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Industry insight infuses student brewers’ craft

Yarrington pours samples for the panelists.
Yarrington pours samples for the panelists.
The nose knows! Hamilton considers the aroma of Andrus's Kölsch attempts.
The nose knows! Hamilton considers the aroma of Andrus’s Kölsch attempts.
The room where it happens!
The room where it happens!
Ulmer holds her samples up to compare the colors to the color index on the big screen. Richards is in the foreground.
Ulmer holds her samples up to compare the colors to the color index on the big screen. Richards is in the foreground.
The array of beer samples glows in the twilight of the evening. (Photo by Jennifer L. Ulmer)
The array of beer samples glows in the twilight of the evening. (Photo by Jennifer L. Ulmer)

Seven students enrolled in Penn College’s brewing and fermentation science certificate presented their beers to a panel of industry professionals at an evening gathering this week.

Visiting campus to lend their expertise were: John Callahan, brewing manager, D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc.; Tom Clark, owner/brewmaster, Berwick Brewing Co.; Mark Fabrizio, vice president of brewing operations Victory Brewing Co.; Sean Hamilton, brewer at New York Beer Project and a 2019 graduate of Penn College’s brewing and fermentation science program; and Philip Jensen, head distiller, Big Springs Distilling Co. Also serving on the panel was David S. Richards, professor of physics.

“This is one of the many ways we ensure our students are connected to the breweries and professionals working in industry,” said Timothy L. Yarrington, brewing instructor. “We refer to these presentations as Professional Reviews. This was the second such review for the students’ capstone projects. The students get two chances to refine a recipe of their own design. This was the final review where both brew attempts were presented for critique and discussion. Both beers were well received by the panelists, and they were very complimentary of the beers as a whole.”

Students and their beer styles were: Seth W. Andrus, of Mill Hall, Kölsch; Kevin A. Getts, Williamsport, Saison; Francis “John” Hickey Jr., Drums, American pale ale; Noah W. Schlesinger, Lock Haven, American amber ale; Brian J. Sweetra, Danville, Belgian-style tripel; and Jennifer L. Ulmer, Millville, dark mild ale. Montana L. Bilbay, Jersey Shore, presented a data analysis: “Indexing Gravity Increase Based on Evaporation.”

“Montana chose to make her capstone focus more about data collection, tabulation and interpretation,” Yarrington explained. “It is an important part of what brewers should do, and there are positions in the industry that focus more on that side of the effort.”

Andrus is also working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in applied management.

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