Daytona State taps beer brewing interests

<p>Beer filled a beaker and Jeff Conklin, wearing white chef’s attire, raised the glass to the ceiling.</p><p>“To the new system,” he said.</p><p>Conklin is the assistant chairman of Daytona State College’s culinary program and the new system he was toasting recently inside the Mori Hosseini College of Hospitality is a $16,000 beer brewing kit that arrived on campus a month ago.</p><p>“We are excited,” he said, as a combination of malt barley, wheat, water and hops simmered in a keg. He was surrounded by a few culinary students as he stirred the ingredients and adjusted the temperature of the burner to 150 degrees. </p><p>Four micro-breweries have opened in Volusia County in the past year, and as a thirst for craft beer continues to sweep the country, Daytona State College is tapping in. </p><p>The college now offers a class on beer and wine. While the first fall classes begin Wednesday, the beer and wine class is being offered during the latter part of the semester, beginning Oct. 20. Culinary and hospitality students will learn the history of the beverages, be able to sample different variations, learn which beers and wine complement certain dishes, and, of course, learn how to brew different types of beer — lager, ales, stouts and more.</p><p>Not every student in the classes will be 21, but Conklin said a provision in the law allows underage students to sample alcoholic beverages strictly for educational purposes.</p><p>The class can accommodate 36 students and the class for next semester was running out of slots. </p><p>“I’ve been blown away by the level of interest,” Conklin said. “Our whole goal for brewing the beer is to show students how it’s done, but also, when you make it and you see it made, you kind of understand the whole process, you understand the product, and you better understand the styles.” </p><p>The idea to offer beer and wine classes on campus has been brewing for almost six years, said Costa Magoulas, dean of the college of hospitality and culinary management. Other projects, such as renovations and expansions to the Mori Hosseini School of Hospitality, took precedence, but now that beer and wine has arrived, Magoulas said the timing is perfect. </p><p>“A lot of places in the Carolinas saw an influx of the micro-breweries and the trend has been moving down south,” he said.</p><p>Tomoka Brewery in Ormond Beach was the county’s only brewery when it opened a year ago. Since then, three others have opened — Ormond Brewing Co., New Smyrna Beach Brewing and Daytona Beach Brewing Company. </p><p>“We saw the trend coming and we put it into the curriculum and it’s taken off,” Magoulas added. </p><p>He said he would like the college to expand the program and build a new wing of the culinary school and call it the Beer and Wine Institute. He’d also like to offer additional classes, so more of the school’s 300 culinary students and 150 hospitality students can enroll. </p><p>And if you’re not a student at Daytona State College and want to learn how to brew, be patient. Magoulas said future classes will be open to anyone in the community.</p><p>“We are fortunate to have an instructor who knows what he is doing,” Magoulas said of Conklin. “He’s the beer master.”</p><br><br><br>

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