Sacred Heart University has teamed up with the New England Brewing Co., an original Connecticut craft brewery, to offer a full-ride scholarship to a Black student interested in completing the university’s brewing science certificate program. This new scholarship will cover the costs of SHU’s one-year certificate program that teaches students all the skills needed to enter the craft brewing industry, from business management to brewing science.
Jamal Robinson, the director of sales at New England Brewing Co., was inspired by the Black Lives Matters protests last summer to offer a scholarship to Black students interested in breaking into the brewery scene. NEBC already works with Sacred Heart University’s brewing certificate program, offering internships to their students, which made partnering up with the school for this scholarship a no-brainier.
The goal of the scholarship is to diversify the craft brewing landscape in Connecticut and beyond and to encourage the professional development of Black brewers. Though craft beer is widely popular, only 5% of employees in the industry are people of color. Robinson hopes this scholarship will promote equity in the craft brewing industry. Sales of NEBC’s “Black is Beautiful” beer will help fund the scholarship in perpetuity. The scholarship has caught the eye of other local breweries, including Rhythm Brewing Co., founded by Alisa Bowens-Mercado, the first Black brewmaster in Connecticut. The first scholarship recipient will begin the SHU brewing science certificate program in May of 2021.
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