Vermont’s two largest economic industries are tourism and agriculture. Well known for its artisanal cheeses and ice cream, farms and the Ben and Jerry’s factory draw in out of state visitors by the bushel every year. In addition to those tours, Vermont also boasts a bustling ski industry for the winter and a plethora of hiking trails up its many mountains during the warmer seasons. Another huge industry for Vermont is the craft brewery scenes with several breweries, including the Alchemist and Hill Farmstead, consistently winning world recognition for their brews. Most of these breweries are small business but the industry is still growing and keeps Vermonters employed. As of mid-2015 there were 14 breweries in Chittenden county, mostly in Burlington, employing roughly 119 people directly with an average income $48,268.91 per year. Complementary positions, such as beer distribution and retail brought the number of employees in the industry to 900 in Chittenden county alone (Vermont Beer, 2015).
The craft beer industry shows no sign of slowing down and will continue to look for skilled brewers and engineers to fill important positions. People can get into the industry in several ways, from homebrewing to getting an internship through a university to going through brewing school. The American Brewers Guild has been offering a variety of programs to Vermonters since 1997. Their aim is to promote the love of brewery and provide the technical training needed for interested individuals including the science, engineering, and the business acumen to run a brewery (AGB, 2016). Through programs like these Vermont can continue to grow their human capital and remain leaders in global craft beer.