Grand Rapids Community College’s new Craft Brewing Program is the focus of a campus police investigation surrounding a missing quantity of beer – approximately 400 pints worth – brewed by the students.
“I can confirm that beer is missing from the brewing program at GRCC,” said Director of Communications Leah Nixon. “GRCC police are currently investigating the issue and are talking to faculty, staff and students … It’s an ongoing investigation.”
Both GRCC Police Chief Rebecca Whitman and Bill Pink, Dean of GRCC, both declined to comment and referred all questions to Nixon.
Miguel Munoz, 21, Grand Rapids, is among the first 12 students to graduate from the craft brewing program at GRCC. He said he and his classmates were questioned at their last class meeting Dec. 8.
“We came in for our final exam and we saw Werner (Absenger), director of GRCC’s Culinary Department, an associate dean, and Chief Whitman of the GRCC police were there,” Munoz said. “We thought they were there to congratulate us. We were told to stay off our phones and not talk to each other.”
According the Munoz, each student was taken out of the classroom and led to the associate dean’s office individually for questioning, with Whitman present, while Absenger stayed in the room with the other students.
“It was like we were being legitimately interrogated, we had no idea what was going on,” Munoz said. “We were kind of caught off guard and didn’t know what to think. (Whitman) said there’s no need to call a lawyer, there’s no need to get all defensive, we just want to ask some questions.”
“Let it be known that my intention is not to bash the brewing program or SICE, (Secchia Institute for Culinary Education), but to get the information out,” Munoz said.
The investigation into the missing beer is ongoing.
‘Avery Jennings contributed to this report’