From PR Newswire
June 27, 2019 – Through a collaboration with Sidetrack Brewing Company located in downtown Albuquerque, students in Central New Mexico Community College’s Brewing and Beverage Management program have crafted their very own flavorful brew that will start flowing through taps at Sidetrack in mid-July. It will be the first college-crafted brew to be poured in Albuquerque, which is one of the country’s most decorated brewing destinations.
Over the past two years, Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) students have had the luxury of gaining valuable, hands-on experience working with commercial brewing equipment at Sidetrack Brewing Company, among other breweries in Albuquerque. Students worked closely with Sidetrack Head Brewer Dan Herr to craft a delicious barrel-aged sour that will be featured in the brewery’s taproom.
“We thought it was a neat opportunity to engage with the community and engage with CNM, and really give the students some insight on how our systems work compared to other systems,” says Herr, also co-owner of Sidetrack. “Through our partnership and getting to experience the quality of the beer the CNM students have produced, we thought putting this collaboration beer on tap would be a great way to show our support for CNM’s Brewing program and for the way the college stepped up to support the workforce needs of New Mexico’s brewing industry.”
Cultivating strong relationships with the New Mexico brewing industry has been at the heart of CNM’s Brewing program since it launched in 2016. And the opportunity to collaborate with Sidetrack has been a valuable learning experience for students aiming to join the local industry when they graduate.
“It’s great for the students to be able to actually brew beer in a commercial brewing facility,” says Nick Jones, a CNM full-time instructor.
Jones says the need for highly-trained brewers and technicians continues to grow across New Mexico, and CNM continues to produce a skilled brewing workforce that helps the industry thrive. In 2016, Albuquerque made the top 10 of Travelocity’s Top Beer Destinations, and in 2017 Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine named Albuquerque as one of America’s Best Brew Destinations.
“We’ve been very rooted in the local brewing community and making sure that our curriculum serves its needs,” Jones says.
CNM’s top-notch curriculum and highly experienced faculty have quickly turned the college’s program into one of the best in the country. In the 2018 U.S. Open College Beer Championship, CNM was named the No. 2 brewing school in North America. During the competition, CNM students also won the gold medal in the IPA category and silver in the Stout category.
In 2019, CNM became one of 13 colleges and universities to be recognized as meeting the approved guidelines and learning outcomes of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas.