Beer Edition: Ramskeller is a celebration of student activism, beer at CSU

Various+beers+sit+on+tap+at+the+Ram+Skeller+located+in+the+basement+of+the+Lory+Student+Center+April+8.

Collegian | Lucy Morantz

Various beers sit on tap at Ramskeller Pub & Grub located in the basement of the Lory Student Center April 8.

Samy Gentle, News Reporter

Editor’s Note: Read the Spanish version of this article here.

Throughout history, students turned to peaceful protest as a popular method of getting things done. Such was the case on Oct. 18, 1968, when Colorado State University students held a “beer-in” at the Lory Student Center to request that the University allow the sale of alcoholic beverages in the Ramskeller coffee shop, which was located in the basement of the LSC. 

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They were successful in their efforts, and with approval from the Fort Collins City Council, the Lory Student Center was granted the license to serve 3.2% beer. 

On May 2, 1969, the Ramskeller Pub and Grub evolved past a coffee shop and began selling beer. 

Ramskeller is now staffed entirely by students except for General Manager Pete Andrews, according to an email from Andrews. Andrews has been working at Ramskeller for over 11 years. 

“We typically serve a few fermentation science and technology-brewed beers here at the Ramskeller.” -Pete Andrews, general manager at Ramskeller Pub & Grub

Andrews has seen changes to the Ramskeller over his time of employment, including LSC renovations that granted the pub “improved facilities, (an) expanded seating area, updated AV technology and a brewery,” Andrews wrote. 

The brewery referenced is the Ramskeller Brewery, “which provides (fermentation science and technology) students with real-life experiential training,” according to an email from Jeffrey Callaway, associate director of the fermentation science and technology program at CSU. 

The FST program first began in the fall of 2013

In his email, Callaway shared two mission statements of the FST program:

  1. “To provide high-quality education that results in employment in the fermentation industry or entry into graduate-level academic programs.
  2. “To work collaboratively across the Colorado State University campus and industry to provide services and research and development opportunities to the food and beverage fermentation industry.”

According to Callaway’s email, several junior- and senior-level courses in the program are run and developed by experts in the food and beverage fermentation industry.

“Students learn how to apply the scientific principles they learn in their chemistry, biology, physics and other STEM courses to a real-world production and manufacturing setting,” Callaway wrote. “Although we are not a brewing program, we do use the brewing process as a model to teach critical thinking, process flow, etc., which are translatable skills to nearly any industry or endeavor that our alumni may find themselves in.”

It is somewhat common for a student union to have a pub on-site, but ours is the only one with a brewery,” Andrews wrote. 

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Claire Taagen of the Ram Skeller pours a beer April 8.
Claire Taagen of Ramskeller Pub & Grub pours a beer April 8. (Collegian | Lucy Morantz )

“We typically serve a few fermentation science and technology-brewed beers here at the Ramskeller,” Andrews wrote. “They are created by CSU’s FST professors and students. … The ‘Skeller and brewhouse will collaborate on which beer styles we choose to brew in-house.”

In addition to serving Ramskeller Brewery creations, Andrews noted that 20 beers and ciders from outside breweries and distributors are on rotation on the Ramskeller menu

“For our guests who are not old enough to imbibe yet, (Ramskeller has) an entire menu of nonalcoholic options,” Andrews wrote. 

Living up to its full title of “Pub & Grub,” the Ramskeller has a menu of traditional bar food, including pizza, chicken wings and mozzarella sticks.

“Some members of the campus community might not even know that we serve food here,” Andrews wrote. 

The Ramskeller is open on weekdays from noon to 7 p.m. 

Reach Samy Gentle at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @samy_gentle_.