CNM is now a national leader among colleges when it comes to making beer, and the school says it has plans to enhance the brewery program.
The Brewing and Beverage Management Program started in 2016 because of the state’s growing microbrewing industry.
The program has already proved itself nationally, with some of its students recently bringing home a gold and silver medal from the U.S. Open College Beer Championship.
“We submitted two of our beers that were brewed in class,” student Dorian Fisk said.
The awards earned CNM the title of the number-two brewing school in North America.
CNM instructor Nick Jones said what made the gold medal Burqueno-style IPA stand out was the hops.
“Here in Albuquerque, it’s regular to see upwards — six pounds per barrel, eight pounds per barrel of hops,” he explained.
“Two students, as part of their class project, brewed a stout and that brought home the silver,” he added.
Jones expects to see greater enrollment come the fall. He says a typical class in the program’s five offered courses has between 16 and 24 students.
“You can learn the ins and outs of making [beer] and the whole steps of the process of it,” brewery student Arnold Moreno said.
The school’s director said there are even more plans on tap to enhance the program, including a building expansion.
Right now, students work out of the culinary lab and rely on local breweries to host them when they want to brew.
“Sometimes, the students come in and hold their classes here. We try to give them some real world knowledge,” Quarter Celtic Owner and Brewer Brady McKeown said.
Expansion of the current CNM building would let students continue those partnerships with local breweries, but also add two brewing labs at CNM.
“We will be acquiring more brewing equipment,” Jones added.
The course director said she wants this building expansion for the brewing program to be finished by fall 2020.
CNM offers a certificate in brewing technology or beverage management, as well as an associates degree in brewing and beverage management.
To learn more about the program, click here.
The New Mexico Brewer’s Guild website states there are 65 member breweries, with 26 of those in Albuquerque, not including taprooms.