ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) — The craft beer business is huge in Tampa Bay, and a brewing arts class offered by USF St. Pete, and 3 Daughters Brewery in St. Petersburg is helping people nationwide tap into the industry.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to help people get into the craft brewing industry which is booming,” said Leigh Harting, who owns 3 Daughters Brewery alongside her husband.

Now 3 Daughters Brewery is sponsoring veterans who want to learn a new trade by paying for the online course, which includes hands-on experience at the brewery.

“The whole aspect of brewing excites me, I’ve always been a nerd so-to-speak when it comes to science and the process of fermentation,” said Raymond Molinary, the first veteran to receive the sponsorship to take the brewing arts class.

Raymond grew up in Tampa, and served our country for 16 years as a U.S. Navy electronics technician. Now he’s hoping to soar to new heights as a craft brewer.

“To turn a passion of mine into a career is the most amazing thing ever,” said Molinary.

Molinary who now resides in Virginia with his wife has an elaborate home brewing set up and can’t wait to expand his knowledge to one day become a professional brewer.

The next step for Raymond, after he completes the online course, is a return to Tampa Bay for onsite training at 3 Daughters Brewery in St. Petersburg.

Three Daughters hopes other brewery’s across the country will sign up to help veterans as part of the program out of USF St. Pete which has students signed up nationwide.

“One of the things veterans get at the end of the program is our business plan when we first started, so they get the entire road map. It’s a great industry. We all work together with other craft breweries and they have been great to us so we want to pass that along,” said Harting.

Great Bay Distributor will offer the next free ride for a veteran, as the beer community tries to build a trend of getting retired vets into the business.