Brewing Tradition and Education: Sacred Heart University’s Via Cordis Beer

“Via Cordis,” which translates to “Road to the Heart,” is a beer that pays homage to age-old traditions and is now the creation of Sacred Heart University’s Brewing Science students in collaboration with Two Roads Brewing Co.

This year, the SHU Brewing Science students brewed a New England IPA in their lab at Area Two Experimental Brewing, with the assistance of John Rehm, our Director of Brewing Operations and SHU professor. The beer will be released on May 25th. 

The beer was designed and brewed by SHU’s Brewing Science program students who spent two semesters working in the brewing lab at Area Two Experimental Brewing. At the end of the program, each class brews its own Via Cordis beer.

2023 Via Cordis brew in the tank.

The SHU Brew School, the first brewing science program in Connecticut, officially opened in May 2020, but the relationship between the two institutions dates back to 2013.

Originally, Via Cordis was brewed as an Abbey Blonde Ale to commemorate Sacred Heart’s 50th anniversary, in collaboration with SHU biology professors Geffrey Stopper and Kirk Bartholomew.

Over the years, Two Roads has maintained a close relationship with the university, including their collaboration on the brew called Urban Funk, where SHU biologists captured airborne yeast during 2012 Super Storm Sandy for the brewing process.

Furthermore, Two Roads has made donations to the Brewing Science program’s scholarship fund at SHU.

As the relationship progressed, it was a natural fit to establish the SHU Brew School at Area Two, a place known for its experimental approach.

“There’s no other program like this in the immediate area,” says Rehm. “When designing the program, I always consider what a newcomer to the industry needs to know, not only on a practical level but also to provide students with an in-depth scientific understanding of the brewing process.”

Rehm, who teaches BRS 111 Craft Beverage Brewing and BRS 211 Advanced Craft Beverage Brewing, is the second-ever employee hired at Two Roads and has been with the company since its opening in 2012.

SHU Brew School in Area Two Experimental Brewing.

The brewing program includes training in scientific brewing theory, ingredient science and recipe design, beer styles, sensory analysis, brewery operations, sanitation and safety, quality control, brewery management, and brewing law and legal compliance.

For more information on SHU Brewing Science, click here:–programs/brewing-science—certificate/.