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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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Eddie Buchannon Eddie Buchannon

Award Seeks to Boost Diversity in Craft Beer Industry

The Coronado Brewing Company is supporting a professional certificate program offered through SDSU Global Campus.
By Tim Grenda

SDSU Global Campus and the Coronado Brewing Company have again partnered on an award to support diversity, equity and inclusion in the craft brewing industry. 

The award, first offered at San Diego State University in 2021, covers tuition for the Professional Certificate in the Business of Craft Beer program each year for one student from a group that is historically underrepresented in the brewing industry. The recipient also will be offered an internship with the brewing company. Gifts of $6,562 per year will be awarded each December through 2025.

Applications for the 2022 award  open Sept. 1. The award recipient will be announced in December.

Kassandra Fierro, taproom manager and cellar person for the Latinx-owned Atrevida Beer Company in Colorado Springs, Colorado, received the inaugural award.

“As the first recipient of the Professional Certificate in the Business of Craft Beer Diversity Award, I am truly honored to continue my craft beer journey with SDSU Global Campus,” Fierro said. “This education and experience will prove to be valuable not just to myself, but to this industry. I look forward to taking what I learn in this program to the workplace and incorporating a diverse and inclusive team through education where we can all succeed.”

The Professional Certificate in the Business of Craft Beer program was created in 2013 to prepare students to enter the industry as brewers, brewery owners, and other related careers. The Coronado Brewing Company, which has been in business for 25 years, pledged $32,810 to fund the new diversity award. 

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Coronado Brewery and are thankful for their ongoing support,” said Natasha Nace, SDSU Global Campus program director. “This award will offer enhanced opportunities for our local craft beer students.” 

Eddie Buchannon, Coronado Brewing  vice president of business development, said the award is a perfect way to get different groups of people involved in such a beneficial program. 

“I believe our partnership with the SDSU Global Campus Professional Certificate in the Business of Craft Beer program is a great opportunity to help promote diversity with future leaders in the craft brewing community,” Buchannon said.

“Coronado Brewing understands that in order to improve diversity, inclusion, equity, and better connect with the communities that we serve, we must be part of the solution and not just a bystander,” Buchannon added. “And what better way to take action than by investing in underrepresented groups and communities by providing the skills, and valuable experiences that will help shape the craft beer industry through diversity.”

The Professional Certificate in the Business of Craft Beer offers hands-on experience and training for individuals interested in working or who are already in the brewing industry on the business side of operations. Craft brewing has expanded greatly in San Diego over the past years, having close to a $1.2 billion economic output in 2018. 

“The Global Campus Professional Certificate in the Business of Craft Beer Scholarship provides a platform to invest in the future innovators of tomorrow, as well as help bridge the gap between underrepresented groups in the craft brewing community,” Buchannon said. “Our goal at Coronado Brewing is to look for partnerships that provide a pathway in which inspires and fosters a diverse generation of brewing professionals to come.”