4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Ballast Point tries being the change it wants to see

Diversity scholarship for UCSD’s brewing extension

Ballast Point's Community Engagement Manager, Misha Collins
Ballast Point's Community Engagement Manager, Misha Collins

White dude with beards. That’s the impression most have about who works within the craft beer business, and it’s often accurate. Within San Diego and the industry at large. Statistics offered by the Brewers Association estimate some 92 percent of brewers are male, while 89 percent of brewers and 88 percent of brewery owners identify as white.

A new scholarship created by Ballast Point Brewing seeks to put a dent in at least some of those figures. The newly announced Brewing for Diversity Scholarship will cover the roughly $6200 costs of completing UC San Diego Extension Brewing Program. Over 12-18 months of night and weekend instruction, students of the program learn both the science behind brewing quality beer, and the best practices of the pro brewers who’ve mastered the craft.

A few of those same pro brewers make up much of the faculty of the program, including Ballast Point’s former brewmaster, Yuseff Cherney, who was instrumental in developing the program when it started in 2013, and remains lead instructor. In fact, despite two highly publicized changes in ownership, Ballast Point has been closely involved with the program from its outset, bringing in students for brewery tours and internships, and occasionally offering jobs.

Kyle Wiskerchen, who oversees the extension program, says that the idea for Ballast Point to create a general scholarship first came up a couple of years ago, while the brewery was still owned by multinational Constellation Brands. However, the idea ultimately fizzled out until after the beer company was purchased by Chicago area microbrewery Kings & Convicts Brewing Co., in late 2019.

When the concept re-surfaced late last spring, Wiskerchen says, it was introduced by Ballast Point employees. And they were intent that it should be a diversity scholarship, partly in response to the social justice protests that took place across the U.S.

“They definitely were persistent about reconnecting with the community,” says Wiskerchen, adding that the employees' approach to building diversity within the brewing industry was, “We need to do something, not just talk about it.”

Spearheading the action was a part-time bartender, Misha Collins, who has since been appointed the company’s full time community engagement manager. “I felt compelled to do something,” says Collins, who approached Kings and Convicts co-founder and Ballast CEO Brendon Watters. “As a woman of color, my conversation with Brendan delved deeper into the topic of how to make an impact in the areas of diversity and inclusion,” she continues, “We talked honestly about racial tension the world was experiencing in that moment and how Ballast Point could help.”

Collins adds the diversity scholarship is just a first step, and that more inclusion-oriented projects are in the works at Ballast Point.

Wiskerchen notes that the vast majority of the UC brewing program have been hired by breweries, or gone on to found their own. While the extension program has, like the industry it supports, seen majority white and male cohorts, it’s gradually become more popular among women, commuters from Mexico, and vets attending on the G.I. Bill.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Prager Brothers drives its artisan breads to Hillcrest

New bakery storefront great for grabbing picnic fare and daily loaves
Ballast Point's Community Engagement Manager, Misha Collins
Ballast Point's Community Engagement Manager, Misha Collins

White dude with beards. That’s the impression most have about who works within the craft beer business, and it’s often accurate. Within San Diego and the industry at large. Statistics offered by the Brewers Association estimate some 92 percent of brewers are male, while 89 percent of brewers and 88 percent of brewery owners identify as white.

A new scholarship created by Ballast Point Brewing seeks to put a dent in at least some of those figures. The newly announced Brewing for Diversity Scholarship will cover the roughly $6200 costs of completing UC San Diego Extension Brewing Program. Over 12-18 months of night and weekend instruction, students of the program learn both the science behind brewing quality beer, and the best practices of the pro brewers who’ve mastered the craft.

A few of those same pro brewers make up much of the faculty of the program, including Ballast Point’s former brewmaster, Yuseff Cherney, who was instrumental in developing the program when it started in 2013, and remains lead instructor. In fact, despite two highly publicized changes in ownership, Ballast Point has been closely involved with the program from its outset, bringing in students for brewery tours and internships, and occasionally offering jobs.

Kyle Wiskerchen, who oversees the extension program, says that the idea for Ballast Point to create a general scholarship first came up a couple of years ago, while the brewery was still owned by multinational Constellation Brands. However, the idea ultimately fizzled out until after the beer company was purchased by Chicago area microbrewery Kings & Convicts Brewing Co., in late 2019.

When the concept re-surfaced late last spring, Wiskerchen says, it was introduced by Ballast Point employees. And they were intent that it should be a diversity scholarship, partly in response to the social justice protests that took place across the U.S.

“They definitely were persistent about reconnecting with the community,” says Wiskerchen, adding that the employees' approach to building diversity within the brewing industry was, “We need to do something, not just talk about it.”

Spearheading the action was a part-time bartender, Misha Collins, who has since been appointed the company’s full time community engagement manager. “I felt compelled to do something,” says Collins, who approached Kings and Convicts co-founder and Ballast CEO Brendon Watters. “As a woman of color, my conversation with Brendan delved deeper into the topic of how to make an impact in the areas of diversity and inclusion,” she continues, “We talked honestly about racial tension the world was experiencing in that moment and how Ballast Point could help.”

Collins adds the diversity scholarship is just a first step, and that more inclusion-oriented projects are in the works at Ballast Point.

Wiskerchen notes that the vast majority of the UC brewing program have been hired by breweries, or gone on to found their own. While the extension program has, like the industry it supports, seen majority white and male cohorts, it’s gradually become more popular among women, commuters from Mexico, and vets attending on the G.I. Bill.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

A breakfast to remember at Golden Hill Cafe

“Sorry, but I never reveal my sauces.”
Next Article

MTS: trying to encourage compliance, not enforce it

“If she had just been more polite.”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close