It’s a college student’s dream: instead of going to class to learn about American history or biology, you’re going to learn about beer. With the trend of locally brewed craft beer growing here in Raleigh, it’s only logical that college students now have the opportunity to take courses in the trade, with hands-on training at various breweries included in the course descriptions.
The newest educational brewing concept comes to Wake Tech Community College in the form of a restaurant and brewery in the 5401 North neighborhood development. The as-yet unnamed space will offer students in Wake Tech’s craft beer classes access to commercial brewing equipment, classrooms and lab space.
The Craft Brewing Course at Wake Tech prepares students for entry-level work in craft breweries through lessons in fermentation, cellar operations, instruments, malting, hops, clarification, racking room operations, bottle shop operations and more. Students also get to produce beer as a group with their classmates.
Tin Roof Beer Concepts will open and operate the brewery-restaurant, providing a brew master who will advise the faculty and students enrolled in the course. Tin Roof is Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s largest craft beer brewery and also operates a local tap room near Louisiana State University.
“Wake Tech is excited to collaborate with 5401 North and Tin Roof Beer Concepts to provide classroom and hands-on training to prospective craft brewers in this new state of the art facility,” said Anthony Caison, vice president of Workforce Continuing Education.
Students of the program can expect a full-sized brewery, as well as a second, smaller brewing system that will accommodate Wake Tech’s brewing class needs and may also be utilized to make small-batch specialty beers. Additionally, a separate classroom-sized space was designed with lab equipment, which the restaurant can also use for special events or private dining functions.
The restaurant-brewery is expected to break ground by the end of the year in the 400-acre 5401 North neighborhood adjacent to Wake Tech’s Northern Campus in Northeast Raleigh.
“We are thrilled to be entering the distinguished craft beer market of Raleigh, North
Carolina where we know people have an appreciation for craft beer,” said William McGehee, co-owner of TRB Concepts.