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The culture of beer is so much deeper than your pint glass. Creating more than 24,000 jobs, Colorado’s beer industry provides an economic impact valued at more than $10.3 billion, according to a recent report by the Beer Institute. What better place to learn the art and science of beer than in the heart of it all. Partnering with Tivoli Brewing Company, located directly on MSU Denver’s Auraria campus, the Craft Brewing and Pub Operations degree program offers undergraduate students a variety of unique and exciting opportunities to train with beer experts in world-class brewing and brewpub facilities while earning a comprehensive degree.

Beginning at a cellular level, you can begin or advance your career in beer by learning everything you need to know about starting, operating and managing a craft brewery or brewpub, including fermentation, food pairing, restaurant management, sales, distribution, marketing, packaging and quality control. The Craft Brewing and Pub Operations bachelor’s degree in the Beer Industry Operations program at MSU Denver provides a university education to beer industry professionals—or those who want to become one—to help you create your own career path in the beer world.

Watch MSU Denver students brew a winner for Colorado resort.


Program Options


Through the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events, MSU Denver offers several degree program options for undergraduate students who want to build successful careers in the beer industry. Instead of a Bachelor of Science degree in Brewery , you may choose to earn a B.S. degree in Craft Brewing and Pub Operations. 

Or, you could minor in Brewing Management or Brewing Science if you are majoring in a related area of study such as, Business, Marketing, Engineering, Biology, Biochemistry or Chemistry

Brewing Management and Brewing Science are also offered as certificates for MSU Denver students looking to enhance a previous degree or don’t have the ability to come back to school full time while transitioning between careers.

 


Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver


The Beer Industry Operations program at MSU Denver works closely with beer industry experts and organizations to advance the industry and increase educational opportunities for Craft Brewing and Pub Operations majors. A member of the Colorado Brewers Guild, MSU Denver’s Beer Industry Operations program is also an Institute of Brewing and Distilling Test Center and a pilot school for the Brewers Association and its Education Membership program.

Take advantage of Colorado craft brewing and related industry partners of the bachelor’s degree program. With a variety of experiences outside the traditional classroom, including internships and research, MSU Denver’s Craft Brewing and Pub Operations undergraduate degree program provides unique opportunities for practical, hands-on learning in breweries, restaurants, distribution centers and hotels throughout the Front Range and Rocky Mountain region.

  • Tivoli Brewing Company hires undergraduate students in the brewery and restaurant as certified cicerones, brewers and servers.
  • Midfield Concession Enterprises offers a restaurant and brewpub, Tom’s Urban Kitchen + Bar, that doubles as a training facility at Denver International Airport, where students gain hands-on experience with Craft Brewing and Pub Operations. Each year, Craft Brewing and Pub Operations majors compete to craft and name an exclusive IPA to be featured at the restaurant and brewpub.
  • Rising Sun Distillery and Strange Craft Brewing Company, both within walking distance from the Auraria campus, provide additional experiential learning opportunities in the Beer and Spirits foundation course.
  • More than 360 breweries across the state offer numerous opportunities for Craft Brewing and Pub Operations majors to intern and work while they pursue a Bachelor of Science degree.

Stay on track to reach your academic and career goals in Craft Brewing and Pub Operations. The Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events, one of the nation’s most innovative and reputable hospitality programs, and the College of Professional Studies offer academic advisors to help you with planning, scheduling and more.

Learn the latest techniques and trends in Beer Industry Operations. Advised by an Industry Advisory Council, the bachelor’s degree program in Craft Brewing and Pub Operations is a leader in beer education, responding quickly and creatively to meet the growing and changing needs in brewing and brewpubs.

Attend special events, from brewing seminars to beer tastings, for brewers and other beer industry professionals. Craft Brewing and Pub Operations majors are encouraged to become active members of the Beer Industry Operations community.


Career Opportunities for Our Graduates


four images: craft beer production, brewery operations, tasting room, brewpub management

With a bachelor’s degree in Craft Brewing and Pub Operations, you become more connected with and marketable to potential beer industry employers in areas such as these:

  • Craft brewing production
  • Cellaring and filtering
  • Packaging operations
  • Brewery operations
  • Sales and distribution
  • Brewpub management
  • Tasting room management
  • Business operations

MSU Denver graduates from the Beer Industry Operations program, including Craft Brewing and Pub Operations, have a 100 percent job placement rate. Alumni work in leadership roles as brewers and lab directors for employers such as Sleeping Giant Brewery, Stonecloud Brewing, Berthoud Brewing and Tivoli Brewing.


Accolades


Cheers to the MSU Denver Beer Industry degree program, including the Bachelor of Science in Craft Brewing and Pub Operations. Earning the inaugural Master Brewers distinction from the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA), the Beer Industry degree program at MSU Denver is one of only seven academic institutions in the nation to receive this honor by meeting or exceeding MBAA's educational guidelines and learning outcomes.

 

“MSU Denver is training students for the future of the brewing industry and doing it in a way that no one else is approaching.”

Jim Koch, founder and owner of Boston Beer, makers of Samuel Adams


Faculty


Helene Ver Eecke_CraftBrewing PubOperationsHelene Ver Eecke

An avid home-brewer, assistant professor Helene Ver Eecke is also the faculty coordinator of General Microbiology and a founding member and intercollege-liaison for MSU Denver’s Beer Industry Operations program. Formerly a senior microbiologist for an industrial fermentation company, Ver Eecke co-developed the course curriculum for fermentation science, and her work as a specialist in extreme microbiology has been featured in NASA Magazine, Science Daily and PNAs. She currently focuses on research in brewing, bioremediation and extremophiles.

 

Read more about the Craft Brewing and Pub Operations faculty.


Sample Classes


HLC Sensory Analysis Lab

The Craft Brewing and Pub Operations undergraduate degree program is a cross-campus collaboration between Hospitality, Industrial Design, Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, Marketing and Management. Take a broad array of foundational classes, then select core courses in an area of specialty that’s relevant to you and your interests to help you prepare for a successful career in Craft Brewing and Pub Operations.

These are some of the classes you may take as a Craft Brewing and Pub Operations major:

  • Alcohol Beverage Law
  • Beer and Food
  • Beer and Spirits
  • Beer Styles and Service
  • Beers of the World
  • Brewing Fermentation
  • Alcohol Beverage Promotions
  • Applied Craft Brewing
  • Sensory Quality Analysis of Beer

Facilities and Resources


MSU Denver has six brewing labs—Quality Control and Analysis, Brewing Fermentation, Beer Packaging, Sensory Analysis, Draft Training Center and Brewing Production—exclusively developed for and devoted to the Beer Industry Operations program. 

Tivoli Brewing Company operates a $7-million campus facility for brewing, bottling and distributing beer. With the capacity to produce 28,000 barrels of beer per year, the facility has the potential to be one of the highest-producing craft breweries in the state. And as the first full production brewery in the country on a college campus, Tivoli’s on-site training facilities include high-quality large-scale and pilot systems, (copy this from brew ops page) and the Tivoli Tap House.

Tom’s Urban Kitchen + Bar, a restaurant and brewpub, is a new training facility at Denver International Airport, providing Craft Brewing and Pub Operations majors with experiential learning opportunities.

Degree Metropolitan Food + Drink is a campus restaurant that serves as a learning lab for the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events. Featuring a globally inspired menu from executive chef Daniel Hyman, Degree sources all of its food locally, from Colorado meats to ethically caught seafood to homegrown produce from within 90 miles. Meals can be paired with a selection of wines by the glass, traditional and seasonal craft beers and handcrafted cocktails made from local spirits. Restaurant sales support the MSU Denver Foundation to help fund student scholarships.

The Hospitality Learning Center is a LEED Gold-certified hotel and conference center and the heart of the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events. Combining the highly rated SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown hotel with academic facilities, the Center has become an internationally renowned facility for beverage education, featuring a natural light sensory analysis lab; wine cellar laboratory; The Metropolitan Grill student restaurant where the Department’s beer and wine products are served to the public; a culinary demonstration theater; and culinary, tourism and event laboratories. It is one of 11 facilities of its kind in the nation.

The One World One Water (OWOW) Center is the only in-depth water center in the country to coexist with a brewing program. This partnership provides unique opportunities for Craft Brewery and Pub Operations majors to learn about a variety of topics including water chemistry, municipal water supply, waste water, environmental concerns and water law.