Engineering a Craft Brewery: Belgium

Have you always wanted to understand the craft brew process while enjoying one of the most charming countries in Europe?  This program is for you! 

If you plan to spend the full spring semester taking the Engineering a Craft Brewery course (ENGR 1933), or you took the class prior, then you can apply to gain an additional credit (ENGR 1920) and go abroad where you will describe, analyze, and characterize the entire brewing process in a European context.  

If you submit a completed application by Sunday, October 20th and qualify per the requirements of this study abroad program, you are guaranteed a seat in the class- Engineering a Craft Brewery course (ENGR 1933)

To learn more about the experiece, check out this video: 


What You'll Accomplish

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:

  • Evaluation of brewing options and equipment for commercially relevant operations
  • A way to relate brewing process variables to style characteristics
  • Ways to justify brewing choices based upon brewing science, engineering and economic considerations

Belgium is known for its many types of beer and longstanding practice of beer-making. While abroad in Belgium the group will travel to the following cities: Brussels, Leuven, Bruges, Poperinge and Ghent. The group will visit a Hops farm, a maltery, and visit various different types of large and small breweries.

Where You'll Live

Students will be staying in hotels for the duration of the program abroad. 
You can expect the following at the hotels:

  • Double rooms with a shared bathroom
  • Heat and Air conditioning
  • Sheets, blankets, towels, and washcloths
  • Breakfast included each day
  • Wifi
What You'll Study

The study abroad portion of this course is a 1 credit class, ENGR 1920. You will be able to evaluate brewing options and equipment for commercially relevant operations, relate brewing process variables to style characteristics, and justify brewing choices based upon brewing science, engineering and economic considerations.

Engineering a Craft Brew- Europe (ENGR1920)

This is a 1 credit class that offers the opportunity to exam craft brewing in Europe. At the end of this course, students should be able to

  • use engineering principles to describe, analyze, characterize, and design the brewing process.
  • relate brewing process variables to style characteristics.
  • evaluate brewing options and equipment for commercially relevant operations.
  • justify brewing choices based upon brewing science, engineering, and economic considera-
  • tions.

We work with a provider, CIS Abroad to create the program in-country.  While in Belgium, you will be accompanied by the faculty and staff from the University of Pittsburgh who will be your leaders and additional staff from CIS Abroad. 

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts

Dr. Diane Hardy Saran

Buna! That’s hello in Romanian.  After returning from being a Peace Corp volunteer in Transylvania- I decided to work in the field of international education helping international students.  Life took me back to Buffalo, NY (where I grew up- land of chicken wings)- and I worked for SUNY Buffalo for many years assisting international students and scholars.  In 2010, I moved to the ‘Burgh- and am now assisting engineering students to study abroad.  For fun I enjoy volunteering with my therapy dog Nora, yoga and fitness, international films, crocheting, and travel (of course). Come talk with me about studying abroad! |  412-624-9823 | 152 Benedum Hall -   |  


Dr. Robert Parker

Dr. Robert Parker- is the Robert v.d. Luft Professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.  In his more than seventeen years of beer brewing, he has developed an appreciation for hops of all types, Belgian yeasts, and anything that is served from a nitrogen tap.  When he's not pursuing his teaching passion in the area of his hobby, Bob uses systems tools to address challenging problems at the engineering/medicine interface.


Mr. Robert Toplak

Mr. Toplak is the Assistant Chairman in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.   He is an active home brewer and provides classroom support for ENGR 1933, Engineering a Craft Brewery, by co-designing and brewing beer of various styles for classroom sensory sessions and helping to instruct students during on-campus brewing demonstrations.  Rob appreciates all beer styles but has an affinity for true Belgian or Belgian-style beers, particularly farmhouse ales.

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition (1 credit)  $866 $1066
Program Fee  (see the "What's included" section) $3434 $3434
Total Billed by Pitt $4300 $4500

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Meals and personal expenses $500
If you are not a U.S. citizen there might be a cost associated with applying for a visa and/or traveling to a embassy or consulate Dependent on travel costs

Total Estimated Program Cost

  In-State Out-of-State

Total Estimated Cost of Program
(Includes items billed by Pitt and additional expenses and if necesary applying for a visa)



What's Included

As a part of the program costs, the following were included in the program:

  • Airfare to and from destination
  • Airport transfers (in-country) and all ground transportation
  • All Accommodations
  • Health insurance
  • All breakfasts, some dinners
  • Admission and participation to all events and excursion

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our budgeting page for more information. Questions about Funding study abroad?  Check out the study abroad’s funding search page and note that SSoE has funding specifically for Pitt engineering students.

When You'll Go

Departure for destination March 5

Departure to Pittsburgh March 15

Traveling to and from Belgium
You will travel as a group with the professor and staff to Belgium. Flight details will be provided after students commit to the program. 

While in Beligum - Itinerary 
The program starts in the city of Brussels and then we travel to Leuven.  The first two days include tours of beweries and walking tours. We travel to Ghen, Burges and back to Brussels exploring small and large breweries, cultural areas and exploring the entire brew process in Belgium. 
 Keep in mind that the excursions, their lengths, and dates are all subject to change.  

What Else You Need to Know

Application requirements: 

  • Undergraduate and graduate students who are 21 years of age or older
  • Must have applied for a passport or already hold a passport by the application deadline. Need to apply? See instructions here.
  • Must be enrolled in Engineering a Craft Brewery course (ENGR 1933), or have taken the course in the past. 
  • 2.75 GPA​