By Edgar Gonzalez, Staff Reporter
The breweries of New Mexico have expressed an interest in having a pool of well trained people that they can hire from since the brewing industry seems to be in a boom right now, said full time CNM Brewing instructor Nick Jones.
And CNM has answered that call with the courses it will be offering in brewing for students in the school of Business and Information Technology, he said.
The focus is on more of the practical aspect like how the equipment works and how to safely operate these machines in breweries which are basically large manufacturing plants, he said.
The training as it is set out right now will take place in local breweries here in Albuquerque and perhaps other places in New Mexico given that CNM does not have its own brewing facility, he said.
CNM is not sure which breweries will take part in the program given that it is a very long process and CNM still is trying to figure out what will be the demand of the students; how long they will have to shut down their brewery, type of insurance students need, and other details, Jones said.
The long term plan is for CNM to construct their own brewing facility where students can get training in commercial brewing, he said.
“CNM will be installing exactly the same equipment that you would find in a commercial brewery so that we can teach and train our students on the appropriate equipment in order to send them out into the workforce”, he said.
These will be very difficult classes which are meant to train people to enter the brewing work force which is not as glamorous as it might seem from the outside because it is a lot of hard work and requires a lot of knowledge, he said.
The first classes will be offered in the fall and they will be posted in the fall catalogue, he said.
CNM will be offering five classes which are four credit hours each, he said.
One of them will be Beer Production and Styles, which will be the introductory class, he said.
There will be Brewing Equipment and Maintenance, he said
“Drought Systems like drought beers which is a very important subject in my opinion since it gets overlooked a lot,” he said.
Then they are going to offer two beer production classes, he said.
One which focuses on the sort of hot side of brewing where everything is cooked and the other side which focuses more on the fermentation and packaging like putting it in kegs or cans, he said.
For the first beer production and style there are three prerequisites IRW 0980, Math 0970, and a brewing equipment and maintenance equivalent which can be taken as a co requisite, he said.
The drought systems class has the brewing equipment and maintenance class as a pre or co requisite class, he said.
For the associates in brewing and beverage management there are some other courses that must be taken such as Biology, Chemistry, Hospitality, Tourism and English.
Students will be able to put these classes on their financial aid, he said.
Since these classes are co requisites they are offering a brewing certificate of achievement that could theoretically be completed in a single term, Jones said.
“This is a very technical field and I would like to emphasize that although we will be tasting beer, this will not be a fun party class,” he said.
Students will need textbooks, right now instructors are receiving samples of textbooks for brewing and there will be a committee to decide on the textbook that will be used, he said.
Brewing is a food science even though you can get deep into the chemistry and the biology aspect of it, he said.
“This is a very serious, challenging and dangerous program so it is extremely important that students take these classes seriously,” he said.
There are hot corrosive chemicals that people must handle all the time and machinery which is very dangerous, so this is no joke and students must realize that it is a very serious thing, he said.
They will be looking into internships possibilities and the breweries have shown interest but they would have to formalize all of these things, he said.
The goal is to have students graduate from this program and be highly desirable to be hired at breweries, Jones said.
CNM was asked to fill some industry needs so it was our advisory committee who in response created this program, said Victoria Martinez, academic affairs director for Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management in CNM’s School of Business & Information Technology.
For the lab classes which are under development at the moment; there are some special requirements which include standing for the duration of the class and the ability to lift a minimum of 30 pounds, she said.
“It is very exciting for our students and I believe it is an excellent opportunity and the breweries are looking forward to our first graduating classes whether it be for the certificate or the degree program,” Martinez said.
For the classes that are starting now in the fall those classes are truly in response to preparing students to work in breweries and brew pubs, but they are preparing them for industry, she said.