Student Spotlight: Matthew Smith
Matthew Smith became interested in craft beer while in college.
“I was never really a big fan of Keystone Light so I would usually drink something more on the crafty side,” he said. “After college, I decided it would be fun to make my own beer, so I started homebrewing. After homebrewing for about two years, I decided I wanted to be involved with beer on a more professional level and started talking to people about the Chicagoland beer industry. Several of them recommended the Business of Craft Beer program at College of DuPage. They told me it was a good way to further my beer knowledge and network with other industry professionals.”
Smith decided to follow their advice. He left his job as a raw material buyer for a chemical manufacturer and enrolled in the Business of Craft Beer program, which is offered through Continuing Education at COD.
“The program allowed me to grasp a wide variety of beer knowledge that I wouldn’t have been able to get elsewhere,” he said. “I passed my Certified Cicerone test because of COD. The networking within the program has really helped me on a professional level. It allowed me to seek advice from a wide variety of industry professionals that I wouldn’t have otherwise had access to. On a personal level, I’ve gained a lot of great friends through taking classes in the program.”
Smith currently is working part-time as a brewer/sales representative at Nevin's Draft Company in Plainfield and is a beer ambassador at the new Red Arrow Taproom in Elmhurst. His long-term goal is to open his own brewery.
He advises others enrolling in the Business of Craft Beer program to network with as many of the teachers and students as possible.
“People in the beer industry are incredibly nice and are always willing to lend a helping hand,” he said. “I would not have my current positions without the support of the COD staff and my fellow students.”
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