What does Germany belong to? Many people from other countries think of fast cars, dirndls, the Oktoberfest – and of course good German beer. Most of them know at least the latter firsthand: More than 1.5 billion liters of beer are exported abroad by German breweries every year. The Germans themselves drink almost eight billion liters of the “liquid gold”.
The reasons for the popularity of German beer are its high quality and the variety of beer types. More than 5,000 different beers are brewed in Germany according to the purity law . If you want to learn how to brew a unique beer from these ingredients, you can do so not only by training to become a brewer, but also by studying.
What are the requirements?
Brewing science students should love beer and other beverages – but not necessarily drink too much of them. The scientific content of the course is sometimes quite demanding. It is good to have previous knowledge of mathematics , biology , chemistry or physics . Most universities also require students to complete an internship of at least six weeks in a brewery before starting their studies .
The Brewing and Beverage Technology course initiates students in the fine art of brewing beer. In addition, they learn to produce non-alcoholic beverages or to develop production systems . The course therefore combines engineering, natural science and business management content.
Course content in the bachelor’s degree
At the beginning of the bachelor’s degree, the focus is initially on the natural sciences . The students learn chemistry, experimental physics and biology. For example, you will learn how to isolate water or how a beer is microbiologically composed. In the engineering subjects they deal with content such as energy or material transport, construction or materials technology.
Once the students have internalized these basics, it’s time to brew beer. Students are allowed to experiment in the university’s own brewery laboratories, and they also complete internships in breweries and with beverage manufacturers. Anyone who thinks that only the beer tasting is now important is mistaken: the program includes subjects such as malting and brewery technology, operational control and accounting .
Further education in the master’s or diploma degree
Those who want to qualify for management positions or specialize in a certain aspect of the brewing industry can follow up with a master’s degree. Students deepen their knowledge from the bachelor’s degree and specialize in areas such as brewing methods, plant construction or business administration .
Up to now, only a small number of universities offer courses in the field of brewing: You can choose between master’s courses and courses that train you to become a master brewer . These are aimed at applicants with a technical college entrance qualification and completed brewery training. However, the diploma is not one of the old diploma degrees, but an additional university qualification.
Combining tradition and future: jobs in the brewing industry
Most brewing students want to work in a brewery after graduation. But manufacturers of non-alcoholic beverages and malt houses are also possible employers. In large companies there are usually several engineers who share the tasks. Graduates then work, for example, in product development, control production, carry out quality controls or take care of sales.
Not only the beverage manufacturers themselves, but also the suppliers and trading companies employ brewing engineers. Brewing engineers, for example, develop new production systems and are responsible for their sales, commissioning and maintenance. Filter aid manufacturers and enzyme companies also employ graduates.
After a few years, some graduates become self-employed with their own engineering or consulting office . Teaching at the vocational school is also possible. Those who want to go into research can do a doctorate after completing their master’s degree and stay in university research and teaching or work in research laboratories.
Brewing beer abroad
Germany is regarded as a “beer nation”, but important innovations are now also coming from other countries. In the USA , for example, the craft beer movement emerged: there, unusual types of beer are brewed in so-called micro-breweries. European countries like Denmark have already joined this trend.
A study visit abroad is worthwhile in order to expand professional knowledge and to collect new ideas. The foreign language skills and intercultural skills gained in the process are a preparation for a job abroad.