Arkansas college to offer beer brewing course

Lyon College to offer beer brewing course

BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - Sometimes, the college class load can be overwhelming, but one course at Lyon College is bringing a new meaning to learn as you play.

Next spring, students will be able to choose fermentation science as a course. The upper-level course will teach them how to brew beer.

“The purpose is not to convert English majors into scientists. But, if we can find a way where people could see that science is relatable, that you could do science and something that’s isn’t completely abstract like stuff that isn’t in a textbook or is a lecture that would be great," said Dr. Alexander Beeser, associate professor.

Beeser has been working on this course for the last year and it’s coming to fruition. While the curriculum is still being decided; one this is for sure: students must be 21 by the first day of class.

Lyon College will be the first private institution in the state to offer this course. No drinking will be allowed and the beer that will be made is not for sale. Beeser says the beer will be for personal consumption, but it will be released well after the fact.

Students are already interested in the course and word got out before it was even offered.

“I’ve been looking at trying to increase STEM on campus. Trying to get not just biology students, but other students to participate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics," Beeser said.

Beeser is no stranger to fermentation. He not only took a yeast lab while in grad school, but he also made beer. He will be the faculty advisor for a recently started brewing group called the “Bagpipe Brewing” club to get more interested in fermentation.

“Lyon is very much open to experimenting and trying new things," said Zachary Ward, president of the club.

Ward says he’s just thankful to be on a campus that welcomes all ideas.

“Just being able to be in an environment that is open to allowing students to pursue what they are passionate about or try these new ideas, is very promising for students," Ward said.

Beeser says the one thing he does not want the class to be viewed as is a “making and drinking beer for class credit” course. He says it is not, and that it is definitely a science course.

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