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New teaching brewery to open in LSC

ramskeller-1024x683.jpg
A new brewing system will be installed adjacent to the RamSkeller Pub (CJ Johnson | Collegian)

Colorado State University engineering students are working to install an advanced new brewing system in the Lory Student Center to train students from the fermentation sciences and technology program.

The brewing system will be used, and the beers produced in will be served at the RamSkeller.

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The system is part of a joint venture between the fermentation sciences program and the RamSkellar Pub in the Lory Student Center. Jeff Callaway, the associate director of the  program, said the mission is to prepare and educate students in the science and art of fermenting foods and beverages.

The funds were largly driven by Jeannie Miller of Molson Coors and Dan Malisko of Malisko Engineering.

The Molson Coors Brewing Company was the primary donor behind the project and provided the equipment needed for the new facility.

Malisko Engineering  is providing assistance to the CSU Brewery Team, the group of engineering students currently working to design and install the brewing systems.

“(Miller and Malisko are) fantastic alumni who really drove the donations and gathered the rest of the donors together,” Callaway said. “It was those two people that were really the key influencers.”

The CSU Brewery Team is also working to develop a brewing system in the Gifford building as part of a senior design project. Of the two, the LSC brewhouse is more pub-oriented and is designed to focus on experimental brews and providing students with valuable, large-scale experience. The 10-hectoliter system will be capable of producing 17 kegs of brew in a single batch and is worth over $1 million

Though CSU is officially a dry campus, Callaway sees no potential conflict with the brewhouse installation or reason to change the rule. Callaway said that it is important to provide students with the hands-on experience of making their own beer and that brewing is a very viable industry.

“I think the way things operate now, where you can legally purchase a beer and drink it in the RamSkeller, and (the ability) to tailgate on game days seems fair to me,” Callaway said. “I do not think there needs to be beer consumed all over campus.”

Callaway said the system provides a clear industry advantage for students in CSU’s fermentation science and technology program, and the new system will be an opportunity for experiential learning on a different platform.

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“Like anything, experience is key,” Callaway said. “The production time (the students) get is more, and also the troubleshooting time, the types of equipment, and so for a host of reasons, it’s clearly an advantage.”

Callaway said the system is unique among other university brewing systems due to its large size and high levels of automation, as well as the extent to which the brewing industry has been involved in the process. The brewing equipment will be operated by students, an aspect that Callaway says is also unique to CSU.

“We look forward with sharing the brews and experiences with everybody at CSU and the local community,” Callaway said.

The teaching brewery is set to open in the fall.

Collegian news reporter Mason Force can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @masforce1.

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