Although “beer” and “college” have long been familiar acquaintances, you may not be aware that the world’s top brewing college is right here in Chicago and is currently commemorating a significant anniversary.
The oldest brewing school in the Americas, Siebel’s Institute of Technology, is celebrating 150 years of continuous operation, according to marketing director Keith Lemcke. The German immigrant doctor Je Siebel established the Siebel Institute in the West Loop in 1872 with the goal of introducing brewing science to America. It may be referred to as the Harvard of the beer world.
From home brewers to those who have worked in the brewing profession for ten to twenty years, a variety of people attend all of our beer classes, according to Lemcke.With classes in chemistry, microbiology, engineering, and physics, beer school is anything but simple. For up to 20 weeks, classes meet for eight hours each day, five days per week.
In the initial weeks, students spend time at Siebel’s Chicago office learning about brewing theory. After that, students travel to Munich, Germany to the Siebel sister campus for practical brewing. Brewing is therefore both an art and a science, said Lemcke. However, “science is the process of making beer, and art is what goes into the glass.”
Students from all around the world and from a variety of academic fields, including rocket science, attend the Siebel Institute. Ries Smith, an aerospace engineer, relocated to Chicago to pursue his craft brewing ambitions. At the end of the day, Smith remarked, “I like to be happy with the product that I’ve worked on and feel that others are enjoying what I’m doing.”
There are several South American brewers in the present class. They want to learn how to brew several types of beer, including IPAs and stouts. According to Marina Born Behling, who works at a sizable brewery in Brazil, “in my brewery, we only do light lager.” “However, here, we can exchange information with people from other cultures and breweries.”
The historic Siebel Institute should continue to draw on Chicago for a long time to come, especially with the craft beer industry thriving both domestically and internationally. The majority of our students do fully enjoy the incredible beer culture that Chicago has to offer, according to Lemcke. “This is one of the world’s most energetic beer cities.”