FORT COLLINS - There was a time when beer was relegated to fraternity houses and off-campus parties in college, but today it's taking center stage in the classroom as the craft beer boom has led to more students looking to get a degree in brewing.
To help educate the next generation of brewers in Fort Collins and beyond, CSU is planning to install a brewery in Lory Student Center's pub called the Ramskeller. The small microbrewery would provide students hands-on training.
CSU's student brewery proposal is rare and has only been done in a few other schools around the country such as the University of California, Davis, Oregon State and the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago.
The CSU beer would not be sold outside the university, but it is possible that it could be served at the bar in the Ramskeller.
The brewery is part of a much larger multi-million dollar renovation to the Lory Student Center that the university is undertaking. After 50 years, Michael Ellis, executive director of the student center, said the center is in need of a facelift.
"What could be better than sitting in the Ramskeller watching brewers at work," Ellis said. "I think it is very unique, and that's what makes it special."
While the CSU brewery would be Fort Collins' 13th brewery, the small, six-barrel system is more of an interactive classroom than a production brewery.
The $65 million construction on the student center begins this summer and will leave space for the brewery. Still, there is no funding in place for the brewing equipment that could cost $500,000, said Ellis. Completion of the brewery is contingent on funding.
The brewery would be located on the west side of what is currently the Ramskeller in the student center. Ellis said the plans call for pushing out the wall to the west, making way for the 1,000 square-foot brewery and 500 square-foot classroom adjacent to the brewing equipment. The brewery would have a glass wall between it and the Ramskeller.
There are plans for two, three-barrel systems that students would use several times during the semester.
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