New Belgium Gift Shapes The Future Of Fermentation

New Belgium Gift Shapes The Future Of Fermentation

By Tony Phifer

WITH SUPPORT from Fort Collins’ three major brewers, Colorado State University’s Fermentation Science and Technology program is growing even faster than anticipated.

New Belgium Brewing is the latest to provide support for the fermentation science program, which debuted in 2013, joining with co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Kim Jordan to give $1 million to update and renovate crowded facilities. The gift includes $500,000 from Jordan, and the remaining $500,000 will be allocated over five years through New Belgium’s philanthropy program.

Jordan said New Belgium will benefit from expanding its relationship with the University, which dates back to 2008.

“New Belgium Brewing and the entire local brewing community are fortunate to have a world-class educational institution such as Colorado State University here in Fort Collins,” Jordan said. “When I was in school, there was no such thing as a fermentation sciences program. Our industry and the University have both come a long way in a relatively short time, and this investment will help support the next generation of brewers who will create and innovate well into the future.”

The renovated space will be named the New Belgium Fermentation Science and Technology Laboratory and will house analytical, brewing, kitchen, and sensory room space. It is slated for completion in August.

New Belgium’s gift is the third and most significant gift from a Fort Collins brewery in the past year. Last April, Anheuser-Busch donated $250,000 (see p. 6) and in June, Odell Brewing donated $100,000. Jeff Callaway, director of industry reach for the program, said those gifts not only provide needed support for equipment and facilities, they show industry’s commitment to the success of the program.

“This program is intended to be a resource for the entire brewing industry, and the fact that we have gifts from numerous sources shows that we are engaging industry and working to create a program that is relevant,” Callaway said. “When a student graduates from this program they will absolutely be prepared for
a career in the industry.”

Callaway said 76 students are majoring in fermentation science – more than twice the number expected at this point, just four semesters since the program’s inception. The New Belgium gift will help the entire fermentation program, which educates students in the science and art of fermenting beverages and foods, such as bread, meats, and cheeses.

The New Belgium gift will support the beer-making side of the program, Callaway said, freeing funds to expand and renovate the food fermentation branch of the research.

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