American brewing starting to get crafty, Appalachian brewers to see benefits

Anne Buie

Mid-year results from Brewer’s Association show craft breweries growing by a large percentage in United States, according

The Brewer’s Association, a trade association representing a large majority of American breweries, reported an increase of dollar sales of 14 percent for craft breweries, as well as increase in the number of breweries overall, which has been a growth of 350 since June 2011. The number of jobs provided through craft breweries in the country now is 104,000, which includes related jobs such as servers and bartenders.

In June 2012, the Bachelor of Science degree program in Fermentation Sciences was approved by the UNC General Administration for the university.

The program accepted its first students this fall.

“I think [the numbers] demonstrate the necessity of our program,” said Seth Cohen, director of Fermentation Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Cohen said he knows that the growth of craft brewing holds a lot of potential for students.

A higher percentage of Fermentation Science students are finding jobs with the smaller crafts because of new breweries opening, Cohen said.

“A growth in the industry means a lot of job opportunities,” he said.

Students in the department learn how to operate and work with a brew house on a small-scale and develop recipes with microbiology and chemistry, Cohen said.

“I think it’s been great,” said Brett Taubman, a professor in the Chemistry Department who works with the Fermentation Sciences Department.

The craft breweries are a “great” small business, Taubman said.

“They’re very environmentally conscientious, good employers, so across the board, it’s great for the economy,” he said.

Michael Schriber, co-owner of Glug Beer and Wine,said he has definitely noticed the growing popularity of craft beer in his sales through his 12 years in Boone.

“It’s blowing up,” Schriber said. “Craft beer is taking over the market and everybody knows it.”

Schriber, who is an Appalachian alumni, said he thinks people “respect the art and science behind” craft beers.


Story: KELLI STRAKA, News Editor and DANIEL STEVENSON, Intern News Reporter