Miami University Brewing Industry Field Study
J-Term 2021


  • Because of COVID-related restrictions, the 2021 program will be 100% virtual.  These restrictions make it impossible for us to do in-person field work as a group. HOWEVER, there will still be opportunities for students to do in-person field work individually. We have built these plans into the program design from the start… Students can expect a well-planned and high-quality experience regardless of the format.
  • Our first and overriding priority is and always will be to keep all students, staff, and faculty as well as people at the businesses we visit safe. We will be following the guidelines of public health agencies (CDC, Butler/Hamilton County Health, etc.) to determine whether we are able to do any/all program activities in-person. We will follow Miami’s Healthy Together guidelines for an activities we do in-person.

This is a capstone-level, experiential, study-away program geared specifically for FSB students (although it may work for non-business students as well). The idea is to do an extensive, deep dive into an industry to experience how it works and apply all the concepts you have learned during your time at Miami.

The brewing industry is an ideal context for this because it is..

  • Extremely Diverse: The variety of firms in terms of size, function, place in the supply chain, markets they serve, etc is incredibly broad.
  • Extremely Dynamic: This industry has been marked by constant change since the advent of the craft beer revolution in the late 80s and early 90s. Not only do new companies and products enter and leave the industry all the time, but the industry itself is constantly evolving and being shaped and reshaped.

The program includes three 3 credit hour, 400-level business courses. You will choose any combination of two of these courses that meets your interests and needs.

MGT495/ESP490Prof Conger teaches this course which is cross-listed as MGT495 which is the strategy capstone and ESP401 which is the entrepreneurship capstone.

  • The MGT495 version can satisfy the capstone requirement for any student.
  • The ESP490 version can count as a 300 or 400 level elective for students in the Entrepreneurship program (co-major/minor/certificate/thematic sequence)

MKT490 – Prof Stenstrom teaches this course which is the marketing capstone.

  • This can satisfy the capstone requirement for Marketing students

MGT490Prof Salzarulo teaches this course which is the “Special Topics in Supply Chain” course.

  • This can satisfy a 400-level elective and substitute for MKT412 for Supply Chain majors/minors.


Acceptance to the program is a prerequisite to enroll in any of these courses. All other prerequisite requirements apply for each individual course.

Information listed on this website is NOT comprehensive.  You should refer to Miami’s course catalog and consult with your academic advisor to make sure you have all the necessary details about these courses.

Which requirements each of these classes fulfill for you WILL vary. You should consult your academic advisor to figure out what combination of courses is best for you.

Also, Ben Palmer (, who is an advisor in the main FSB advising office is very familiar with the program and is available to help you (and/or help your advisor help you).

We will meet for 1-2hr pre-program sessions roughly one evening per week between Oct-Dec 2020.

The J-Term program will kick off on the evening of Sun, Jan 3, 2021.

We will be meeting, traveling, and working all day, every day Jan 4-23.  Every day will be VERY full.  You should not plan on taking other courses, working part-time jobs, etc during this time period.

There are two basic costs of the program.

Tuition – this is for the 6 total credit hours you will get through this program. This cost varies based on cohort year and in/out of state status (in all cases, the FSB surcharge also applies).

You can consult OneStop to find out the details…

  1. Go to OneStop:
  2. Choose your cohort from the menu on the left
  3. Choose “Winter/Summer Term Per Credit Hour)

Program Fee – this $400 fee covers all the additional costs of the program including…

  • All travel costs (6 day-long trips via ground transportation, and meals while on the road.)
  • All lab costs
  • All curriculum costs (you will get a year-long subscription to Crafting a Strategy)

You will need to put down a $200 deposit on this program fee upon acceptance to the program.  the remaining balance is due Nov 1, 2020.  After that point, the program fee is non-refundable (but tuition is refundable) if you have to pull out of the program.

NOTE: Actual costs will vary based on program capacity, fuel costs, etc. It will never go OVER $400, but any money we do not spend will be refunded to you.

  • Field Work –visits to breweries, distributors, retailers, hop farms, yeast labs, malt houses, industry groups, etc. We will visit roughly 25 companies in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and Indianapolis, and making virtual visits to many others all over the US and Canada.
  • Discipline-specific Classroom Work – roughly 30% of the program will be spent working specifically within the disciplines of the two courses you choose to take (Strategy/Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Supply Chain).
  • Project Work – you will be doing multiple projects consulting for operating firms in the industry and/or developing your own plan for a new product/service in the industry.
  • Lab Work – we will be getting our hands dirty doing a lot of the actual work professionals in this field do (making beer, new product design, packaging, sensory analysis, etc.) Much of this lab work will happen on-site at firms in the industry.

Here are the relevant dates you need to know…

  • Applications Open: NOW!
  • Priority Application Deadline: Aug 1, 2020
  • Final Application Deadline: Oct 1, 2020
  • Final Balance Deadline: Nov 1, 2020

PLEASE NOTE: This program tends to be very popular and fills up quickly. Although the application window will be open for quite a while, we strongly suggest you apply sooner rather than later if you are interested.

Get in touch with the program director, Prof. Michael Conger (