Inside 3 Daughters Brewing warehouse near downtown St. Pete workers mix up a batch of one of their popular craft beers. In another room, an intern is examining and testing recipes.
Breweries like 3 Daughters need more people doing this. That’s where the University of South Florida St. Petersburg comes in.
“There are very few brewing arts programs anywhere in the country and we really believe that we are on the cutting edge with this one,” Frank Biafora said.
He is the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at USFSP.
USFSP is teaming up with 3 Daughters Brewing and Great Bay Distributors to offer a brewing arts program.
“This is actually for the hobbyist and enthusiasts,” Biafora said. “For those people that would like to work in a craft brewery, in the industry, or perhaps one day open their own brewery as well.”
The three-month course consists of modules and tests. The last month is spent interning at one of seven breweries participating. Students will then make their own batch of beer with a taste testing on graduation day.
The process teaches the ins and outs of craft brewing.
“We’re going to go all the way through the science of brewing, all the water, chemistry, malt chemistry, hops chemistry, yeast biology, the brewing technology. We’re going to finish with the business of brewing,” Jim Leonard, director of USFSP Brewing Arts Program, said.
The business of brewing is booming in the Sunshine State.
A study by the University of Florida found craft beer’s economic impact went from $301 million in 2012 to $432 million in 2012 and is projected to reach $2.5 billion in the coming years.
“The science of this business needed to come along. This was the next logical step. We can make great beer. How can we make that great beer twice? And that’s where the science comes in,” 3 Daughters CEO Mike Harting said.
The university has already begun enrolling students into the new program and plan to do so through September. For their first year they plan to accept about 20 students with classes beginning sometime in October.