As soon as it can receive the approval of the college’s undergraduate curriculum council and final approval from the university, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is planning to offer an undergraduate certificate in distillation, wine and brewing studies.
Under the proposal, the college will offer the certification to students in any major who complete at least four of the classes, including spirit chemistry taught by chemistry professor Bert Lynn, and wine, brewing and distillation science taught by Seth DeBolt.
DeBolt, who will be the program director, has solicited input from the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, and from local breweries and Kentucky wineries. The class offerings include Kentucky Bourbon Tourism, which features trips to distilleries; craft writing on the link between craft beer and the local food movement; food sanitation; food fermentation and thermal processing; and sensory analysis.
A horticulture professor with a doctorate in viticulture, DeBolt would like to see UK grow into a role like the University of California-Davis plays with Napa Valley for providing educational as well as research resources. The college hopes to offer the certification beginning in 2015. Enrollment is projected to be about 20 students the first year and up to 100 by the third year. Already there are some who have taken all the appropriate classes.