New Scholarship Seeks to Create Greater Diversity in Brewing Industry
By Matt Cimitile | USF St. Petersburg campus
D.G. YUENGLING & SON, INC. is sponsoring a $5,000 diversity in brewing scholarship for a student from a minority group to cover the cost of spring semester tuition to the Brewing Arts program on USF’s St. Petersburg campus.
“With the current social and political events around racial justice, Yuengling reached out to us and wanted to do something that addresses these issues and improves diversity in our industry,” says Jennifer Sedillo, PhD ’14, Life Member, director of the Brewing Arts program.
The deadline to apply is Dec. 31. The spring semester cohort will begin on Feb. 1, 2021.
“As four females in the industry helping to lead America’s Oldest Brewery, my sisters and I understand the importance of creating opportunities for every individual who wants to pursue their brewing passion,” says Wendy Yuengling, chief administrative officer and sixth generation family member, D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. “We’re raising our glasses to a more inclusive brewing industry and are proud to help support educating the next generation of diverse brewers.”
Craft brewing is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. According to a study by the Florida Brewers Guild, Florida could support more than 500 craft breweries, leading to a total economic output of $2.5 billion and 40,000 jobs.
However, a survey completed by the Brewers Association, which consists of 5,300 U.S. brewery members and 46,000 members of the American Homebrewers Association, showed that brewery employees are disproportionately white relative to both the general U.S. population and where breweries are located. Brewery employees also skew heavily male.
“Diversity has been an ongoing concern of ours for our program and the industry at large,” Sedillo says. “We are certainly aware of this issue and have been successful in getting more female students into the program recently and hope to continue progress on this front with more underrepresented groups.”
The Brewing Arts program is a collaboration between USF’s College of Arts and Sciences and many local and national breweries. Launched in 2015, the online program is designed for a range of participants, from hobbyists to enthusiasts looking to make a career in the industry by working in a brewery or opening a brewery one day.
The online coursework covers the entire process of brewing learning, from the base ingredients to the science and business of craft beer. It is taught by both professionals and academics in the field and followed by a hands-on training experience in a brewery to apply the knowledge learned.