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College Names Brewing Lab To Honor Charlie Papazian

Student working in brewery
Scott Grossman

Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) will soon begin construction of the Charlie Papazian Brewing Education Lab. The lab is named in honor of Charlie Papazian, the retired founder of the American Homebrewers Association, the Great American Beer Festival and the Brewers Association. Papazian is recognized as the Godfather of homebrewing and the resulting craft beer industry.

Lab Continues Papazian’s Mission

The new lab will expand the resources available to students in MSU Denver’s Brewery Operations Program. The program, inaugurated in 2015, was one of the first of its kind in the country, combining brewing experience with operations knowledge. It has prepared hundreds of students for success in Colorado’s expansive brewing industry and beyond.

Charlie Papazian
Photo courtesy of the Brewers Association

“I’ve been a teacher and educator my entire adult life, from teaching preschool through 4th grade and showing adults how to homebrew to launching the American Homebrewers Association and the Brewers Association,” says Papazian. “The original mission of those two organizations was educational, to make beer knowledge accessible to all. So the lab continues the flow of my life’s work, and it’s very fitting and exciting for me.”

Lab Provides Real-World Learning

Built into MSU Denver’s Hospitality Learning Center, the facility will feature a 3.5 barrel commercial brewing system and provide real-world experience to students. “Now students will learn to brew on a true commercial-scale brewery, so they will be much better prepared for a brewery job,” says Bernardo Alatorre, lecturer and interim director of the Brewery Operations Program.

Alatorre said the new lab will provide students with practical experience in all facets of brewing, from procuring ingredients and costing recipes to yeast management and fermentation control.

The Brewery Operations Program is part of MSU Denver’s School of Hospitality. It blends the art and science of brewing beer with hospitality knowledge and operational skills. Because of its downtown location, students can engage with more than 40 breweries, restaurants, distributors and hotels located near the central Denver campus.

Crowdfunding Campaign Helps Fund Lab

MSU Denver is soliciting bids for the nearly 1,500 square-foot lab this summer. The university has launched a crowdfunding campaign enabling people in the beer industry, craft beer lovers and homebrewers to help fund the lab. It is scheduled for completion in 2023.

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