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SIU students "sip and spit" their way to in-demand skills

fermentationt kettlesThe burgeoning fermentation sciences program at Southern Illinois University got a boost earlier this week, thanks to State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet).

A provision in Senate Bill 2824, which passed the Senate earlier this week, gives students in the program aged 18-20 the ability to taste — but not drink — samples of their work during class, a concept called “sip and spit.”

The rapid growth of the craft-beer industry in Illinois is pushing demand for graduates with a strong scientific background and specific coursework in brewing science. With an eye toward this, officials at SIU’s Carbondale campus began setting up a facility on campus more than two years ago, complete with scientific instruments and brewing and fermenting equipment.

“This is a great example of where SIU is responding to industry needs,” said John Charles, director of government and public affairs for SIU. "We will be graduating individuals who will be ready to walk into the workforce on day one with the skills and training they need to be successful at locations across the country.”

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