Charlotte County university working to offer degree in brewing beer

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PUNTA GORDA, Fla. Some students might have the opportunity to turn their passion for beer into a career at Western Michigan University in Charlotte County.

The university located on 26300 Airport Road is working with the county and with Fat Point Brewery at 611 Charlotte Street to offer students a bachelor’s degree in sustainable brewing.

Microbreweries are becoming more popular across the nation and there is a growing demand for qualified workers in the industry, according to Fat Point Brewery founder William Frazer.

“If we’re looking for someone we’ll reach out to other breweries and other breweries will reach out to us and say ‘Do you know of anybody? Is there anybody you trust to run your brew-house?’ and there’s not a lot of people out there,” Frazer said.

The program would be the first of its kind in Florida.

“There’s a big market for beer. I mean it’s bought everywhere, a lot of it’s bought every day,” high school senior Kevin Earnest said.

The program is still in the exploration phase but the county is seeking $500,000 from the state to help with start-up costs.

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