Another strong showing in U.S. Open Beer Championships
Schoolcraft College, home of the acclaimed Brewing and Distillation Technology program, recently won a total of five medals in two prestigious competitions, underscoring the excellence of its instructors and students.
Specifically, Schoolcraft College won a gold medal in the 2021 U.S. Open Beer Championships and two gold medals and two bronze medals in the 2021 U.S. Open College Beer Championships.
The U.S. Open Beer Championships judges more beer styles than any other competition in the world, with more than 8,000 beers representing over 140 different styles vying for prizes. Schoolcraft’s gold medal came in Australian-Style Pale Ale for its College Pale Ale. The College has won 32 medals in competition since 2017, including a silver and a bronze in the 2020 U.S. Open Beer Championships.
Brewed with pale malts and Australian Galaxy hops, the College Pale Ale has aromas of crackery malt and tropical fruit with moderate bitterness.
“The U.S. Open Beer Championships is always one of the most competitive events we enter,” said Thomas Block, Director of the Brewing and Distillation Technology program. “With around 40 beers in each style category, it’s a tremendous honor when one of our beers earns a medal – especially a gold medal.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, judging was held in both the U.S. and Canada. Judging is blind, with judges knowing only the categories, but not the names or locations, of beers.
U.S. Open College Beer Championships
Schoolcraft College finished in a tie for second overall in the U.S. Open College Beer Championships and had the best showing of any college or university in Michigan. The results with the students are:
- Gold – 275 Kolsch (Dan Nieland and Kasey Bunio)
- Gold – College Pale (Mitchell Wayne and Gerry Morin)
- Bronze – SC Baltic Porter (Dan Nieland and Kasey Bunio)
- Bronze – Grand Cru (Dan Nieland and Kasey Bunio)
“Our students did an outstanding job against excellent competition,” Block said. “We are very proud of them and each has a bright future in the craft brewing industry.”
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, dissolve 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’ 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 schoolcraft.edu/beer