DENISON, Tex. (KXII) Grayson College is recognized nationally for its grape growing and wine-making classes. Starting this coming Spring semester, students will be able to expand their knowledge of distilling liquor with 6 new courses housed in a brand new teaching distillery.
This makes Grayson College 1 of 4 distillery schools in the U.S, and the only school for distillation science in the state of Texas.
"Breweries, wineries, we've already been teaching wine-making for 20 years. This is just the next step in distillation science for us to be able to teach those craft beverages as well," says program director, Andrew Snyder.
Snyder has been a wine maker for the past 15 years.
"Craft beverages in general are a growing interest in the state of Texas," says Snyder.
That's why he and other Grayson College board members saw a need to progress their successful wine-making program.
Krista Hartman completed the Viticulture and Enology program 4 years ago and has since been working to build a winery with her husband.
"My husband and I met because of wine, and we are wine travelers so we did a lot of destination traveling for wine," says Hartman.
She is looking forward to coming back as a student to Grayson College to continue her craft beverage education.
"What better way to extend experimenting with grapes beyond wine-making and into distilling? Because people don't realize there's so many other things besides wine that can be made with grapes," says Hartman.
The program is designed for working adults with weekend courses, and Snyder says students can complete all 6 courses in as little as 12 months.
"I went to California recently and went to a winery there, and they asked me where I was from and I said 'Denison, Texas,' and they said 'oh, Grayson College,'" recalls Ronnie Cole, Board of Trustees Chairman.
Snyder plans to keep classes small to create a hands-on environment for students. He expects classes to fill quickly. Registration for spring courses begins in January.