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Distillery Operations

The Associate in Applied Science Distillery Operations degree program is designed for students who plan a career in the craft beverage industry. This degree program will offer students the opportunity to explore management of a labor-intensive industry that will incorporate the science of growing grains and making alcohol.

The Distillery Operations program is centered on providing theory and hands-on application to students interested in the fast growing craft beverage industry. Students will be work at local distilleries learning to select quality ingredients, fermentation procedures, and produce a variety of beverage styles. Through interaction with beer professionals students will be prepared to enter the industry at above entry-level positions.

The Distillery Operations program has been designed to give students hands-on preparation and knowledge necessary to be successful in the field. The courses will prepare graduates with skills for grain growing and how those skills relate to quality, as well as spirit making. Students will learn to successfully manage a distillery, and to evaluate a property for successful growing.

For students who seek careers in the craft beer industry, the College offers an AAS in Distillery Operations.

Degree Information

Program Goals and Objectives

Upon graduation from the Distillery Operations, AAS, degree program, students will be able to:

  • Express an understanding of the motivating factors and strategies that drive the implementation of effective sanitation programs in the brewing and distilling industries.
  • Identify and describe the purpose and/or contribution of the primary ingredients employed in the production of craft spirits.
  • Demonstrate / express an understanding of the history of the spirit distillation industry in North America.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of methods for planning, procurement, handling, storage and control of ingredients and other materials in a craft distillery environment.
  • Express and demonstrate an understanding of basic water chemistry as it applies to the production of craft spirits, including safe, appropriate, and effective techniques for sampling, testing and adjustment of mash and proofing water chemistry.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the sensory evaluation process and the role it plays in the production of quality craft spirits, including safe, appropriate, and effective techniques for sampling and judging craft spirits and the raw materials employed in their development.
  • Demonstrate a working familiarity with the complete cycle of processes and procedures employed in the production of craft spirits.
  • Express and demonstrate an understanding of the craft distillery market and its sales.
  • Recognize and describe the purpose and expected outcome of the various processes and procedures employed in the production of craft spirits in an industrial distillation facility setting.


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28 Old Falls Street
Niagara Falls, NY 14303

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