by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

Lourdes CFO Jeff Williams takes a sample of a craft beer.

Lourdes University President Mary Ann Gawelek and Vice President for Academic Affairs Terry M. Keller announced the institution’s newest undergraduate program – a Bachelor of Science in Craft Beverages. This one-of-a-kind program prepares budding microbrewers and vintners to master the art, science and business of winemaking, brewing and distilling. The first classes will begin in August 2019.

The University is the first higher education institution in the United States to offer such a comprehensive bachelor’s degree program. Known as The Full Bodied Degree, Lourdes crafted the program in response to industry needs.

“Our administration and excellent faculty strive to be a University that is innovative by choice. To meet the needs of students and employers, we continue to build and expand our partnerships in the for-profit and non-profit sectors,” said Dr. Gawelek.

The craft beverage industry continues to grow. In the U.S., more than 6,600 breweries and 7,946 wineries are currently operating and employ more than 1.8 million individuals. The brewing industry, in particular, has realized unprecedented growth with 33,716 new brewing jobs, a 614 percent growth in brewery establishments, and a 126 percent increase in employment from 2006 to 2016.

Full Bodied Degree Program
Students can complete the program in four years with three internships. One will be through the University’s Irish study abroad program and the others through opportunities across the U.S.

Brewing and vineyard internship partners include Inside the Five, Black Cloister, Twin Oast, Upside, Heidelberg Distributing, select vineyards in California, and Galway Hooker and Nephin Distillery in Galway, Ireland.

Inside the classroom, students will benefit from extensive courses in the artisanship, science, sustainability and business operation of the craft beverages industry. In line with the University’s Franciscan values, the curriculum will instill in students and future craft beverage professionals the importance of a respectful approach to the industry in regards to responsible drinking.

“Lourdes has designed a program that has contemporary curriculum supported by experiences in the industry. Our brewing and vineyard partners are excited to work with our students and provide them with the professional skills and knowledge needed to be successful,” added Keller.

The announcement was made at a celebration held at Inside the Five Brewery in Sylvania, owned by Brandon and Katie Fields and Chris Morris.

Those interested in the
Bachelor of Science in Craft Beverages program
can contact an admissions counselor at

or visit