Most brewers will tell you that brewing is a blend of art and science. The art of brewing is making a great beer, and science is being able to do it consistently, every time. My best attributes are problem-solving, record-keeping, taking notes, collecting data, designing protocols and forming hypotheses on our observations, all skills I learned in school. For chemistry, you have to know molecules and structures and how they interact; and, in biochemistry, you memorize the structure and every metabolic pathway for sugar, amino acids, fats and hormones. This all directly applies to the biology of yeast and the pathways they produce ethanol and carbon dioxide, as well as other favorable and not so favorable byproducts. Also, there are dangerous chemicals in a brewery, and knowing how to handle, store and use these chemicals applies to their effectiveness and safety. I think a lot of my professors in college think I took the easy way out. Little do they know that my education is being used to the fullest.
Chris Walowski, quoted in Rob Wallace, “Chris Walowski of Smog City Brewing,” Beer Paper LA vol 2, Issue 4 (August 2014), 18.