WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Craft breweries are popping up around the country and right here in the commonwealth.  And now, a local college is hopping on board and tapping into the educational side of the industry.

“I always struggle with how to simplify the brewing process because it is far from simple,” says Tim Yarrington, Professor of the Brewing and Fermentation program.

With 22 years in the brewing industry, Tim Yarrington has found it hard hiring those who do not know the tricks of the trade.   “It’s always been a struggle because if I hire someone with no background or no experience and no education then I have to provide all that”.

Now Yarrington will be teaching students at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport.  After four years of research ‘Penn College’ is tapping into a 20 billion dollar industry.  They have added a “Brewing and Fermentation” program as an associates degree to their school of sciences, humanities and visual communications.

“With the growth rate industry is in demand right now for a workforce that has those technical skills,” says Dr. Michael Reed, Dean of the School of Science at Penn College.

This classroom used to be home to geology so after construction it will be home to zymurgy, it’s actually a study of beer.

Five of these brewing stations will have to be properly ventilated to the outside.  The construction in two weeks will also focus on drainage and a fermenter storage room.

“We’re going to take the conceptual content from the classroom environment and put it to work immediately in the lab,” says Yarrington.

Dr. Michael Reed says the program is the first of its kind in the state.  “To be able to build a program from the ground up to meet a growing need within, it’s an exciting adventure.”

The program will be available starting this fall semester.  For more information click here.