“There is a lot more brewing at Headless Mumby than just quality pacific northwest lagers,” said a statement released by Olympia, Washington’s Headless Mumby Brewing. In late May, the brewery releases a beer designed and brewed by its intern, Eric Wilcox.
The brewery teamed up with the Craft Brewing and Distilling Program at South Puget Sound Community College to provide an internship for one of the program’s students. During this past winter quarter, Eric Wilcox worked alongside Headless Mumby’s Stacey O’Connor (head brewer) and Jada Peters (brewer) to expand his knowledge and understanding of the craft beer industry.
South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) is one of a handful of educational institutions in Washington offering beer-focused programs. Central Washington University, Skagit Community College, and the University of Washington also offer programs that focus on brewing beer and the beer biz in general.
“Having the opportunity to combine the theoretical concepts from the program with a really hands-on experience at Headless Mumby has been invaluable,” says Eric Wilcox. “I particularly appreciate that Headless Mumby is all about brewing with intention, which is exactly what we’re learning.”
“I have to give Eric a lot of credit,” says Stacey O’Connor. “Brewing is definitely a science but there are a lot of hands-on trades skills that are required. Eric has demonstrated that he is willing and able to work hard and still take a step back to fully understand the science and the process.”
SPSCC is also happy to see the success of this partnership. “This is an ideal example of an experience that is benefiting everyone involved,” said Kelly Green, SPSCC’s Executive Community Relations Officer.” We are so grateful to Headless Mumby for helping our students apply their knowledge in a well-run production setting and for supporting Eric’s growth as a student, a brewer, and a community member.”
“We have been following Headless Mumby’s growth ever since our inaugural cohort visited shortly after their opening, said Meg Myers, the Director of Business and Distribution at the SPSCC Craft Brewing and Distilling program. “Thanks to Stacey and Jada’s leadership, we are thrilled to have witnessed a stellar example of what a successful internship looks like.”
Frank Addeo, Director of the Craft Brewing and Distilling Program agrees. “We value the generosity, time, and expertise that the local makers here in the South Sound and beyond provide to elevate our students’ experience in our program. Internships, such as Eric’s experience at Headless Mumby, are great opportunities for our students to hone their skills in the specialized areas that they are most passionate about.”
Both the college and the brewery are excited to see how the internship program can grow and help build the local brewing scene.
“Olympia has a rich history and present that is rooted in beer and brewing culture,” said Stacey O’Connor. “We are hoping [that] by developing programs and opportunities we can drive growth in the craft beer industry in our area. Especially if it means more craft lagers! I think making beer their, Headless Mumby’s, way requires more attention to detail and skill, which is what craft brewing is all about. It has been encouraging and rewarding to discover that the education translates well to a commercial brewing setting.”
Headless Mumby brewing says that to culminate the internship Eric will build and brew a solo recipe for Headless Mumby Brewing. “The idea is to take all of the information and experience Eric has built over the quarter to brew a beer from grain to glass. So that means he will build the recipe, work with our vendors to order the ingredients, brew, ferment, condition, package, and market the finished product. We are hoping by following through the entire process Eric will have a real appreciation of all the work that goes into craft beer and be able to take that experience with him throughout his coursework and future career.” explains Stacey O’Connor.
The brewery will release the beer near the end of May. Keep an eye on Headless Mumby Brewing’s social media channels for more information.