewing beer is basically biology, but most people don’t look at it that way,” said Andy Rasmussen, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology. “Many people are interested in learning how to brew their own beer at home. To brew beer safely, people need to understand what happens in the process and how different sugars, malts, hops, and yeast work together to create beer.”

Craft beers make up a growing industry in the country, and especially in Ohio. According to the Beer Institute, the beer industry employs more than two million Americans, providing nearly $79 billion in wages and benefits. In Ohio, more than 80,000 jobs are created from beer-related businesses.

“The craft beer industry’s growth means more businesses are developing new ales and lagers which stimulates the economy,” said Tim Lawson, Ph.D., professor of psychology. “Managers and employees of many businesses including grocery stores, craft beer and wine shops, restaurants, brewpubs, distributors, and bars, need to learn more about craft beer in order to adequately serve their customers. The class we will teach digs deep into what makes a great example of a particular style of beer and how to brew it.”

The 3 credit hour class, which will meet on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-9:20 p.m., will tour a local brewery and taste different styles of beer. The university hopes to expand the brewing classes and might eventually offer a certification program.

Seating for the class is limited and registration opens February 23, 2015. For more information on the class or to register, go to or email Dr. Rasmussen at

Mount St. Joseph University is an undergraduate and graduate Catholic university that provides an interdisciplinary liberal arts and professional curriculum emphasizing values, service and social responsibility.