The future is looking amber-colored for CWU students

Joshua Smith, Staff Reporter

The Craft Brewing program at CWU has opened its doors to all majors, regardless of scientific background, to enjoy hops in its multitude of flavors.

According to the Director of Craft Brewing Dr. Eric Graham, the limiting factor of requiring a student to declare their major in the Craft Brewing program was barring students who had the prerequisites from exploring their hops-related educational pursuits at CWU.

“We’ve opened [craft brewing classes] up to anyone who may have the prerequisites,” Graham said. “That is a lot of science majors, but we also have a lot of classes that don’t require chemistry.”

Samantha Cabeza

However, all classes do require students to be at least 18 years of age, with two classes, CRBW 450, Sensory Analysis for Brewing and CRBW 490, Cooperative Education, requiring a minimum age of 21. 

But this may soon change. According to Graham, they will be adopting a sip and spit method like that used in wine culture, opening the program to younger students. 

“It is mostly for Sensory Analysis, that rule allows us to get some younger students under the age of 21 into our classes,” CWU student and craft brewing major Robby Williamson said.

Williamson is a transfer student set to graduate next spring. Previously studying mechanical engineering at the University of Washington, Williamson found his way to CWU to pursue a passion for beer. 

Samantha Cabeza

“Once I knew I was going to Central, I bought a home brewing system … started making beer, started serving it to my friends, … it definitely wasn’t professional grade stuff, but I wouldn’t say it was bad,” Williamson said.

He added that since he began the craft brewing program there’s been a noticeable improvement in his skills as a brewer. 

“With the brewing program I’m starting to understand more in-depth science of why things are happening at a chemical level when making beer,” Williamson said. “Before I was doing the elementary steps of brewing and just hoping for the best outcome.” 

For students interested in supporting the Craft Brewing program by purchasing student-made beer, there’s no luck. Currently, the program is unable to offer its products for sale, but that doesn’t mean students can’t pick up a pint. 

“We are working on getting a license for an experimental brewery,” Graham said. “However, we can give our beer away in events.” 

According to Graham, beer can be given away for free at CWU events that maintain a list of participants. Programs interested in hosting events that could benefit from an inebriated audience can reach out to Graham or get in contact with CWU Brewery Club for more details.