The smell of boiling hops, the sound of strumming guitars and pounding drums and nearly 20 people drinking good beer. This is not the picture of a typical day in class, but for Brewing Science & Technology, or FTEC 460, it is.
FTEC 460 hosted its third brew event on Friday, turning the Gifford patio into a virtual beer garden. Practically an all-day event, the undertaking showcased the brewing process from start to finish. The vanilla oatmeal stout was the final brew of the semester and members of the class seemed gratified about the outcome of their concoction.
“Everyone contributed their own ideas to this final brew,” said Ben Hoffman, senior wildlife biology major. “We changed the grains and mixed it up a bit. We’re only getting better with time.”
Steven Presley, senior assistant brewmaster at Anheuser Busch, and Jason Trujillo, quality assurance analyst at New Belgium, as well as other brewmasters from local breweries were on hand to witness the event and took part in the festivities.
“I think this event is great,” Presley said. “The students are engaged, there is a great interchange of ideas about beer and the public gets to understand the dynamics of the brewing process.”
Trujillo, a 2001 CSU grad who interned under Presley, agreed.
“This is good for the students who want to make a career out going into the industry,” Trujillo said. “We have a bit more of a relationship with them when they show up for a job through events like this”
And if a job in the brewing industry is what these students desire, they’re in the right state. Professor Jack Avens, an instructor for the course, claims that Colorado produces the most beer in the nation.
“We’re in a city that has six breweries, to include one major one, in a state that puts out more beer than any other,” Avens said. “It’s crazy not to have a class like this, and we’re trying to get it offered in spring.”
Presley, who helped set up the program and has been a contributing member and supporter of the class since its inception three years ago, agrees with the importance of a class of this nature.
“It challenges the students to understand the brewing process using a scientific method,” Presley said.
Class member Sherry Wern, a senior biology major, said the class was a mix of “learning and partying.”
“This is the most fun we’ve had yet,” said class member Jill Cadmus, a senior biology major. “It’s the first time with music and food.”
Graduate student instructor and brewmaster of the class, Jeff Callaway, enjoyed a cold one as he looked over the project.
“The beer is lookin’ good so far – the numbers are on track,” he said. “And the weather is perfect for us today.”
Class member Dan Targoff, a senior chemistry major and homebrewer who brought his own ale to share with the class had nothing by good things to say about the class.
“Good music, good people, good beer,” he said. “I can’t complain.”
Staff writer Aaron Rognstad can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.