Excitement bubbling over new beer making class at Reedley College

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At Reedley College's Plant Science 21, it's always five O'clock. Sampling beer is all part of the process in this beer making and fermentation science course.

At Reedley College's Plant Science 21, it's always five O'clock. Sampling beer is all part of the process in this beer making and fermentation science course.

Through labs, lectures, and even making their own brew, students are learning the ins and outs of the business, from industry professional Rhett Williams. He's a local beer maker and the CEO of Clovis based 559 Beer.

"We are in the Ag capitol of the world, so adding different things like oak chips will add different flavors too."

The class has been two years in the making and finally, for the first time, it's being offered at the college. Williams says courses like this are hard to come by.

"There are not many academic programs outside of UC Davis, we are in this area where we are blossoming with wineries and new breweries popping up."

For Agronomy major Ernesto Duran, the most appealing aspect isn't how beer is made, but how it comes together.

"Learn a little bit more about starting out in the field, getting into the production of it, and the marketing side of it, like labeling."

Williams said the brewing industry is in demand in our state. Currently, California is number one when it comes to breweries per-capita.

Through this class, Williams hopes students gain the necessary skills to get their foot in the door.

"A lot of breweries have to stop making beer because they don't have enough employees to run 24 hours or second shift or third shift."

The class still has available spots and is open to anyone 21 and over. Students have until the 10th of September to register. The class takes place every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
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