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Oklahoma State University

OSU offers new ‘Brewing Microbiology’ online course Open to OSU students, non-OSU students, and the community

Wed, July 20, 2016

Capitalizing on the popularity of the craft brewing phenomenon to teach science, Oklahoma State University is offering an interactive online learning course this fall to explain microbiology through the practical application of micro brewing.

The course, Brewing Microbiology, is open to OSU students for credit, and is available for free to anyone around the world with Internet access as a MOOC (Massisve Open Online Course).

The craft and business of microbrewing has exploded in the last decade. In 2015 the number of operating breweries in the U.S. grew 15 percent to a record 4,269. Small and independent breweries account for 99 percent of the breweries in operation.

Brewing Microbiology fulfills three credit hours of upper division science for OSU students and there are no prerequisites, though high school or freshman level biology and chemistry is suggested. Enrollment is open now through August 22.

Dr. Tyrrell Conway, professor and department head of microbiology and molecular genetics at OSU, will teach the course. He will take students through the biology of grain, biochemistry of malted barley, chemistry of water, preservative nature of hops, the human physiology of taste and smell, and the microbiology of yeast.

Conway points out that the course is about the science behind the process of microbrewing, not about the brewing technique.

Lectures will be delivered on location from inside a lab, outside in grain fields, and through a tour of Stillwater’s Iron Monk Brewing Company, which is owned and operated by OSU alumni Dave Monks and Jerod Millirons. 

Production of the course was a collaborative effort involving various programs on campus, specifically Arts & Sciences Outreach and ITLE (Institute for Teaching and Learning Excellent). 

To enroll or learn more, visit or call the Arts & Science Outreach office at (405) 744-5647.