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On Tap

Hospitality management students learn the science behind America’s billion-dollar beer-brewing industry. 

Fall 2021听触 叠测听Rachel Williams 鈥15聽鈥20MA

On any given day at 多多直播, students can be found in labs conducting chemistry experiments. Now, that includes brewing beer.

Students have a chance to learn聽about the ancient craft thanks聽to two brand-new stainless steel聽15-gallon Blichmann kettles聽and a fermenter installed at聽the Rosen College of Hospitality聽Management this semester. They鈥檝e聽steeped grain, combined it with yeast,聽and aerated the mixture so that it聽fermented and turned into beer over聽a matter of weeks.

Even though this聽process is聽thousands of years old, these future聽brewmasters are learning about the聽process to understand beer鈥檚 place聽in the modern world of hospitality聽management.

鈥淎s long as humans have been聽living in small groups, they鈥檝e been聽brewing in some capacity,鈥 says聽chef Jonathan Judy, an associate聽instructor at the Rosen College聽of Hospitality Management who聽teaches the course Quality Brewing聽and Fine Beer.

It鈥檚 as much a part of American聽history as the Mayflower itself 鈥斅爓hich landed near Plymouth Rock聽in part because the ship was running聽out of its beer supply, which was safer聽than its drinking water.

Fast forward to 2021, and beer聽is a main ingredient of American聽culture. Last year alone the craft beer聽industry contributed $62.1 billion and聽more than 400,000 jobs to the U.S.聽economy, according to the Brewers聽Association.

鈥淲hat we鈥檙e seeing now in the聽industry is food and beer pairings are聽rising to the same level as food and聽wine pairings,鈥 Judy says.

That popularity is why students are聽learning about beer in their education聽to become hospitality managers. In聽his class, Judy takes students through聽the process 鈥 beginning with beer鈥檚聽origins to brewing a batch themselves聽that is then used for class tastings.

Here are some insights Judy聽learned about beer during his career.

Change is Brewing in the Industry

Brewing has been a leading聽manufacturing industry in America聽since the early 1900s. It wasn鈥檛聽until the 鈥70s and 鈥80s that the聽niche market of craft beer began in聽people鈥檚 garages. In the last 15 years,聽Judy says we鈥檝e seen a significant聽change in the demand for craft beer聽because consumers are increasingly聽interested in quality and supporting聽local. It鈥檚 caught the attention of the聽big national brewers that recognize聽craft brewers have come after the聽market share.

Rosen Sets the Standard

多多直播 students learn from industry聽professionals in their education to聽become hospitality managers. Take聽Judy, who starting cooking as an聽apprentice in 1990 at 16 years old,聽was a sous chef at a restaurant and聽brewery in Winter Park, and聽over time worked his way up to聽executive chef. He鈥檚 been a hobbyist聽brewer since the 鈥90s, and recently聽became a level-one Cicerone 鈥 a聽beer certification similar to the聽sommelier certification in wine.

鈥淲hat I鈥檝e found is that brewing聽is just like cooking,鈥 says Judy. 鈥淚t鈥檚聽a transformative process, and I鈥檝e聽always found it fascinating.鈥

Passing the Taste Test

The craft of making beer means being聽creative with it, but within reason.聽Beer is made of just four ingredients聽鈥 grain, hops, yeast and water. 鈥淚t鈥檚聽fascinating how you can take those聽four ingredients and make something聽different every time,鈥 Judy says. A聽good beer should have a refreshing聽flavor, a pleasant aftertaste and a taste聽that aligns with its style, he says.

Finding the Right Beer

Judy says the best moments in class聽are when he witnesses the 鈥渁ha!鈥澛爉oment for his students. 鈥淚鈥檝e had聽students who didn鈥檛 like beer or聽thought they wouldn鈥檛 enjoy it but聽then they do. I think for most people聽who don鈥檛 like beer, it鈥檚 because they聽haven鈥檛 found the one for them yet,鈥澛爃e says. When trying to find the right聽beer, Judy says consider what flavor聽profiles you like in food. For those聽who like bitter flavors, Judy suggests trying an India Pale Ale (IPA). For聽coffee lovers, try stouts. For those聽who want something light, Judy聽suggests a lager, wheat ale or Belgian-style聽white ale.

Making the Grade

Reinheitsgebot is a German term that聽marks the standard as the country鈥檚聽beer purity law. In place since 1516,聽the law requires that nothing other聽than barley, hops, yeast and water be聽used to produce German beer. 鈥淭hat鈥檚聽why German beer tends to have聽much less going on than Belgium聽beer, for example, which is made right聽next door but not constrained to the聽same purity law,鈥 Judy says.聽多多直播聽students this semester brewed a beer聽in line with the聽Reinheitsgebot law.

Well-Rounded Education

Quality Brewing and Fine Beer聽is one of 10 courses that students聽can take to earn a certificate in聽beverage management that started聽this semester. Courses include聽supply chain and logistics, law and聽management to tasting classes with聽beer and wine, which is taught in the聽Anheuser-Busch Beer & Wine Lab at聽Rosen. 多多直播 students ages 18-20 (with聽instructor approval) or older can take聽these classes, many of which are also聽offered online.

Stages of Brewing Beer

Wort brewing machine

Making Wort

In this process, grains are steeped in hot聽water to extract the glucose (sugars).聽Once this process is complete, the solid聽grains are discarded, leaving a liquid聽solution called wort. This is the raw聽material for the beer.

Hop plant

Adding Flavors

Hops and other flavors are added to the聽wort, giving each craft beer its unique聽taste. These extracts are dissolved into聽the solution prior to fermentation.聽Common flavors include fruits, spices,聽coffee and even chocolate.

Beer vat


During fermentation, brewer鈥檚 yeast is聽added to the wort. Over time, the yeast聽consumes the glucose, converting it to聽ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Bottle and can


In home or small-batch brewing, sugar聽tablets are added to bottles before聽sealing. The remaining yeast in the liquid聽converts the sugar to carbon dioxide. The聽bottle becomes pressurized, forcing more聽of the gas to dissolve in the liquid.