Finding the Lord in a lager: Regis University’s brewing program

The ancient Egyptians brewed to honor Osiris.  The Trappist monks brewed to feed their community and fund their holy missions.  Benjamin Franklin is often (mis)quoted as saying, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”  Indeed, anybody who’s placed a well-crafted beer to their lips knows this universal truth: the path to the divine is measured in pints.

From these hallowed halls, the next generation of brewers will emerge.

From these hallowed halls, the next generation of brewers will emerge.

Following in the footsteps of the ancient and devout brewers, Denver’s Regis University, a Jesuit school, will offer this fall the inaugural Applied Craft Brewing certification program, the only one of its caliber between Chicago and the West Coast.

Throughout the class, students will learn every facet of the brewing industry including the biology of beer, the art of brewing, and the entrepreneurial business skills associated with the trade.  Regis has partnered with several local breweries including Prost Brewing, Denver Beer Co., Odyssey Beerwerks, Mountain Toad Brewing, Colorado Plus Brew Pub, Big Nose Brewing, and Goldspot Brewing Company as well a few more that have yet to respond to Regis’ request.  The participating breweries will act as the program’s Professional Brewing Advisory Board and provide students with hands-on learning opportunities.

The class is designed for various types of students but focuses on adult learners either already in the brewing business or seeking a career in beer.  Current, traditional students at Regis may also apply but will need to enroll separately from their undergrad studies.  Students will be graded based on supervisor evaluations and a final portfolio or presentation.

Interested in emulating the monks of yore, in learning the deific craft of brewing?  There are a few stipulations one must consider before signing up.  First and most obvious, all students must be 21 or older.  Space is limited to only 24 students so enroll early if possible.  Prerequisites for the class include:

  • 1 semester of college level biology or passing score on Biology College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exam
  • 1 semester of college level chemistry or passing score on Chemistry College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exam
  • 1 semester of college level mathematics or passing score on College Mathematics (CLEP) exam, or a passing score on the Regis Applied Brewing Mathematics placement exam

The aforementioned semester credits needn’t be from Regis; the prerequisites can be met via classes from different colleges (even community colleges).  Total cost of the class is $7,600 but students are eligible for financial aid and, if the students get nothing else from the class, they will come out of the course a certified BJCP beer judge.

For those seeking the light, yearning to become one with the Creator, sign-up with Denver’s premier Catholic educators and find enlightenment in a mash tun, spirituality in a keg, and a religious experience in a foamy glass.



About Chris Bruns

Chris Bruns is a self-professed beer geek living in Denver. Chris spends much of his time brewing beer at home with friends and family, attempting to visit every brewery in Colorado, attending special beer events and festivals, purchasing and assessing the latest releases from local breweries, and blogging about his adventures in the world of craft beer. He is also the Denver Craft Beer Examiner on Contact Chris by e-mail at or through his blog at