Build Your Career Through Beer – I’ll Drink to That!

Cincinnati State offers students the rare opportunity to turn drinking during college into an in-demand degree. Though drinking in class is usually unwise, Cincinnati State opens a keg of opportunities for students with a passion for beer and furthering their careers, providing a way to combine those interests and enter a continuously-growing industry stacked with skills.

The craft beer and beverage industry remains one of the fastest growing industries locally, nationally, and globally. As a widely-known “beer town” and host to the nation’s largest Oktoberfest celebration, it’s no surprise that the Cincinnati area is home to over 70 breweries, hundreds of taprooms, and thousands of pubs serving locally-made brews.

Brewing is deeply rooted in Cincinnati history. The lasting importance of the industry is seen through many opportunities for people to use beer to build a career.

Cincinnati State offers an associate degree in Brewing Science (BREW) in addition to two certificates: Brewing Sales and Marketing Certificate (BREWC) and Brewing and Beverage Laboratory Certificate (BREWLC). According to Brewing Science program chair Caleb Ochs-Naderer, “Our program gives students an inexpensive, high-quality education that prepares them for more than an entry-level job in the industry.”

Your Career in Beer is your CaBEER!

Whether students want to work in a lab, market a product, or start their own brewery, Cincinnati State provides knowledge and opportunities to build lasting careers in the beer industry.

The Brewing Sales and Marketing Certificate (BREWC) includes eight courses (24 total credit hours) that can be completed in just two semesters. Core classes like “Intro to Craft Beer” are combined with courses on more technical aspects of the industry, such as “Sustainability for Brewing and Beverage.” The BREWC courses also cover marketing, customer relations, management, and beverage legal issues.

The Brewing and Beverage Laboratory Certificate (BREWLC) is focused on the science behind brewing, and includes eight courses that can be completed over two semesters. In addition to basic sanitation and safety, students learn fundamentals of chemistry and applied brewing microbiology. Graduates can expect to easily find a job working in a lab at a brewery, distillery, winery, or other craft beverage manufacturer in roles such as a sensory and development lab technician or a quality control technician.

The Brewing Science degree (BREW) takes on the industry more comprehensively. Students are required to complete twenty-two courses over five semesters and must be 21 years of age before entering the program (legal drinking age, of course).

BREW graduates earn an Associate of Applied Science degree and are qualified to wear many hats in the industry. This degree combines courses from the laboratory (BREWLC) and marketing and sales (BREWC) certificates in addition to other topics that range from advanced brewing production to financial accounting. Students complete their degree with a full-scale view of what makes the industry run and how to succeed for the long haul.

How to be a Beer-inaire

Students can find a path to success at Cincinnati State due to a thorough course load combined with direct links to businesses in the area. Ochs-Narder said, “Students not only learn one-on-one from professionals in the classroom, but they also get an up-close and personal taste of the industry though field trips.”

MadTree Brewing Company has built a strong relationship with Cincinnati State since the Brewing Science program began in 2015. Many graduates of the program work at MadTree and other breweries in various capacities from the taproom to production management to ownership.

Cincinnati State and MadTree are committed to supporting and promoting underrepresented populations in the industry. To help achieve this goal and spark change in the brewing industry, MadTree offered a $5,000 scholarship in 2021 for Cincinnati State students that represented those diverse voices.


“Graduates will be prepared to walk into a brewing cellar and start brewing right away– that is our goal,” said Ochs-Naderer.

Cincinnati State’s Brewing Science program is a great fit for students who are motivated to enter a thriving industry equipped with valuable skills, and then continue striving for success while using their knowledge and passion for brewing.