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Inaugural graduating class of brewers ready to use skills


The first graduating class of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s brewing and fermentation science major is fully employed and ready to share its talents with employers and beer lovers.

The six graduates are among more than 800 students participating in Penn College’s commencement exercises May 17-18 at the Community Arts Center in downtown Williamsport.

“I am very proud of the hard work this group has put in over the past two years of rigorous study,” said Timothy L. Yarrington, instructor of brewing fermentation and science. “I am also happy to have them joining the community of educated professional brewers. I look forward to following their successes as their careers take shape.”

The first graduating class from Pennsylvania College of Technology’s brewing and fermentation science major all have jobs lined up in the industry. lab. From left are: William B. Ernst-Wingfield, of Picture Rocks; Mark R. Kitchen, of Danville; Christopher P. Good, of State College; Luke H. Brown, of Beaver; Sean J. Hamilton, of Buffalo, N.Y.; and Ryan J. Hampton, of Williamsport.
The first graduating class from Pennsylvania College of Technology’s brewing and fermentation science major all have jobs lined up in the industry. lab. From left are: William B. Ernst-Wingfield, of Picture Rocks; Mark R. Kitchen, of Danville; Christopher P. Good, of State College; Luke H. Brown, of Beaver; Sean J. Hamilton, of Buffalo, N.Y.; and Ryan J. Hampton, of Williamsport.

The Associate of Applied Science degree graduates and their employers are: Luke H. Brown, of Beaver, Straub Brewery Inc., St. Marys; William B. Ernst-Wingfield, of Picture Rocks, a yet-to-be-announced start-up brewery in Williamsport; Christopher P. Good, of State College, Happy Valley Brewing Co., State College; Sean J. Hamilton, of Buffalo, New York, New York Beer Project, Lockport, New York; Ryan J. Hampton, of Williamsport, Berwick Brewing Co., Berwick; and Mark R. Kitchen, of Danville, New Trail Brewing Co., Williamsport.

“The past two years have been very demanding, but really exciting at the same time,” Hamilton said. “Walking into the program, I came in with zero science background, and the first two semesters were nothing but chemistry and biology. But without those classes, it’s hard to understand how the yeast and enzymes work to be able to manipulate your process to achieve the outcomes you want.

“What makes everything fun to learn is the final product,” Hamilton continued. “Knowing that you put all these ingredients together to create a product for people to enjoy is really exciting. Learning under Tim has given all six of us the knowledge to achieve any goal we set out in the industry, and it will be really cool to see where we all end up in five to 10 years.”

Like Hamilton, Hampton, whose first degree was in philosophy, arrived to the major with minimal math and science capabilities, but was able to focus and complete the demanding curriculum.

“It was pretty rigorous,” Hampton said. “I lacked the math and science coming in, but I made up for it. Having beer as my scope for the math and science, I was able to hunker down and dig into it, and it started to stick better with time and practice and patient teachers.

“It’s just the beginning!” he added. “In general, I feel as though I’m leagues ahead of where I would’ve been had I not enrolled in the major. Having Tim as my guide has been invaluable to my future in the industry.”

Yarrington, an acclaimed brewmaster who has won gold and bronze medals at the renowned Great American Beer Festival, held in Denver, helped craft the Penn College brewing curriculum along with other faculty and administrators, as well as industry experts.

Launched in Fall 2017 as a response to the craft brewing industry’s need for skilled employees, Penn College’s brewing and fermentation science degree is the only program in the U.S. Northeast (and just one of 12 nationwide) recognized by the Master Brewers Association of the Americas.

The degree combines science, technology and management skills to meet the growing consumer demand for unique craft beers in the dynamic $23.5 billion U.S. industry.

“Tim’s program has given my classmates and I the platform to reach any of our brewing career goals,” Brown said. “While there is still much to learn through work experience, I feel that we are all prepared to go forward into our positions.”

To learn more about the brewing and fermentation science degree at Penn College, call the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications at 570-327-4521.

For more about the college, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free at 800-367-9222.

Comments

Susan Hughes,

Can’t wait to see a Penn College graduate Beer Trail in PA or the U.S. Great job!

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