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Updated: February 9, 2022

$100K gift from Maine Beer Co. will create brewing internship at USM

person with brewing equipment Courtesy / Maine Beer Co. Maine Beer Co. donated $100,000 to the University of Southern Maine Foundation to create a Brewing Up Opportunity Internship & Scholarship Fund.

It’s undoubtedly the dream internship of many a college student. 

Maine Beer Co., a craft brewer based in Freeport, announced Tuesday its donation of $100,000 to the University of Southern Maine Foundation to create a Brewing Up Opportunity Internship & Scholarship Fund.

The gift establishes a pilot program for USM students that includes a paid internship with Maine Beer and a scholarship award of up to $5,000 per academic year upon completion of the internship.

The program’s goal is to promote diversity and inclusion within the craft beverage industry by providing access to education, on-the-job training, and mentoring. The combined internship-scholarships will be awarded to individuals from traditionally underrepresented populations, first-generation college students, or students coming to Maine from an international location.

“The craft beer industry has done a lot in terms of creating jobs and being a driving force in our economy,” Maine Beer co-founder and USM alum Daniel Kleban said in a news release. “We have a lot of work to do to make this industry a better reflection of our actual community.”

smiling person
Courtesy / Maine Beer Co.
Daniel Kleban

Maine Beer Co. was founded in 2009 by brothers David and Daniel Kleban. They said they were determined to create a company centered around social responsibility and doing what is right. The company makes primarily IPAs and pale ales and is a member of 1% for the Planet. 

The USM Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that works with USM to support its strategic vision. Now in its third decade, the foundation is raising funds to increase scholarship resources and achieve USM’s goals.

Access to careers

The goal of the collaboration is to create access to potential careers in the craft beer industry, while also cultivating the industry's next generation, he added.

The program, launching this spring, will give students the opportunity to be immersed in the brewing industry in Maine, while helping support their financial needs.

The first USM student will begin a Maine Beer internship this summer. 

“This direct investment to our students not only offers a powerful opportunity to fulfill USM's promise of enhancing education through real-world experiences, it also supports the development of talent for a critical industry in Maine,” said Jeanne Paquette, USM vice president of corporate and workforce engagement.

The collaboration showcases the growing capacity of USM's Career & Employment Hub, led by Director Andy Osheroff, to deliver on programs for employer partners and students, she added. 


The program looks to broaden the definition of beer studies and training to be inclusive of all the fields represented within the brewing industry. Maine Beer and USM said they hope to open opportunities to those who might not have considered a career in beer, thus expanding the number of experiences and voices represented. 

The internship-scholarships are open to USM students in a wide variety of fields, including tourism and hospitality, marketing, food studies, engineering and finance.

Maine Beer last October donated $50,000 to Maine Coast Heritage Trust toward the Topsham-based nonprofit’s $1.3 million quest to buy three small Casco Bay islands for conservation purposes.

The company also donates 1% of gross annual sales to 18 environmental nonprofits through 1% for the Planet, an international nonprofit based in Burlington, Vt.

For more information about the Brewing Up Opportunity Internship & Scholarship Fund, contact Andy Osheroff, director of the USM Career & Employment Hub, at or 207-780-4695.

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