If your kid told you they decided to study the science of beer at UC Davis, you might reach for a bottle or two yourself at first, considering in-state tuition tops eleven grand.
But your concern would be quite misguided, because not only does the school have one of the country’s most prestigious programs in brewing science, it’s also tight with some titans of an explosive industry.
The program just got a little more prestigious, and tighter with the industry, thanks to a $2 million gift from the founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
A running theme in our coverage of STEM higher ed gifts concerns business leaders keeping the pipeline of skilled workers flush, while creating relationships with sources of those workers—outsourcing employee training and recruitment in a way. And while beer science might sound like fun and games, it’s really no different.
Consider that in 2015, the total U.S. beer market was nearly $106 billion, and the craft beer industry more than $22 billion. While growth appears to be leveling off, the craft beer scene in particular has exploded in recent years, becoming extremely competitive. And multinational companies are buying out smaller players with the gusto you’d expect from Facebook and Google. The popular Ballast Point Brewing Company was snatched up in late 2015 for $1 billion.
Beer is a pretty good major, after all.