Mount St. Joseph University’s first batch of students from BRW 101, a biology course on the science of beer brewing, served up award-winning suds at a recent beer brewing competition.
BRW 101 professors Andy Rasmussen, Ph.D., and Tim Lawson, Ph.D., entered some students’ final craft beer projects into a homebrew competition sponsored by the Middletown Area Society of Homebrewers (MASH). Out of 73 beers judged in the competition, Mount students Holly Rainey and Zachary Kayes came in third place in the English and German category for their Hefeweizen. Rasmussen and Lawson submitted an American IPA which came in second in that category, and Lawson also won first place in the Belgian and French category for his Belgian Witbier. His Witbier was also ranked second among all 73 beers in the Best of Show round.
“We’re extremely pleased that our students did so well with their first attempt at creating a craft beer,” Lawson said. “Not only did the students say they had a great experience, but many of their beers were actually very good.”
BRW 101: Beer Brewing and Appreciation was designed to be a six-week course teaching the science of beer brewing. The students worked in small groups to develop, learn how to properly brew and taste different kinds of beer.
“The class was tremendously successful,” said Rasmussen. “Craft brewing is quickly becoming a growing industry, not just in the Cincinnati area, but all over the country. The class will help people who are interested in learning how to correctly, and safely homebrew different kinds of beer.”
The Mount’s first BRW 101 class quickly filled up with a mix of undergraduate seniors, alumni and other interested community members. A partnership with Tap and Screw Brewery allowed them to not only get a behind-the-scenes look at a larger brewing process with professional-grade equipment. Rasmussen and Lawson developed a collaborative beer with the brewery, a Belgian peach wheat beer, which sold out in one day.
“We hope to continue the collaboration and partnership with Tap and Screw and be able to possibly offer their customers our students’ beer as well,” said Lawson. “We’re also hoping to expand our beer-related course offerings at the Mount into a more extensive beer certificate program to meet the needs of a growing industry.”