Atwater Brewery seeds Michigan State University scholarship to advance diversity in brewing

Atwater Brewery has partnered with Michigan State University to create an endowed scholarship that promotes diversity in brewing.

The Atwater Brewery Student Scholarship is part of Molson Coors’ Tenth & Blake Brewing Education Scholarship Fund, which supports students age 21 and older who identify as Latino, Black, American Indian, Asian, Pacific Islander or LGBTQ+ and are seeking degrees in brewing or fermentation sciences. Recipients of the scholarship will have an opportunity to work full-time, paid internships at Atwater’s Detroit brewery.

"As a woman working in craft beer for 10-plus years, I have had a front row seat as the industry has slowly started to become more reflective of the greater population," says Katy McBrady, Atwater's president. "I believe that diversity in craft beer will ultimately bring more consumers into the category and will result in more creativity in the space. I am proud that Atwater can provide an opportunity to fast track this progress for the next generation of brewers."

With the Atwater-Michigan State endowment in place by way of a $50,000 donation to the university, all six of Molson Coors’ U.S. craft partners now offer scholarships to diverse students looking to make a career in the beverage industry. Molson Coors’ Canadian craft division, Six Pints Collective, offers similar scholarships for Canadian students.

The Tenth & Blake Brewing Education Scholarship Fund was established in 2020 to address the lack of diversity in the craft beer industry. The overwhelming majority of craft brewery owners and employees are white and male, according to the Brewers Association, a craft beer trade group.

The fund is part of Molson Coors’ Project Justice, an annual program that seeks to support organizations in creating equitable access to higher education, economic opportunity and social justice for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) communities. Since Project Justice’s inception in 2020, it has donated $4.5 million to dozens of organizations in communities Molson Coors’ hometown communities.

Applicants must be undergraduate Michigan State students enrolled in the beverage science and technology minor under the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Special consideration will be given to ensure the scholarship supports the university’s stated mission of building and supporting a culture of diversity and inclusion.

“We are immensely grateful to Molson Coors for providing our students with the opportunity to advance their knowledge of the craft beer industry with an internship at Atwater Brewery,” says Leslie Bourquin, professor and chair of the MSU Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. “The Atwater Brewery Student Scholarship fund will help MSU provide our diverse students with life-changing career opportunities, which further reinforces our mission to promote inclusion on our campus.”