Brewing courses offer opportunities ‘from field to foam’

Charlotte Lang

The fermentation science and technology program at Colorado State University offers both the academic and industry sides in their popular brewing courses.

Jeff Biegert, brewmaster and instructor for the program, teaches brewing sciences one and two: classes focused on the components and processes of brewing as well as the applications of the science. 


“Part of the class is a lecture component around brewing science, brewing processes and brewing technology,” Biegert said. “The lab components include a lot of hands-on experiences. So, my classes really focus on bringing the book science and then applying the science in the class.”

Biegert said that the class allows students the opportunity to assess beer and the brewing process from raw materials to the finished product. The program refers to this as looking at the process “from field to foam.”

Jeffrey Callaway, associate director for the program, said that one of the most important pieces of the classes is the industry involvement.

From the beginning of the class, the precedent was set to have industry involvement, Callaway said. This has continued and grown with the program.

“I wanted to see a program created that helped students really understand the academic background and understand the microbial perspective but also the industrial manufacturing perspective,” Callaway said. “The industry, I think, does appreciate that.”

Callaway said the classes are the best of both worlds because it’s not strictly academic or trade school, but it is very applied. 

Laboratory Manager Katie Fromuth said that she loves how the program and the industry as a whole is one big intersection of science and technology.

“We incorporate microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry, physiology (health and sensory) and engineering all into one degree, and it creates a scenario in which there are infinite learning opportunities and areas of focus for the students and myself,” Fromuth wrote in an email to The Collegian. 

This semester is the first time Fromuth will be co-teaching the fermentation microbiology lab course.

The opportunities students have in real-world industry applications are the highlights for both Fromuth and Biegert. 


“Many of our instructors, including myself, have come from the industry, and we know what skills and knowledge our students need to be successful after graduation,” Fromuth wrote. “We also work closely with the industry so that the curriculum remains current and on the cutting edge of what is happening in the industry.”

Fromuth said that having so much real-world practical experiences with a variety of people from the industry is unlike any other program on campus.

Biegert said his classes include brewing sessions and brewery tours as part of the symbiosis of industry and hands-on applications. He also said that the things learned in classes can be applied in places outside of beer.

“I teach beer, and beer is very popular, but the things you learn through brewing and brewing science, you can take with you and apply to any type of operation,” Biegert said.

The classes are held in the brewing lab in Gifford as well as in the Ramskeller brewery. 

Biegert said that three of the beers in the Ramskeller are beers produced by students and faculty in the fermentation science program. These include Cam’s Gold, Cam’s Green and Cam’s Orange.

Callaway said that the goal of the program is to prepare students for the entire supply chain in the brewing industry.

“Where students go depend on student interests,” Callaway said. “Our job is to expose them to everything so they can find out what is interesting.” 

Currently, the brewing classes are open only to fermentation science and technology majors due to the food science based prerequisites.  

Charlotte Lang can be reached at or on Twitter @chartrickwrites.