Faculty conversations: Kris Berglund
Kris Berglund is brewing new ideas for what his students’ career paths could be.
A beverage specialization will be available to MSU students in the fall of 2013. Berglund, University Distinguished Professor of Food Science and Chemical Engineering, will either teach or oversee each of the included courses.
The coursework includes a food science class about fermented beverages, a chemistry class about winemaking and an engineering class about brewing and distilling technology.
Berglund said these courses go far beyond sampling beverages.
“These are courses that have a technical background to them. There’s some need of understanding of both microbiology and some ability to understand organic chemistry.” Berglund said. “[The classes] are trying to prepare people to be able to participate as someone in this industry in terms of the manufacturing part of it.”
Berglund worked on state legislation that allowed Michigan businesses to own a small distiller license. The license allowed manufacturers to make up to 60,000 cases a year, distribute their products and sell their goods on company grounds.
“This ability to sell on premises is really a big one because it helps you introduce your product,” Berglund said.
He added that the ideas received ample support from state government.
“When it came up for a vote, it was unanimous in the house, it was 35 to three in the senate, and the governor signed it,” Berglund said.