Educational microbrewery planned for renovated LSC

The earthy, bitter scent of hops is memorable. Soon, the smell of brewing beer will waft through the Lory Student Center, marking a new era for our beloved Ramskeller — the addition of a microbrewery.

CSU Alumna Natalie Lesko bottles beer in the brewery science and technology class in 2011. CSU will begin offering fermentation science major beginning next school year.
CSU Alumna Natalie Lesko bottles beer in the brewery science and technology class in 2011. CSU will begin offering fermentation science major beginning next school year.

Although CSU is awaiting funding for the project, the plan is in place to bring yet another small brewery to Fort Collins.

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The announcement of the brewery follows the creation of the fermentation science and technology, housed within the College of Health and Human Sciences.

“Students will be able to work in every aspect (of a brewery),” said Doni Luckutt, director of marketing for the LSC. “It’s an educational venture and not necessarily to make a profit.”

The plan is to have a fully functional microbrewery fall 2014. When the LSC reopens, so will the new addition.

Currently, CSU hopes to have a six-barrel system located adjacent to the Ramskeller. A small classroom area will be attached. According to Luckutt, a glass wall will allow passerby to observe the barrels and any work that may be going on.

There are no plans to sell the beer outside of CSU and it will most likely not be served in the Ramskeller, either.

“Six barrels is about 186 gallons of beer. That’s a lot to dump down the drain,” said Doug O’Dell, founder of O’Dell Brewing Company. “I think students should be able to walk in and buy the beer they’re making.”

For the students who will still be at CSU at the completion date, the microbrewery is an exciting addition.

“The Fort Collins microbrewery culture is so prominent and this sort of a degree will help (students) transition into the local job economy,” said Nicholas LeVack, a sophomore English major. “It’s really cool.”

With the new specialization, graduates have more to offer to big (and local) names, like New Belgium and Odell breweries.

“It’s smart. Fermentation covers a wide spectrum: not only alcohol fermentation, but also bread baking and dairy products. This will be a great kitchen tool for anyone interested in brewing,” Odell said. “…CSU is extending the brew culture and we’re very excited to see some possible employees come out of the program.”

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“We’re very excited that CSU is pitting this major in place and definitely want to be involved in moving it along.”

NBC host Jay Leno can continue to crack jokes about the microbrewery, but CSU will reap the benefits of the new major and learning spaces.

“The microbrewery is about the new major and the study of fermentation,” Luckutt said. Fermentation includes more than just beer, but the brewery will facilitate hands-on experience.

Collegian Writer Mariah Wenzel can be reached at letters@collegian.com