New malt brewing course launched
The country's Institutes of Technology are expanding their education reach either by offering a range of courses which meet the demand of the mainstream agribusinesses, as well as the growing artisan food and SME sectors.
The growth of the independent brewing industry has been recognised by Carlow IT which will launch its new Malting Brewing and Distilling qualification next month.
The Level-8 course in malt brewing was developed in Carlow because of demand from local companies like O'Hara's Brewery and Walsh Whiskey Distillery which produce craft beers and spirits. As these companies expanded they had to fill their vacancies often by advertising in Scotland for qualified brewers and distillers, Carlow IT deputy registrar and course designer David Ryan told the Farming Independent this week.
This gap in the skills market was identified a few years ago when the FoodWise 2020 research was undertaken and, as many of these niche companies were located in the midlands, it fell to Carlow IT to develop the educational concept.
The design specifications for the course, which were developed in association with Teagasc, has a curriculum which includes yeast biology, malting, brewing discipline and soil studies, Ryan explained.
The three-year brewing course for full-time and part-time students has attracted 50 students.
This local demand factor is also evident in the IT's new degree course in Sustainable Agriculture which also begins next year.
The course was designed following a three-year campaign by farmers, the IFA and local educational interests in the Wexford region. Linking agri-courses to local educational demands is central to the operation of the country's IT network.