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MiraCosta College's BrewTech program wins US Open College Beer Championship

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Posted at 10:22 AM, Sep 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-10 13:22:21-04

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) -- The BrewTech program at MiraCosta College can now call themselves the champions of the college beer brewing competition scene.

The North County-based school announced Friday that its brewing program won the Grand National Championship title in the 2021 U.S. Open College Beer Championship -- a competition “for beers exclusively from college and university brewing and fermentation programs” that has been in existence for five years.

MiraCosta College, a first-time contender in the championship, took home gold medals for their Hefeweizen, Pale Ale, Spring IPA, and Stout, plus a silver for their Raspberry Berliner.

Eleven colleges and universities from the U.S. and Canada took part in the competition.

The MiraCosta beers were submitted by brewing instructor, Mike Stevenson, and were brewed on approved on or off-campus brewing systems.

These MiraCosta students were part of the championship-winning team: Ron Bass, Kyle Breckenridge, Kelly Cardinell, Kellen Darnall, Alberto Espinoza II, Mike Hughes, Ricardo Mendoza, Garrett Perkins, Kaitlin Peters, Elizabeth Robles, Amy Still, Patrick Sullivan, William Vazquez and Kristoffer Wheeler.

MiraCosta College graduated the first class in its BrewTech certificate program in the spring of 2019. The 280-hour class includes industry- relevant curriculum, brewing equipment and job placement assistance. Classroom material covers the chemistry and biology of beer production and an introduction to equipment used in breweries of all scales. Topics covered include the brewing process, brewhouse quality control, yeast and fermentation processes and how they affect beer quality.

BrewTech has a brewery on site and an 80-hour internship requirement. The program culminates with a graduation in which students serve their beers at a campus tasting room with industry representatives.

BrewTech instructors include Stevenson -- head brewer and co-owner of Culver Beer Company, in Carlsbad -- along with Justin Stambaugh, former head of brewing operations at Rip Current Brewing Company and founder of Stave & Nail Brewing Company, and Greg Turk, who has worked as a brewer at Karl Strauss and The Lost Abbey.

City News Service contributed to this report