JWU’s Professional Craft Brewing Certificate Program Graduates First Cohort

Alumni posing for a photo

On a recent humid August morning, a celebration took place in the brewing lab of JWU Providence’s Cuisinart Center for Culinary Excellence — the first graduates of the Professional Craft Brewing Certificate program were sharing the final projects they had created for their capstone course, Applied American Craft Brewing.

The 11-week program combines classroom and online education, enabling students to enhance their knowledge of brewing theory and develop their skills in practical brewing, recipe formulation, sensory analysis, marketing, and brewery design.

Each of the 4 new graduates share a passion for beer — and made the commitment to complete the 22.5-credit certificate requirement, which consisted of:

  • CUL3092 Brewing Arts
  • CUL4460 Advanced Brewing Theory & Analysis
  • FSM4070 The Business of Alcohol Distribution, Retail and Sales
  • CUL4416 British Practical Brewing or CUL4417 Applied American Craft Brewing

(You can read more about the British Practical Brewing course, which takes place at Brewlab in Sunderland, UK, here.)

Meet the Brewers
Norman Todd is a sergeant with the Rehoboth Police Department in Massachusetts. In a few years, he’ll be retiring — hence the name of his final project, “Next Chapter Ale,” a British bitter. Of his studies, he said, “This was pretty challenging. I went through it for fun and I was intrigued. I didn’t realize the amount of information that would be imparted to us.”

A commercial fisherman by trade, Scott Garvey’s jovial persona was in stark contrast to the name of his final project, “Ahab’s Revenge,” a hops-forward IPA.

Retired Cranston English teacher Mike Ruggiero created his “Old Man and the Ale,” an American cream ale, in homage to Hemingway. He noted that his classmate, Garvey — with his white head of hair and salt-and-sun-cured features — reminded of him of “Papa” Hemingway himself.

"Our graduates are well-prepared to turn their craft brewing dreams into reality."

Also celebrating was William Pearson, the State of Rhode Island’s head of payroll. Shortly before assuming that position, he took 3 weeks of vacation time to travel to the UK to complete the British Practical Brewing course. There, his Alt Bier placed first among the final projects of his classmates.

Joining the students were some families and local professional brewers and suppliers who worked with and hosted them as part of their hands-on experiences. Representatives from Isle Brewer’s Guild, Foolproof Brewing Co., and Adega Beer & Winemaking took time from their businesses to recognize the students and program.

“There is a Camaraderie in this Business”
Associate Professor Jennifer Pereira, who was instrumental in designing the certificate curriculum, orchestrated the event to recognize her students and the supporting businesses.

“This program was the first of its kind for JWU — a certificate that incorporates a Study Abroad option and is designed for both adult learners and traditional students,” she said. “The program enhances entrepreneurial skillsets and provides a deeper understanding of broader industry issues, as well as practical application. Our graduates are well-prepared to chart their own course and turn their craft brewing dreams into reality.”

Although the day was noted as casual, Ruggiero, the perennial educator, wore a tie. He summed up his experience: “This course was fun and demanding. There is a camaraderie in this business and the people take pride and work hard. We’ve made friends and relationships.”

Cheers to that.