Colby-Sawyer College and The Flying Goose Brew Pub and Grille in New London have collaborated to offer a two-credit elective course that teaches students the craft and science of brewing beer. This fall, the course Brewing Science will run at capacity with 15 students.
“We are very excited to be a part of developing this course, as Colby-Sawyer is a huge part of our community,” said Tom Mills, owner of The Flying Goose. “Colby-Sawyer has supported us through many years, and we look forward to giving back.”
The class, taught by Assistant Professor of Chemistry Darrell Kuykendall, is designed to introduce students who are at least 21 years old to the scientific background of brewing. The Flying Goose will host the course’s lab component in its brewing facility, and students will be able to put their new scientific understanding to work while creating their own brews.
“We are very excited to work with a thriving local business,” said Professor Kuykendall. “Students will come into The Flying Goose’s brewing facility, and it will hit them that they are learning more than just a theory on a board or an equation in a textbook: I am learning how to bring a community together.”
A Brewpub on Campus
The class is a prelude to a proposed brewpub in the Lethbridge Lodge on campus where student-made and local beers would be served alongside a menu of local foods. The new venture would be ripe with opportunities for students from multiple disciplines, from graphic design, writing, and art majors who could create signage and packaging to business students and those in the sciences.
“We can get all sorts of students working together on this endeavor,” said Academic Dean Burton Kirkwood. “With interest and cooperation from everyone, we really have an opportunity to create another great option for students here at Colby-Sawyer.”
“Our hope is for students … to get the exposure to the everyday life of a brewer,” said Tom Mills. “Those who don’t know a lot about brewing don’t realize how involved the brewing process is and what kind of education you need to support a career in this industry.”
Appreciating the Craft
A strong supporter of the Brewing Science course and the proposed pub is Multidisciplinary Studies major Vincent Monahan ‘14, who devoted his senior year Capstone project to researching and promoting the idea of a pub on campus. During his time at Colby-Sawyer, he recognized a need for students to have a place where they could socialize and drink responsibly.
According to Monahan, an on-campus pub would keep students off the roads after a night out. “By implementing a pub on the Colby-Sawyer College campus, students will have a greater opportunity to drink responsibly and touch on the learning outcomes of the college,” he said.
Colby-Sawyer Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students David Sauerwein agrees that appreciation of the brewing process will inspire healthy drinking practices and a safer community on campus and off. “We have proposed having a brewpub on campus to help reduce the opportunity and risk of students driving intoxicated while instilling a value in the campus community,” he said. “This beer will be more expensive than the beers you buy by the case, and because of this, students won’t want to binge, they will want to appreciate.”
Assistant Professor of Business Administration William Spear, who has backed the pub proposal, feels that students will gain a new admiration for the art of brewing beer by learning the science behind the beverage. “We are bringing students, staff, administration, and community members together with beer, all while promoting healthy drinking practices,” he said.
The Brewing Science course will bring the college and The Flying Goose together in a close, mutually beneficial partnership through which students will be able to combine their wide range of talents and interests to create a tangible product, while at the same time creating a safe venue for students, faculty, staff, administration, and community members to unwind while enjoying one another’s company.
After all, as Flying Goose brewmaster Rik Marley said, “Everyone gets brought together with beer.”