Comes the news that Oregon now ranks first in the country in the number of brewing employees per capita.
Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, reports in its newsletter that Oregon — dominated by Portland — and “its 184 statewide breweries and pubs employ 4,643 workers with 2,709 of those jobs at Portland breweries.”
We have reported here earlier that, by our calculations, Hood River has more craft breweries per-capita than any city in the U.S.
Where do all those workers learn their craft? On the job, by best available evidence. Maybe it’s time for a dialed-in, workforce-oriented college somewhere in the state to develop a program that can train our own. Oregon State University has a four-year degree program in fermentation science, which covers everything from beer to wine to cheese, bread and pickles.
But if you don’t want to make pickles? One recent arrival at Full Sail told the Buzz that he opted instead for the University of California Davis brewing program, because it was focused on beer, and he could finish it in less than a year.
Davis is a long way away, for Oregon brewers-to-be. Other, closer options? Central Washington University, in Ellensburg, offers a four-course, three-quarter Craft Beer Trade Certificate through its Office of Continuing Education.
Still, someone in Oregon may realize the potential of a similar program to … brew our own?