The owners of One Well Brewing in Kalamazoo’s Milwood neighborhood are establishing a scholarship for students in the sustainable brewing program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Photo: Carl Court; Getty Images

T.J. Waldofsky and Chris O’Neill have funded a $500 One Well Brewing Scholarship that will be awarded annually to a student in the sustainable brewing program.

“We're excited to be a part of something that’s going to help the craft beer industry in Kalamazoo and Michigan at large,” Waldorfsky said. “I’m impressed with the program because it’s not just about making beer. It’s really cool that it covers everything about this industry.”

Waldofsky and O’Neill opened One Well Brewing in November 2015. O’Neill, a Western Michigan University graduate, is the head brewer and Waldofsky, a University of Michigan graduate, manages the business. “We hope to contribute to the awesome craft beer culture that other local Michigan breweries have helped to build here,” Waldofsky said. He said the microbrewery’s location at 4213 Portage Street, with easy access off I-94, has worked out perfectly. The microbrewery has already become a favorite spot for many area residents. “The Milwood neighborhood was thirsty for a brewery,” Waldofsky joked.

Waldofsky said he’s hoping the scholarship can be increased as One Well expands. “We are new and young,” he acknowledged. “Five hundred dollars is not the biggest commitment in the world, but this is what we can do now. We’re hoping to grow the scholarship as our business grows.”

Kalamazoo Valley’s sustainable brewing program is accredited and teaches all aspects of brewing science. Classroom work is reinforced through hands-on experience with the technology used in the operation of a small-scale brewery. Students will participate in a practicum class environment designing a beer recipe, monitoring and analyzing the brew throughout the brewing process, and assessing the final brew using tests and sensory evaluation.

Students have the option of transferring coursework to complete a Bachelor of Science degree is Sustainable Craft Brewing at Western Michigan University.

Stephen Doherty, Executive Director of the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Foundation, said he appreciates how the local brewing community has been supportive of the sustainable brewing program. “We appreciate One Well’s support and we’re looking forward to awarding the first scholarship to a deserving student,” Doherty said.