February 13, 2020
First brews of the new school year now on tap
two students and dr. DeMattei holding beers in brewing room The first beers brewed by the Fermentation Science class of 2019-20, just went on tap at Hunter’s Ale House. The three beers are variations of Presidential IPA designed by Professor Cordell DeMattei. “Hunter’s manager, Pat Simons, requested the class remake the popular Presidential IPA. I thought that this would be an opportunity for the students to see how using different hops in the same beer recipe would affect the taste. One class section made the original Presidential IPA, the second used more West Coast-style hops in Tyrannical IPA, and the third section used more tropical flavored hops to produce Benevolent Dictator IPA”, said DeMattei.

These are just the first of several student-brewed beers that will be available at Hunter’s Ale House. After making the Presidential IPAs, the students are responsible for developing their own recipes for the beers that they brew, ferment, condition, and package. These beers will go on tap throughout the semester as the students produce them. Already in the works are a red rye, oatmeal stout, and maple bacon brown ale.

Students not only get the opportunity to create their own beers and have them on tap, but also compete against other college brewing programs by submitting their products to the US Open College Beer Championship. This contest, held in May, requires students to brew classic styles to specific guidelines to test their abilities as brewers. Now in its fifth year, the CMU Fermentation Science students have won medals each year and have been named in the top 3 brewing schools in 3 of the 4 competitions.

The Fermentation Science students don’t get to just jump into brewing in the Spring semester. They have already completed classes (SCI 320 & 321) in the Fall semester where they learn the science behind the ingredients, brewing process, and analyses of beer. Dr. DeMattei says, “It is important to understand the science of brewing to know what is happening at each step of the process. It allows you to not only design and make great beer, but also to figure out and correct things when they go wrong.” Brewing at Hunter’s in the Spring semester is not the end of the certificate program for the Fermentation Science students. The final requirement is to complete an internship of at least 200 hours. Students find internships at breweries around the state of Michigan.

Graduates of the Fermentation Science certificate program have great job prospects. There are over 300 craft breweries in Michigan and over 6,000 nationwide. Alumni from the program are now brewers throughout Michigan, as well as in Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, and Missouri. Potential students can contact Dr. DeMattei at demat1cr@cmich.edu to learn how they can participate in the program during 2020-2021.
April 15, 2019
Students tap into success with fermentation sciences certificate
By Benjamin Ackley, Central Michigan Life
students stirring mixtureDemattei developed the program in an attempt to get qualified CMU students into the brewing industry, and the program seems to have been successful in doing so. CMU brewers have interned and worked in six states, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Florida. Current fermentation science student and Clinton Township senior Tom Ostrom thinks the class provides a unique real-world application of knowledge for those in science programs.

Read this whole story here
April 3, 2019
Badass Women in the Detroit Beer Industry: Lena Butler
By Courtney Burk of Batch Brewing. Photo by Dave Cicotte of Brew Detroit
Lena ButlerI sat down with Lena Butler to discuss her new role as the Quality Technician at Brew Detroit. New to the industry, her perspective is fresh and focused on the science and— often overlooked— microscopic interworking involved in the production of beer. I was in my fifth year at Central Michigan University pursuing my biology degree when the school announced they were offering a fermentation science certificate program. I reasoned the opportunity would be another way to use my degree and allow myself entrance into a job market that I had never previously considered. Unlike the other brewing programs that are offered at various Universities in Michigan, CMU’s program focused specifically on the science and quality aspect of brewing. It was a perfect fit for my degree and my background with working in different lab settings.

Read this whole story here
March 8, 2018
Inspiration, Science Education Help Women Discover Beer Jobs in Michigan
In the beginning, the women were the brewers. Women tended to hearth and home — gathering food, making meals and, yes, brewing beer. These women brewed for weddings and as offerings to celebrate childbirth. They were goddesses and high priestesses. These traditions were carried on for millennia, until things changed. The proliferation of all-male monasteries brewing beer and industrialization, which saw men leave farms for work in cities, pushed most women out of breweries. But Michigan is helping women return to their ancient roots. Hit hard by the loss of many manufacturing jobs, the state is championing two major ingredients in making a craft brewer: STEM jobs and food artisans. And Michigan schools are stepping up to help teach a new generation of brewers and rekindling an entrepreneurial spirit that once thrived in the state.

Dr. Cordell DeMattei, director of CMU's Fermentation Science Program and Tiffany Davidson, a student enrolled in the Fermentation Science Program featured in this story

Read this whole story here
February 19, 2018
CMU Fermentation Science Program Earns Top Honors
The 2017 U.S. Open College Beer Championship has listed CMU's Fermentation Science program as one of the top 3 programs in North America for the second year in a row.

Students from last year's cohort brought home medals for :
  • Gold Medal - IPA Category for "Batch 100 IPA"
  • Bronze Medal - Belgian Category for "Never Been Dunkel"
Read more about the 2017 U.S. Open College Beer Championship here
June 7, 2017
CMU's Fermentation Science Program Taps into Growing Market in Michigan and Beyond
At Lansing Brewing Co., head brewer Sawyer Stevens, '12, describes his signature brew, the Amber Cream Ale, and we dare you not to crave an ice cold pint right now. "It's smooth and a little bit caramelly," Sawyer says, taking a break from his brewing duties. It has hints of toasted malt, a silky finish and a taste of history – this is the beer the original Lansing Brewing Co. served in 1897, before Prohibition closed its doors. A couple hundred miles away in Chicago, Kevin Cary, '06, tells about the popular craft beers at Begyle Brewing Co., a place he's co-owned since 2011.

Read this whole story here
Top Honors for CMU's Fermentation Science Program
Colleges and Universities with brewing courses were invited to compete in the U.S. Open College Beer Championship for the first time with the purpose of identifying the top future brewers in North America.

At the end of this year's competition, CMU's Fermentation Science program was named the 2nd best Brewing School in North America behind only the Niagara College Teaching Brewery in Canada, earning a medal in each category entered.
  • 2nd Place in the IPA Category
  • 2nd Place in the German Pilsner Category
  • 1st Place in the Imperial Stout Category
  • 3rd Place in the Open Category
Learn more about the U.S. Open College Beer Championship here

CMU's certificate program in fermentation science, the first of its kind in Michigan and the sixth such program in the United States, is expected to appeal to students both in and outside the sciences as well as to brewery employees looking to advance their careers. Those who take the program would be prepared for a career in the brewing industry as well as industry wide certification tests.