August 1, 2022

More Medals for Brewing Program

a flight of beer

Schoolcraft has won 37 medals overall since 2017

The medal count for Schoolcraft College’s acclaimed Brewing and Distillation Technology program keeps rising and now stands at 37 following another excellent performance in the 2022 U.S. Open College Beer Championship and the 2022 U.S Open Beer Championship. 

Schoolcraft brought home two gold medals (Haggerty IPA and Grand Cru) and one silver medal (College Pale Ale) in the college competition, which is in its sixth year and is for colleges and universities that teach brewing courses. Schoolcraft College also tied for second overall.

Here’s a brief description of those award-winning beers:

Haggerty IPA

  • Classic American India Pale Ale has a touch of rye malt to enhance the malt character, and a high bitterness from the use of Simcoe hops. Piney and fruity notes.

Grand Cru

  • Golden in color, this strong Belgian-style ale has notes of bready malt alongside a touch of fruitiness and spice from both the Belgian yeast strain, and the addition of coriander and orange peel.

College Pale Ale

  • Brewed with pale malts and Australian Galaxy hops, this American Pale Ale has aromas of crackery malt and tropical fruit. Moderate bitterness.
Group of people in brewing distillery
Students in the Brewing and Distillation Technology program learn in a working brewery.

“We are always honored to have our beer win medals against our peers and fellow brewers,” said Thomas Block, Director of the Brewing and Distillation Technology program. “Our faculty is top-notch and our brewery on campus is second to none compared with other brewing schools. We focus on process in the brewery and the program. If the process is solid, the beer will be as well.”

All beers were submitted by one of each school’s brewing professors/instructors, and each school could enter up to four beers of their own choosing. Those four entries were judged according to the U.S. Open Style Standards.

In addition, each school was invited to submit a beer from a specific category to be judged head-to-head according to the U.S. Open Style Standards. This year’s category was German Kölsch, with Schoolcraft College earning a bronze medal. Here’s a description of that beer:

275 Kolsch-Style

  • A golden beer based on a German classic, soft maltiness, low bitterness and a crisp finish with just a touch of spice aroma from German hops.

In the U.S. Open Beer Championship, Schoolcraft won a silver medal in the Altbier category for its German Alt.

The U.S. Open Beer Championship judges more beer styles than any other competition in the world, with more than 9,000 brews representing over 150 styles of beer to be judged, along with home brews that have medaled at the 2021 American Homebrew Association’s national competition.

About Schoolcraft’s program

Students learn the brewing science to craft award-winning beer in a state-of-the-art brewery that’s the largest of any brewing program in Michigan. State-of-the-art analytical equipment measures alcohol percentage, bitterness, CO2 volume, dissolved oxygen, color and more to craft a superior beer.

The 360-degree approach helps students learn the real-world aspects of the beer and distilled spirits industry, including:

  • Business and operations
  • Product finishing and packaging
  • Draught systems management
  • Beer history and customer service

Schoolcraft’s six faculty members have experience as head brewers, brewmasters, owners, buyers, sales managers and more, with over 100 years of combined experience in the craft beer industry. Students learn their skills in an actual brewery that features:

  • A 7-barrel brewhouse
  • Six 7-barrel fermenters
  • Two 3.5-barrel fermenters
  • Three 7-barrel “Brite” tanks for conditioning
  • One 2-head bottling line
  • One 2-head canning line
  • One crowler machine

To learn more about Schoolcraft College’s Brewing and Distillation Technology program, please go to

Registration for the Fall 2022 semester is now open. Classes start Monday, August 29.

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