Daily Egyptian

Thirsty? Welcome to beer class

Matt McCarroll, a fermentation science professor, stands next to a brewing system Jan. 25 in one of McClafferty Annex’s new fermentation classrooms. “Previously we’ve had to teach our chemistry beer and brewing class spread out in different places,” McCarroll said. “But this is the first time teaching it in a dedicated facility in five years.” McCarroll said SIU’s four-year fermentation science degree is pending with the state and he anticipates its approval in March.

Matt McCarroll, a fermentation science professor, stands next to a brewing system Jan. 25 in one of McClafferty Annex’s new fermentation classrooms. “Previously we’ve had to teach our chemistry beer and brewing class spread out in different places,” McCarroll said. “But this is the first time teaching it in a dedicated facility in five years.” McCarroll said SIU’s four-year fermentation science degree is pending with the state and he anticipates its approval in March.

By Anna Spoerre, @AnnaSpoerre

SIU’s Fermentation Science Institute — the first of its kind at the university — is rounding out its first semester at the recently renovated McLafferty Annex Collaborative Research Facility.

Chemistry of Beer and Brewing (CHEM 180/181) gives students the opportunity to not only learn about the history, science and social effects of beer, but also lets them try their hands at the art of brewing.

Students older than 21 are able to participate in a lab that includes brewing and tasting beer.

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Harry Martin, a sophomore from Steamboat Springs, Colo., studying marketing and management, said he has experimented with beer brewing before, but didn’t have much luck until he decided to take the class.

“It’s super unique and it’s just really cool to be able to get college credit for something like this,” Martin said.

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He said he enjoyed learning from Matt McCarroll, director of the Fermentation Science Institute, because, as a professional brewer, he has a lot of knowledge and experience to pass along to his students.

McCarroll, who developed the course about five years ago, said this year, thanks to the new facility, his students are able to do a lot more experimentation with beer. 

Martin said students created their own beer recipes as final projects.

“I definitely think anyone that’s around drinking age should take [this course] just because it makes you think twice about going and picking up a pack of Bud Light,” he said.

Martin said he recommends the class to beer lovers, and even more highly to non-beer drinkers.

“There’s a style of beer for everyone, even if you don’t think you like beer,” he said.

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Students will be able to sign up for fermentation sciences as a major by the fall semester, McCarroll said.

He said the program has already gotten a lot of interest, especially considering the growth of breweries and wine trails in the area.

“It definitely made me appreciate different styles of beer and what goes into beer a lot more,” Martin said. 

Anna Spoerre can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3325.

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