Eastern Washington University and No-Li Brewhouse are partnering to launch the school’s first professional certificate program for the craft beer industry.
The 15-credit program, which begins in the fall, is designed for those wanting to advance their knowledge of craft beer or pursue jobs in the industry.
No-Li Brewhouse owners John and Cindy Bryant donated $10,000 to help launch the certificate program.
“It adds to our cultural base of Spokane and it’s going to add to the economic base of Spokane,” John Bryant said of the certificate program.
“It’s going to provide living wage jobs and great career opportunities.”
Chris Cindric, a senior lecturer for EWU’s Department of Wellness & Movement Sciences, said the idea for a craft beer certificate program was sparked after he invited Bryant to speak at one of his classes.
“I told him my idea to create a craft beer program at Eastern and he said, ‘How can No-Li help?,’ ” Cindric said.
More than 64 breweries are located within a 100-mile radius of Spokane and demand is increasing for jobs in the craft beer industry, Cindric said.
As breweries expand, they are looking to hire employees for a variety of positions in production, service, distribution, human resources, event management, marketing and more, Cindric added.
The craft brewing industry contributed more than $62 billion to the U.S. economy in 2020 and created more than 400,000 jobs, with 140,000 of those positions at breweries and pubs, according to the Brewers Association, a Boulder, Colorado-based craft beer industry trade group.
The state of Washington has more than 437 craft breweries and the industry generated more than $2 billion in economic impact in 2019, according to the Brewers Association.
Students participating in the EWU’s craft beer certificate program will gain knowledge of the various types, flavors and ingredients of beer; proper serving styles; storage and draft line system management; and diversity, inclusion and equity issues and opportunities within the industry.
Students will also learn how to develop recipes and brew, can and keg their own beer at No-Li Brewhouse, Cindric said.
Registration for the craft beer certificate program begins May 23 with enrollment capped at 25 students.
The certificate program will boost entrepreneurship while giving students real-world exposure to the craft brewing industry, Bryant said.
The program has already attracted interest from other brewery owners in the region, he added.
Eastern’s students “are very intelligent, hardworking and this is a foot in the door if you have passion, drive, work ethic and commitment,” he said.