MYRTLE BEACH — Something new is brewing on the coast as Horry-Georgetown Technical College will be offering a degree in brewing, the first college degree of its kind in South Carolina.
The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports the school will offer an associate degree in applied science with a major in brewing, distillation and fermentation. The college received approval from its local board last week for the new program, which is expected to begin in the fall of 2015.
“We’re the renegades here – there’s no other program in the state,” said Marilyn Fore, the college’s executive vice president for academic affairs.
“Every single comment to me about the program has been positive, and there’s excitement over the college offering not only a program that is going to provide students with a new kind of occupation, but one that is personally appealing to a lot of people,” she added.
The program will be offered through the college’s culinary department.
Fore doesn’t see any problems getting the program approved by the State Technical College System Board or the state Commission on Higher Education and expects a planned assessment will show a need for the program.
There were more than 2,750 craft breweries operating in the United States that provided 110,000 jobs during 2013 year, according to the Brewers Association, an industry trade group.
“I predict we will see many job opportunities locally and statewide over the next three years and that those are going to increase,” Fore said. “It’s a growing industry.”
Fore said there are some unique requirements for those wanting to learn the brew master’s trade.
Students need to be 21 – the legal drinking age – before taking their first core brewing class.
They would also have to be tested for hepatitis and able to lift a certain amount of weight to handle brewing materials and finished brew. They would also have to be able to work in humid and cool conditions required for maintaining beer.
There are three brewing programs at technical colleges in North Carolina.