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Microbrewing course offered through Continuing Education

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Beer is a favorite drink for many collegians, and for some of them, the taste of locally made microbrews is irresistible. 

Some of those who prefer the taste of local microbrews would like to learn how such beer is made or even how to make it themselves.

In 2009, the craft brewing industry grew by 7.2 percent by volume at the same time that overall beer sales were down 2.2 percent, according to the Brewers Association. 

Growth of local microbreweries has increased to 1,595 in 2009, which is more than were operating before Prohibition, according to the Web site of the Brewers Association.

Brewers Association members are craft brewing industry brewers whose aim is to introduce more Americans to the taste of beers made at small breweries.

For them, CSU-Pueblo’s Continuing Education program and its Zymurgy Institute 3.0, may be the way to go. 

Photo courtesy of Microsoft Office clip art

Zymurgy is defined by Collins English Dictionary as “the branch of applied chemistry that deals with fermentation processes, as in brewing beer.”

Zymurgy Institute 3.0 is a 10-week course taught by university scholars and industry experts at the Bristol Brewing Company in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Topics for the fall class, which is full and already under way, are beer marketing, the microbiology of beer, Saisons, brewing yeast and fermentation, barley and malting, beer styles, tasting basics and brewing for the man. 

In addition to Ian Brennan, professor of marketing, course presenters are from Colorado Springs microbrewers:  the Bristol Brewing Company; Trinity Brewing Company; and Rock Bottom Restaurants, Inc.

Bristol Brewing Company Microbiologist Ken Andrews gave the Sept. 28 course lecture on the microbiology of beer.

He described how the various roasting specialties of grains mixed at specific temperatures of water create different beer specialties. 

Class members included employees at Trinity Brewing Company, another Colorado Springs microbrewery and other microbrew enthusiasts.  Part of the allure of these classes is found in the collaboration that occurs among the local microbrewers, according to one attendee, Randy Ruebsamen.

Ruebsamen, who works at Bristol Brewing Company, said he is impressed with how the smaller brewers work together and share ideas about the brewing business. 

He said the microbrewing business is more like a family, unlike the picture framing business he owned, and in which  he and his competitors never shared ideas of what worked or what didn’t.

One of Bristol Brewing Company’s specialty beers, Laughing Lab Scottish Ale, just won a bronze medal in the Scottish-style ale category at the Great American Beer Festival held Sept. 16 to 18 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colo. 

GABF is a growing event that includes public tasting and private judging.  This year 3,594 different beers were judged in 79 categories within three styles: hybrid/mixed styles, lager beer styles and ale beer styles. That is a 9 percent  increase from 3,308 in 2009, according to information on their website.  

CSU-Pueblo’s Continuing Education Dean James Malm said The Zymurgy Institute 3.0 course is an opportunity to let the community know more about the university.  He said it shows that CSU-Pueblo does much more than offer courses on a campus in a single location.

Topics for the spring course are beer festivals, brewing and business, biotechnology of beer, beer economics, brew dogs of Colorado and the medical physiology of beer. 

Registrations are being taken for the Zymurgy Institute 3.0 spring session, which starts Feb. 14, at http://coned.colostate-pueblo.edu/NonCredit/Documents/CSUPueblo_Zymurgy3.pdf