USF St. Pete biology students interning in labs at craft breweries.

Provides alternatives to medical fields.

Jessy Weber is at home in a lab.  But the senior biology major just didn't think it would be at a lab in a brewery. But there she is, testing yeast as an intern in a lab at 3-Daughters Brewing in St. Pete.

"We have a viable program that's available to the college that gets the college students to apply what it is that they're learning," said Mike Harting, owner of 3-Daughters Brewing.

Jessy and two other biology students are working for credit in a new internship program between USF St. Pete and some local craft breweries. Jessy helped to design the lab, which is in full view of the patrons at 3-Daughters.

"They get my work right now, my knowledge of the lab and the equipment.  And I get to learn everything about beer," Weber said.

"It's really awesome.  I tell people and you know, they get jealous.  They're like, 'That's the coolest thing ever'," said Shelby Kaminski.

Kaminski, from Seminole, is interning at Cigar City Brewing in Tampa.  Their Quality Control Manger Justin Stine sees new doors opening right before the eyes of the intern.

"It's giving her an insight into a side that's maybe not so medically oriented, which is what a lot of the biology and microbiology programs at a lot of these colleges emphasize these days, is medical," Stine explained.

Much of the work the students perform in the labs centers around yeast counts and other quality control measures that insure a consistent product. 

"There is a lot of science that goes into it.  There is a lot of application to what they learn in their courses," added Dr. David John of USFSP. 

A unique relationship providing college credit and some new experiences, even for students.  Molly Swango is a senior biology student and admits that even though she enjoys her time at Green Bench Brewing, she still has a great deal to learn.

"I've learned a lot of new things.  And I've never been interested in drinking beer until now.  So, I told them, 'You guys are going to have to teach me about drinking beer because I know nothing'," Swango said, laughing.

Print this article Back to Top