University begins new courses in beer, wine and spirits

Chronicle Media

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is offering beer, wine and spirits 101 and 102, an online course and in-person lab. (Photo courtesy of SIUE) 

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has a new series of non-credit courses on tap, catering to beer connoisseurs and microbrewers interested in the science of home brewing and distilling.  

SIUE is offering beer, wine and spirits 101 and 102, an online course and in-person lab, through a partnership between the NCERC at SIUE and faculty from the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences. The online course, BWS 101, covers the basics of beer, wine and spirits history and brewing. 

BWS 101 features open enrollment, with courses that began Nov. 27 and will be administered in an online, self-paced format. Registration is $299. However, use coupon code SIUE100 to save $100 off the registration fee until Jan. 1, 2018. 

The second course is an in-person lab that will be administered on weekends on SIUE’s campus. Beer, wine, and spirits 102 is a series of four Saturday morning sessions, from 8 a.m.-noon, at the Biotechnology Laboratory Incubator (BLI) in University Park. Students will learn to create their own brewing products for personal consumption and participate in sampling sessions to study brewing products through sensory analysis. The schedule for the first session of labs begins on Jan. 13 and ends on Feb. 3. Registration for this course is $699. Students must complete beer, wine and spirits 101 prior to registering, and be at least 21 years old. 

SIUE faculty and industry experts, Robert Dixon, Ph.D., and Anthony Toenjes, teach the courses. Dixon teaches beer, wine and spirits 101, has been a biochemistry professor at SIUE since 1995, and is an active home brewer of beer and wine since 1988. 

Toenjes teaches beer, wine and spirits 102, is an SIUE chemistry instructor, and started Excel Brewery in Breese and Main Street 4204 in Belleville. His impressive portfolio holds more than 20 commercial beer labels and more than 1,000 professional brews. 

“The great thing about the lecture and the lab courses is that they appeal to all levels of the beer and wine brewing hobbyists,” Dixon said. “Those who have little or no experience or knowledge in the art of brewing will learn the basics, and experienced brewers, who want to understand the basic brewing scientific and technical elements, will be able to utilize what they’ve learned to refine their brews.” 

To register or learn more, visit or call Cathy McNeese in SIUE’s Office of Educational Outreach at (618) 650-3208. 





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