Carl Cross

Diploma Graduate

What inspired you to do the Brewlab course?

I first decided to do the course in order to turn a hobby of mine into a commercial interest. After shopping around and looking at different courses online, I decided that Brewlab offered the most practical approach to brewing. So, in my mind, it was a no brainer.

What areas of the Brewlab course were most beneficial to you?

Since I had an extremely limited scientific background coming into the course, I found that the lab work and microbiological side of the course was most beneficial. I still use what I learned in the course on an almost daily basis to determine the quality and health of the yeast we pitch into every batch. I also really enjoyed the placements, because we were allowed to work with real brewers outside of the classroom. They allowed us to ask questions and get down and dirty on their equipment. As a student, It’s hard to put a price on real world knowledge like that.

How beneficial did you find the practical side of the Brewlab course?

The practical side of the Brewlab course is the whole reason I originally signed up. Brewing once a week on different sized kits is not only fun and exciting, but gave me all the knowledge and confidence necessary to begin my career in the commercial brewing world.

Was there a part of the course you particularly liked/enjoyed?

The field trips we took as a class were definitely some of the most fun I had. Not only did we get to explore the English countryside, but we got to see some pretty amazing breweries as well. There was a lot of history in those trips…and I learned a ton.

What were your career steps following the course?

I have have been able to travel all over the world in the pursuit of beer. I have gone from South Carolina, USA to Colorado, USA to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, back to South Carolina and have finally landed in Wilmington, NC to head up production at Flying Machine Brewing Company. Since entering the beer world, I have worked every job from cellarer to now head brewer and my education at Brewlab gave me the insight and the courage to tackle every job at full speed. I have been able to turn a beloved hobby into a full time career opportunity and I could not be happier. Ever since spending the summer in Sunderland, UK I have learned and grown as a brewer and I am confident that I work in the best industry in the world. Not many people can say they truly love their life, but going to Brewlab was the best thing that has ever happened to me (outside of marrying my beautiful wife).

What is your position now?

I am in charge of production as Head Brewer at Flying Machine Brewing Company in Wilmington, NC.

Would you recommend Brewlab?

Not only would I recommend Brewlab to anyone who asks, but I would encourage anyone who is unsure to take a leap of faith. This course singlehandedly gave me an opportunity to to turn a hobby into a career interest. I would have definitely worked in a boring cubicle and never had the chance to truly spread my wings if it weren’t for this wonderful program. I can not say enough positive things about the program itself and its unbelievable staff. They gave me and my classmates a 360 degree view into the brewing world, and allowed me to see how special this industry can be. Not to mention, their practical applications, lab time, and classroom time are a perfect mix to help anyone learn anything they need to know to jump right into the game. Brewlab is a special place and the relationships I made as a student are some that I will remember for the rest of my life.

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