MiraCosta College’s craft brewing program has been recognized as the only community college certificate program of its kind in California meeting the standards set by the Master Brewers Association of the Americas.
Certification by the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA) assures that the BrewTech Program at MiraCosta College meets an array of standards, such as preparing students for entry-level positions at either large-scale or craft brewing business, employing a lead faculty member with extensive experience as a leader of an operating brewery, allows for industry internships, and provides adequate facilities needed to hone techniques and skills.
MiraCosta’s was just one of two MBAA-approved programs in the state (the other being at UC Davis) and one of just 14 in the nation. The BrewTech Program enrolls two cohorts each year, with 16 to 18 students per cohort, and a job placement rate of 80 percent.
“We’re honored to be recognized by the MBAA, as it validates the quality of how we are serving our students and serving the industry by putting people to work in a profession they love,” said Carisa Chavez, supervisor for work skills programs at the Technology Career Institute in Carlsbad, where the program is housed.
MiraCosta College graduated the first class in its BrewTech certificate program in the spring 2019. The 280-hour class includes industry relevant curriculum, state-of-the-art equipment, and job placement assistance. Classroom material covers the chemistry and biology of beer production and an introduction to equipment used in breweries of all scales. Topics covered the brewing process, brewhouse quality control, yeast and fermentation processes and how they affect beer quality, and more.
BrewTech is the only craft beer program in the region with a brewery on site and an 80-hour internship requirement. The program culminates with a graduation in which students serve their beers at a campus tasting room with industry representatives sampling the suds. “It’s a great networking event, as well as a celebration of our students,” Chavez said.
BrewTech instructors include Mike Stevenson, head brewer and co-owner of Culver Beer Company in Carlsbad, Justin Stambaugh, former head of brewing operations at Rip Current Brewing Company and founder of Stave & Nail Brewing Company, and Greg Turk, who has worked as a brewer at Carl Strauss and The Lost Abbey.
BrewTech Program certification was announced February 16, following a recommendation from the MBAA Higher Education Committee and MBAA Review Board, the latter of which comprises brew masters and leaders in brew-related academia. “The MBAA Review Board brings deep, practical, scientific and academic excellence to the process of both guiding and recognizing new and existing brewing and fermentation science programs at colleges and universities throughout and beyond North America,” said Bryan Mowry of the MBAA’s Higher Education Recognition Program.
About MiraCosta College
The MiraCosta Community College District has served the coastal North San Diego County area for over 80 years. More than 19,000 credit students annually in over 70 disciplines enroll in associate degrees, university transfer and workforce readiness certificate programs. The college also serves over 7,000 students a wide spectrum of educational needs in the region ranging from programs for adult education, community education, basic skills, and ESL to a California Community College pilot program offering the nation’s first baccalaureate degree in biomanufacturing. MiraCosta College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).