More beer on campus please

Okay UCCS, it's your turn. It looks as if CSU Fort Collins is about to add a brewery to their campus that will provide hands-on training to university students. The news came from the Coloradoan this morning:

There are plans for two, three-barrel systems that students would use several times during the semester.

Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition Professor John Avens teaches brewing science courses. He said in an email that if the brewery is funded and built, it would be an asset to his classes that currently brew between campus and commercial breweries in town.

“This class would brew in this facility in addition to brewing at other commercial breweries in Fort Collins,” Avens said . “It could be used to scale up research brews done on a half-barrel system we use for teaching and research in the Gifford Building.”

In addition to the brewing science courses offered, CSU recently launched a new major in fermentation science and technology. Aside from beer, fermentation includes the dairy, wheat, beef, pork, lamb, grape, hop and barley industries.

As a teacher at UCCS this would be something that I would whole-heartedly welcome. My thesis project in graduate school was about the pub as the true center of education in a student's life. At UCCS we just recently opened a little  pub with a couple pool tables and a couple beers on tap but I still think we need more. UCCS does engage in some research in yeast. The late James Mattoon started the Biotech Center which focuses on, among many other things, yeast genetics and fermentation science. He also started the Rocky Mountain Microbrewing Symposium, which takes place the same weekend as the Firkin Rendezvous every year. I believe a project like this would help connect biology students with a more practice-based brewing science, business-of-brewing program, like the one that was recently started at Portland State University. How awesome would that be?

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BeerEric Steen