Experts in making beer, wine and other adult drinks will discuss their craft this month in St. Louis. The Venture Cafe is putting on “The Art of Alcohol” to “explore the science, logistics, innovation, and business models behind alcohol.”
One of the sessions will focus on beer.
Troika Brodsky, executive director of the St. Louis Brewers Heritage Foundation, will moderate a discussion focusing on educating people on all aspects of the industry.
“It's the brewers. It's the restaurant industry. It's the grocery store. It's the distribution. It's the local bottle shops,” Brodsky said.
“There are so many positions where you need more knowledge,” he added.
Part of the effort to increase education about all aspects of the industry is taking place at St. Louis University. It has launched a program in which people can earn a Brewing Science and Operations Certificate.
Brodsky is directing that program and said that like many industries, more education could mean more opportunities.
“There’s up over 8,000 breweries nationally now. Beer has really blown up recently,” he said.
“It’s competitive to get those jobs. A program like this that’s going to give you a little taste of all the different facets of the industry is really going to be a bit of a game-changer.”
The program started earlier this year with more than 30 students, while Troika said they were only planning for about 20.
The demand seems to reflect a recent joint study by two national trade organizations. The Beer Institute and the National Beer Wholesalers Association research suggests the industry is responsible for more than 2 million jobs that total slightly more than $100 billion in wages.
“We have one gentleman who is a head brewer up in the Quad Cities,” Brodsky said. “This guy knows what he’s doing and still sees the value of learning more.”
The discussion on the importance of an educated beer workforce and how to break into the industry will be at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Venture Cafe’s satellite office at the Danforth Plant Science Center.
Follow Wayne on Twitter: @WayneRadio
Send questions and comments about this story to firstname.lastname@example.org