ASHLAND, Ore. — Oregon is investing more than $1 million in the state’s brewing and wine industries, and local businesses say it could mean big things for southern Oregon.
Oregon lawmakers approved $1.2 million for Oregon State University’s fermentation sciences program. The money will help the program examine the production of beer, wine, spirits and other products of fermentation.
Local companies say that expanded education will only help the industry, because growing breweries and wineries will need to hire people who are already knowledgeable about the process.
“For most of the people here, we’ve learned on the job, and you can’t really beat experience,” said Adam Benson, lead brewer for Caldera Brewing in Ashland. “But education is always a plus.”
According to the Oregon Brewer’s Guild, craft brewing contributes $2.83 billion to Oregon’s economy.