February 13, 2020First brews of the new school year now on tap
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
to learn how they can participate in the program during 2020-2021.