With one of the top fermentation science research programs in the world, Oregon State University is proud to offer a comprehensive series of world-class beer brewing science courses for professional and advanced hobbyist brewers: Microbiology and Beer Analysis for the Brewer and Quality Assurance and OSU/Willamette Valley Hop Farm Tour.
Our Beer Quality and Analysis Series of online and on-site courses teach you the fundamentals of basic microbiology and its role in the brewing process, and gives you the tools to analyze and evaluate beer to influence quality control in a production brewing setting.
Designed for professional and advanced hobbyist brewers, Microbiology and Beer Analysis for the Brewer is an intensive, hands-on experience, covering the fundamental techniques & microbiology essential to making the perfect brew.
Dive into six weeks of online course material and then join OSU's fermentation science experts for four days on-site in Corvallis, Ore. Comprehensive course material emphasizes yeast, yeast handling, identification of wort/beer spoilage organisms using microscopy, staining and differential media.
Once you have a handle on the science of beer, you'll craft your capability to analyze beer quality by evaluating the aspects of quality control in packaged beer. Additionally, data analysis and interpretation will be addressed where it pertains to a production brewery setting.
What You'll Learn
Below is the expected learning topics for the on-site portion of the course:Monday
The Friday session that concludes our Beer Quality and Analysis Series will focus on quality assurance and brewing ingredients.
Understanding the differences between quality control and quality assurance will be the theme of the morning session. Both lecture and reading material will be used to develop skills around basic statistical analyses that can be used in a quality lab setting. With the help of statistics, a quality technician can assess the control of a brewery. This information is vital in process control with regards to maximizing product quality and output as well as minimizing waste and downtime.
The afternoon session focuses on hops and barley breeding and production. We will begin with a tour of the Oregon State facilities featuring guided tours from both barley and hop breeders. This will be followed up with a scenic drive north into the hop growing region of the Willamette Valley with a stop at a commercial hop farm. Participants will be able to see hop growing on a commercial scale and will tour the picking, drying and baling equipment and operations. We will have the opportunity to taste beers made with hops from the farm before returning to OSU.
A Practical Understanding of State-of-the-Art Brewing Production at Scale
While advancing your skills, you’ll explore the craft brewing culture of Oregon. We’ll show you how local breweries incorporate innovative practices, and how Oregon State’s long-running research in beer’s raw ingredients continues to influence the brewing industry today—including the Cascade hop, a type developed by the university’s researchers that’s become the most often-used hop variety by craft brewers.
Part of the course fees will cover a brewers dinner that features beer from a number of local breweries where you’ll learn why Oregon is home to so many beer enthusiasts.
Upon completion of the Beer Quality and Analysis Series, you will receive a digital badge. Share your digital badge on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms to show friends, colleagues and potential employers what you’ve learned!
This course is not specifically affiliated with the BJCP program.
Historically, this Beer Quality class reaches max capacity a few days before it starts.
"This course was a great way to refresh some familiar topics and expand my skill set and network! I found it especially valuable being able to discuss with industry experts such as Dr. Shellhammer and Dr. Curtin. Interacting with professors who could answer my questions about the specifics of what we did in the lab and topics we discussed in the classroom was invaluable. I also thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the barley/malting labs."
“This program helped get me hired at two different breweries. It helped me understand the approach of quality first. I recommend this Beer Quality program to a lot of people. It's reasonably priced, gets your foot in the door and trains you in skills that are required at larger breweries. Anyone can monkey around a tiny brewery, but the class gives you the tools to work in a brewery that can afford more than one full time production employee.”
“This program developed new skills and understanding for essential equipment related to my field. It also boosted my confidence and credentials, and I landed a brewer position at an admired brewery a year later (Of note, I wasn't looking for a new job until about a year later, and got the first job I applied to). The program covered all the essential information, equipment and tools. It was nice to be able to talk to people in the industry and attain real experience and knowledge. I also enjoyed that I was able to prepare online prior to going to Corvallis.”
“The instructors were fantastic. I have been implementing what I have learned in my job as head brewer.”
Tom Shellhammer is the Nor’Wester Professor of Fermentation Science in the Department of Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University, where he directs the brewing education component of the fermentation science program and teaches courses about brewing science and technology, beer and raw materials analyses, plus the history, business and technology of the wine, beer and spirits industries.
Jeff Clawson is the Pilot Brewery and Food Processing Plant manager in the Department of Food Science and Technology at OSU. Additionally, he oversees the pilot brewing activities involved in all brewing research projects conducted at OSU. Jeff’s approach to teaching is via experiential learning, which encourages students to learn by doing, and he promotes a very hands-on, technical understanding of sensory analysis, beer and the brewing process.
Scott Lafontaine is a graduate research assistant at Oregon State University and a member of Dr. Thomas Shellhammer’s laboratory. Scott received his Master of Science in Chemistry at Oregon State University in 2015, and his Master of Science in Biotechnology in 2012. Scott is a member of the American Society of Brewing Chemists and a member of the Master Brewers Association of Americas.