The craft beer scene in Connecticut is thriving. There are more than 120 breweries in our state and this number continues to grow.
But for all the different types of people who enjoy a pint, there isn’t much variety behind the scenes. Sacred Heart University seeks to change that.
The university has launched a new scholarship for female brewers to help expand the industry.
The school has partnered with Back East Brewing and the state branch of the Pink Boots Society to cover tuition for a year of the Science Brewing Certificate Program.
Dan Corcoran of NBC Connecticut spoke to Phil Pappas, CEO of the Connecticut Brewers Guild, about what the scholarship means for women in the brewing industry.
And: So, elephant, beer brewing is historically a male-dominated industry. Why is this? And how do you hope this scholarship will change that?
elephant: Yes, unfortunately, the craft brewing industry has been promoted and marketed to a lot of males, many of whom are white males as well. So in our effort to further diversify our industry, and provide more educational opportunities in general in the brewing industry, but geared toward women, people of color, and the LGBTQ plus community, we have developed two scholarships now for African Americans and for women through our Sacred Heart Brewing Science Program.
And: So what do you see here in Connecticut? Are there more women getting involved in this industry?
elephant: Yes sure. With the number of jobs available in breweries, whether it’s in the back of the house or in front of the house, handcrafted beer has become a really cool and wonderful sight for people to truly access a full and well-paid profession. And so we see a lot of opportunity come in with breweries on the brewing side and tap room management, bartenders, business ownership, marketing, branding, labeling—everything you can think of goes into a pint of beer.
And: Now, as mentioned, the Sacred Heart also recently started a scholarship for black brewers. So why is it important to continue efforts to diversify the brewing industry?
elephant: I think it’s very important to further diversify our industry because we need to provide more opportunities to be a leader in the manufacturing industry, to be a leader in Connecticut to attract more diverse people in the industry and across the state both in the glass aspects. Craft beer is a great industry to get involved in. It’s fun, and tap rooms are exciting. And we’ve really gone from having only about 20 breweries a decade ago to 120 breweries now plus 130. And those opportunities should be made available to women, people of color in the LGBTQ plus community to attract more people into the industry to get more involved in creating well-paying jobs. For everyone.