How long have you been in the industry?
I've been a professor of Food Science since 1997. I have been training students to prepare for the Diploma in Brewing Exam (formerly Associate Membership Exam) since 1993.
Why did you choose to work in the brewing industry?
My father was a biologist, my mother was an artist and art-historian, and as a young college student I was looking for a career where I could blend both of their influences - science and art. I was drawn to fermentation science for this reason and studied Fermentation Science at U.C. Davis thinking I would become a winemaker. Brewing took its hold on me towards the end of my studies and my career path since then has had a continual interface with the brewing community.
What do I enjoy most about my job?
I am passionate about beer and feel fortunate that I can teach students and conduct science on such a wonderful and interesting product. On the teaching side I find it most enjoyable to spark the interest of people who have little understanding of beer, brewing, and the associated industry. On the research side, I am get the most excited about analyzing data from projects in my lab. What can I say? I am a brewing science nerd!
"Dr. Shellhammer is on sabbatical leave through August 2009 at the the Institut für Biotechnologie at theTechnische Universität Berlin and the associated Versuchs- und Lehranstalt für Brauerei in Berlin (VLB).