Sacred Heart Promotes Rehm to Direct Brewing Science Program

Portrait of John Rehm - photo courtest of Two Roads Brewing Company

Sacred Heart University has named John Rehm, brewing operations director at Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford, director of its brewing science certificate program.

Rehm, a SHU brewing science professor since the program’s inception in 2020, is enthusiastic about taking on the new role. “It’s been a lot of fun and to be able to move into the directorship and shape the future of this program, even more than I already have as an instructor, is pretty awesome,” he said.

Rehm attended LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA, where he studied integrated science, business and technology (ISBT). After completing courses in biology and chemistry, as well as business plan development and laboratory informatics, he discovered the fermentation process, which led to his passion for brewing.

After working for small pubs and breweries, Rehm joined Two Roads Brewing Company in 2012 and has since watched it grow. “We’re one of the largest players in the country. It’s been a whirlwind, brewing for almost 20 years now,” he said.

Two Roads Brewing Company’s longstanding relationship with SHU has matured since the University’s brewing science program began, with some classes even taking place at Two Roads. SHU instructors teach a craft beverage course in the University’s own brewing lab at Two Roads, in an experimental area where beers are developed. “When SHU started talking about forming a brewing science program, it seemed like a natural fit that [Two Roads Brewing Company] should be a partner,” Rehm said.

The certificate program comprises classes in sanitation and safety, introduction to brewing ingredients, sensory analysis, beer service and operations and management. Classes are small, with only 14 to 25 students. “Having such small groups allows you to really be hands-on, which is super important. I think that’s something that really differentiates our program,” said Rehm.

Students consistently tell Rehm they prefer hands-on learning. “Yes, we’re actually making beer. We’re putting the raw materials together and then going through the whole process of making the beer and fermenting it,” said Rehm. “And then we do sampling as a class, with a sensory analysis. We can troubleshoot and evaluate why one beer tastes this way or that way.”

SHU’s brewing science graduates are already making their mark in the business. “We’re only now just starting to see the great impact the course is having on all our students as they percolate out into the industry. I think there are many more people who have, or are planning to, open breweries of their own. I’m really excited to see what happens in the near future.”

Rehm intends to continue the momentum and grow SHU’s program even further. “This is something people pursue, not just as a profession—it’s really passion-driven. And so, you’re going to see people who really care and are just hungry to learn,” he said.

While the program is designed for those with little to no background in brewing science, Rehm wants to expand the course offerings to appeal to other types of students. “Maybe something for people who are already in the industry, have a little background knowledge and just want to continue to develop professionally.” he said.

In his new position, Rehm plans to continue the program’s mission of providing excellently crafted and accessible training for future brewers. “The forward thinking of Sacred Heart to invest in this program is really an amazing thing, and I’m thrilled to be part of it,” he said.

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