Beer has long been a staple of college life, but some students at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg have found a way to turn it into college credit.
Molly Swango starts her day at Green Bench Brewing Company in St. Petersburg by loading the cart with beakers, instruments, and pitchers. She takes the tools to the tanks, pours a little beer, releases the gases, and she’s on her way.
“I’m learning so much stuff that I never even thought I would learn,” said Swango, who is a senior biology major at USF St. Petersburg.
Swango is one of three USF St. Petersburg students taking part in a new internship program. Through the program, the students get hands-on field experience at local craft breweries.
Across the bay at Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Senior Shelby Kaminsky is testing beer with the quality control manager, Justine Stine.
“I definitely think it will set me apart," she said. "I think I’ll have more experiences as a college student. I think you are really looking for those opportunities and I’m lucky enough to have had a door open for me that I can try something new."
The owner of 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Petersburg had a lot to do with starting the internship. He built a glass encased lab so people can see what’s going on inside.
Stine said there’s a lot going on inside the lab, which is something beer drinkers often forget.
“Probably the more beer they drink, the more they forget," he said. "Yeah, a lot of people probably don’t realize the science that goes into it."
It’s not all about tasting beer, although these students will have to write a paper describing their work. They will eventually receive credit for the internship.