Legislation signed into law by Governor Brown on Tuesday will allow emerging college beer brewing programs, like Napa Valley and Santa Rosa, to avoid requiring students to pour their work down the drain.
The new law, authored by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), permits colleges teaching people about the industry to sell beer that is produced as part of an instructional brewing program, which can provide a revenue stream to support the programs.
While winemaking programs at colleges have been allowed to sell their products to support their programs, students enrolled in brewing educational courses have been forced to discard their product, sponsors of the bill stated.
“California is an internationally recognized leader in the production of wine and beer. Many of these products are made by students who learned their trade in our public colleges,” said Senator Dodd. “We need to ensure that we are able to meet the future workforce demands of the California and teach students practical skills.”
Santa Rosa Junior College will start a one-year program in the fall that will allow graduates to obtain a brewing certificate, according to a Press Democrat story in February. The 16-unit program is designed for those who want to enter into the $106 billion industry, as opposed to hobbyists wanting to show they can make their own killer India Pale Ale. It will have its own brewery at its Shone Farm facility in Forestville.
Napa Valley College this year announced its plans to start a brewing class, suggesting it could be the first step in establishing larger program. It targeted starting the program in January.
College brewing programs would still need to comply with the requirements of their Alcoholic Beverage Control license. The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2018.