North Carolina has more than 100 wineries, over 200 craft breweries and now dozens of craft distilleries. The Bachelor of Science in Fermentation Sciences degree program, a distinctive feature of Appalachian State University since 2012, is building an educated, innovative workforce for diverse career fields in fermentation related industries. An interdisciplinary degree in the A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences, this program provides students with a strong background in chemistry and biology with a food and beverage-based focus in biotechnology, sustainability and business.
Faculty members have developed industry collaborations with local vineyards, wineries, breweries, distilleries and biotechnology businesses to provide students with practical experience. Students leave Appalachian prepared to lead the workforce in fermentation sciences and are qualified to develop or manage businesses.
Employment: Fermentation Sciences students have been employed at Novozymes Biotechnology company, Constellation Brands, The Boston Beer Company, Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery, Grandfather Vineyards and Winery, Olde Hickory Brewery, Booneshine Brewing Company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Rogue Brewery and numerous other breweries, wineries, distilleries and biotechnology-based companies nationwide. Students’ employment opportunities at graduation are close to 100%.
Graduate School: Students have gone on to master’s and Ph.D. programs at N.C. State University, UNC Greensboro, Washington State University, Virginia Tech, Oregon State and University of California Davis.
Nearly every Fermentation Sciences student completes a minor in Chemistry and many pursue minors in Biology or Entrepreneurship.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- The craft beverage industry is expanding rapidly in North Carolina and the Southeast, drawing dozens of small, medium and national business each year. This creates a strong job market and career potential.
- The program has a high level of student engagement and research/independent study.
- Students develop their laboratory techniques with state-of-the-art instrumentation in Appalachian’s Enology Services Laboratory, which provides analytic services to industry, sensory analysis and contract research nationwide.
- The Fermentation Sciences pilot plant offers students hands-on experience in production systems, operations and management, instrumentation and mechanics, and recipe and product development.
Number of Students
Method of Delivery
On campus only
- Brewing Production
- Wine Production
- Distillation Technologies
- Food and Beverage Processing
- Applied Biotechnology
- Bio-manufacturing / Bio-pharmaceuticals
- Process Engineering
- Environmental Remediation
- Waste and Water Treatment
- Agriculture Value Addition
- Development of Sustainable Energy and Resources
- Applied Chemistry / Analytical Chemistry
- Applied Microbiology and Systems Biology
- Business Development and Entrepreneurship
- Federal employment with the USDA, FDA, CDC, NREL
- Graduate studies and research and development in these areas
Dr. Brett Taubman
Director of Fermentation Sciences
Administrative Assistant Fermentation Sciences