Kalamazoo Valley Community College and the Kalsec Center for Sustainable Brewing Education have partnered with Greg “Gonzo” Haner, of Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing Co. in Kalamazoo, to offer a scholarship for a student participating in the program.

Haner, a former Kalsec employee, is a partner and head brewer at the Kalamazoo brewery.

KVCC shared the news in a press release. You can learn more about the program online.

Here is the full text of the press release from Kalamazoo Valley Community College:

Beginning with the winter 2016 semester, a new scholarship will be available to students in the Sustainable Brewing program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing Scholarship was created in September 2015 and will award $500 annually to a student in the Sustainable Brewing program.

Greg “Gonzo” Haner, owner of Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing, said he’s proud to support Kalamazoo Valley’s sustainable brewing program. Haner has worked in the brewing business for 24 years and runs a 15-barrel brew house. “I feel good about helping someone go to the brewing school,” Haner said. “This is an exciting project for the community.”

Haner said he’s hopeful that students from the new school will eventually seek jobs in local breweries.

“There’s so much to learn about how a lab works and so many parts of the process,” he said. “A brew school education will make hiring much easier.”

The Sustainable Brewing program is accredited and teaches all aspects of brewing science. Classroom work is reinforced through hands-on experience with technology used in the operation of a small-scale brewery.

Students participate in a practicum class environment designing a beer recipe, monitoring and analyzing the brew throughout the entire brewing process, and assessing the final brew using tests and sensory evaluation.

The brewery has the comprehensive functionality of industry equipment and the program facilities demonstrate sustainable brewing practices. Students have the option of transferring coursework to complete a Bachelor of Science degree is Sustainable Craft Brewing at Western Michigan University.

Stephen Doherty, Executive Director of the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Foundation, said Gonzo’s scholarship is the first fully funded scholarship offered specifically to brewing students.

“We appreciate Gonzo’s support and we’re looking forward to awarding the first scholarship to a deserving student,” Doherty said.