Paul Smith's College taps into craft-beer industry with new minor

PAUL SMITHS, NY (08/26/2014)(readMedia)-- Paul Smith's College will offer a minor in craft-beer studies and operations beginnning this fall.

The new minor prepares students for careers in micro and craft brewing. "Although hands-on, practical brewing will be an aspect of the minor, the main intent is not to create beer brewers," said Prof. Joe Conto. "Rather, the goal is to prepare students for all the management, administrative and operations opportunities the craft-beer industry has created and supports."

The craft-beer industry boasts impressive numbers. More than 2,700 craft breweries were in operation in 2013, selling 15.6 million barrels of beer. In that same year, sales grew 18 percent by volume and 20 percent in dollars. Craft brewing provides an estimated 110,273 jobs in the United States. Craft-beer production and sales are expected to grow even further in the college's home state of New York.

Students who sign up for the minor at Paul Smith's College will take a collection of business courses in management, marketing, advertising and promotion, in addition to practical coursework in brewing and the business of beer. Students will have the opportunity to study diverse aspects of the industry, including different types of breweries, brewpubs, specialty retail beer stores and the sales and distribution of craft beers to restaurants, bars and other outlets. The education will be rounded out with guest speakers featuring industry professionals and site visits to regional beer-related firms.

All full-time Paul Smith's students are eligible to add the minor during the upcoming fall semester. The first minor-specific course is slated to run next spring.


At Paul Smith's College, it's about the experience. Paul Smith's, which was founded in 1946, is the only bachelor's degree-granting institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Our programs – in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences – draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. For more information: