College students making Vodka in class?

College students making Vodka in class?

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- OSU has courses on fermenting wine, beer and cheese, but now they're looking at something a little stronger.

OSU received just over $1 million from the state, which will allow them to expand their fermentation sciences program.

They might have to invest in some shot glasses.

Wineries and craft breweries are undoubtedly popular in Oregon, but what about a tasting flight of Vodka?

It's where the beverage industry is going, and OSU is diving on in. "It's all uniquely Oregon," said Bob McGorrin from OSU Food, Science and Technology. "There's no other state in the union that has the creativity and innovation around these new food products and new beverage products, and that's what makes Oregon so unique and different."

Thanks to a donated still from King Estate Winery and money from the state, OSU is starting a distilled spirits program in Fall 2014.

Just as wineries and craft brewers are booming, the distilled spirits industry is starting to branch out and create new jobs.

There are already over 35 distilleries in Oregon.

Steve Thomson of King Estate Winery says the programs might be a boost to the economy. "We have three really dynamic, thriving wine, beer and spirits industries here in the state creating a lot of jobs, a lot of economic benefit for the state.”

OSU says the new program won't just benefit students, but also the school. "Clearly it will put us in a preeminent position," McGorrin said. "We're going to be very unique and I’m sure very enviable to other institutions."