Students torn between hitting the books and hitting the bottle can have the best of both worlds at one college.

North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Community College is offering an associate’s degree in brewing beer.

The school is expected to get approval from the state for the brewing, distillation and fermentation program next week.

Blue Ridge Dean of Applied Technology Chris English said the program will combine “the fundamentals and science of brewing with hands-on manufacturing skills” and that creating the field of study will help bring in a whole new industry to the region.

The time may be more ripe than ever to launch a program around brewing. Last year, over 400 breweries opened in the country, the most in one year since shortly after Prohibition came down. Nationwide, there are now 2,400 breweries.

To all you aspiring brewers, we say we hope your thirst for knowledge is as great as your thirst for a nice cold one.

[The Times-News]