Development and Implementation of the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service Brewing Program for South Carolina

August 31, 2022

Craft beer is coming to Clemson!

Upstate Food Systems and Safety Agent Alex Thompson, Clemson Extension Associate Chad Carter, Horticulture Agent Zack Snipes, and Dr. Julie Northcutt are working to develop and implement a brewing program to serve the South Carolina brewing industry and the public through Clemson Cooperative Extension.

According to the South Carolina Brewers Guild, 95 craft breweries in South Carolina produce 105,620 brewery barrels (3,274,220 gallons) of beer annually, with a yearly economic impact of $905 million on the South Carolina economy. The South Carolina brewing industry is a major driving force of economic development across the state. Clemson Cooperative Extension is looking to improve the lives and livelihood of South Carolinians by offering research-based solutions, workforce development programs, and product testing related to brewing science.

Clemson Cooperative Extension funds the development of the Clemson Cooperative Extension Brewing Program through the 2022 Innovation Awards. This award funds the purchase of brewing equipment, lab devices, and the creation of course materials to develop brewing science training for South Carolinians. This program will provide services for stakeholders who own and operate breweries, who currently work at breweries, hope to work in the brewing industry or are just curious about brewing and want to learn more.

Over the coming months, progress will be made towards the first offering in the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service Brewing Program for South Carolina, a “Learn to Brew” workshop that will be open to the public. This workshop will be offered both in-person and online and will teach participants the entirety of the brewing process from grain to glass. Furthermore, an optional program day will be hosted on the Clemson University campus, where participants will get a brewing experience. This workshop portion will allow students to interact with brewing equipment and learn about the brewing process in real-time as they produce beer from raw materials.

Craft beer is a major part of the South Carolina economy, and Clemson Cooperative Extension is poised to assist South Carolina brewers and consumers as the industry continues to grow.

Food Systems and Safety Agent Alex Thompson (center) speaks with Shayna Ferguson (right) and Rebeca Ortega (left) of Shoeless Brewing Co. in Greenville, SC .
Photo Credit: Everett Weaver



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