CRAFTSBURY COMMON, Vt.—“They who drink beer will think beer,” said the writer Washington Irving. The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College is offering a new course in “Small Batch Brewing” for those who wish to think, drink, and make their own craft beer while being mentored by craft brewing experts including Anders Kissmeyer of Kissmeyer Beer & Brewing, and Jan Paul of Svaneke Bryghus, and featuring a master class with Shaun Hill of Hill Farmstead Brewery.
Kissmeyer and Paul, internationally acclaimed brewing experts, will lead students in a hands-on, two-week summer course in the heart of Vermont, home to over 50 award-winning craft breweries. Students will roll up their sleeves and develop recipes as well as practice producing small-batch beers from scratch. The course also incorporates fundamental microbiological concepts, critical safety considerations, and key brewery-focused business development and marketing lessons, taught both on Sterling College’s campus and at Hill Farmstead Brewery in nearby Greensboro. The capstone to the course will be a single master class and brew day with Shaun Hill, the founder of Hill Farmstead Brewery, considered by many to be among the best breweries in the world.
“What I hope is conveyed to students in this course is the importance of science and process, in addition to lineage and place, as a foundation for their brewing operations,” said Shaun Hill. “I want aspiring brewers to leave this course with a self-critical, reflective ability to create beers that are precise and inspired by their region.”
The vibrant working landscape of Vermont has been the inspiration for Sterling College’s environmental stewardship mission for a half century. Sterling’s sustainable agriculture and land management programs were among the first in the nation. The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College aligns with the College’s mission of environmental stewardship education by linking ecological principles of land management with the entrepreneurial community-building spirit of today’s artisan food movement.
“The quality and character of a beer is the result of the passion, philosophy, and methodology of the brewer behind it,” said Anders Kissmeyer. “I look forward to having fun, getting personal, and really digging deep into the science and techniques of small-batch brewing with students.”
“Anders, Jan, and Shaun are innovative icons in the craft brewing revolution,” said Nicole Civita, Assistant Director of the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Sterling College. “All three bring the highest of standards and ideals to their breweries. This class will allow ample one-on-one time with these acclaimed brewmasters and entrepreneurs, and will prepare both enthusiastic home-brewers and aspiring craft beer impresarios to radically rethink their beers.”
The class is being offered at Sterling College as part of its just-launched School of the New American Farmstead, a new program offering a variety of classes and workshops for aspiring agrarians, artisan food enthusiasts, and environmental stewards. These hands-on short courses in small-scale food production, sustainable farming, and food writing offer one-on-one mentorship, inspiration, skills, and new perspectives that will feed the body, the mind, and the spirit.
“The ecological approach to artisan food that the School of the New American Farmstead promotes is completely in line with my beliefs in brewing practice and food production in general,” said Jan Paul. “I am grounded by a strong environmental ethic, and so is this program. Great beer is made from pristine raw ingredients, and to brew is to be a part of the overall working landscape.”
The School of the New American Farmstead programming is generously supported by Chelsea Green Publishing, an independent publishing company that works with authors who convey in-depth, practical knowledge about food, farming, ecology and community resilience—subjects at the heart of the Sterling College curriculum.
The announcement of the School of the New American Farmstead caps a remarkable time of innovation and growth at Sterling College. Under the leadership of President Matthew Derr, the College has launched the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems; inaugurated its continuing education program; made substantial progress on renewable energy; transformed its agricultural facilities; and set records for enrollment and fundraising.
Online registration is now open, but spaces are limited. The course will be held from July 18 to 29, 2016. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. For more information on the course and to register, visit www.sterlingcollege.edu/snaf.