Oskar Blues Brewery teams up with Auburn University to found Brewing Science program

Oskar Blues Brewery and Auburn University have forged a historic partnership to create a new graduate-level certificate in Brewing Science and Operations. Dale Katechis, founder of Oskar Blues, is a legacy alumnus of Auburn. Dale, his dad, and his older brother all matriculated at the Alabama university.

“It feels really special to be creating this brewing science program in the place where I brewed my first batch of home brew,” Dale said. “It’s like coming home.” Dale’s first ever beer, which would eventually become the award-winning, best-selling Dale’s Pale Ale, was brewed in a bathtub during his time at Auburn.

Martin O’Neill, head of the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management in the College of Human Sciences, expects the university and state to benefit greatly from addressing the popularity of craft brewing across the Southeast and the country.

“The interest in craft brewing is exploding right now, much like the wine industry,” he said. “Tourism is even being linked to beer breweries because of a growing demand for better beer by a better traveled public.”

According to the Brewer’s Association, craft brewers provide more than 100,000 jobs in the U.S. and the industry is growing by double digits each year.

Up until now, students and professionals interested in learning about the science of brewing and best operations had to travel to California, Chicago or overseas.

“Our program is designed to provide people, who already have a bachelor’s degree and an interest in brewing, with the necessary educational background to develop their skill base and upon graduation, to sit for the professional certification exams with the industry’s lead certification agency, the Institute of Brewing and Distilling,” Martin said.

The new program is a collaborative effort between the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management and the colleges of veterinary medicine, business, and agriculture at Auburn. Courses cover topics such as soils, malting, mashing, fermentation, brewing, business and beverages.

While courses are offered entirely online, Martin said teaming up with one of the nation’s leading craft breweries will bridge the gap between traditional online learning and the real world of brewing. Noah Tuttle, head brewer at Oskar Blues North Carolina brewery, is helping develop the brew science teaching team curriculum. “We want to offer the practical, hands-on side of brewing. They need real experienced brewers to make the program successful,” he said. “Part of the plan will be to offer students a three-day intensive training at the brewery.”

The doors of Oskar Blues will be open always in order to expose students to best brewing practices, as well as to the brewery’s unique and innovative business approach.

Since January 2013, Oskar Blues Brewery has partnered with Blue Ridge Community College on a series of brewing courses that include extensive hands-on in-brewery learning, and cover all aspects of the business. Five current employees of the brewery were hired after completing one of the Blue Ridge Brew School classes.

The idea behind the brewing certificate at Auburn isn’t to promote craft brewing among undergraduates – in fact they can’t even enroll in the courses – but Martin said it’s rather to teachcommercial beer brewers and others interested in joining the growing business sector how to develop higher quality products and how to market and distribute them successfully.

The course will be ready to roll out by the fall of 2014.

“When I look five years down the road, I see this as the premiere brewing school in the nation,” Noah said.

Dale and Noah are visiting Auburn this week for the first home game of the season. Here’s what they’ll be up to:



Join the Oskar Blues crew on Friday at The Hound from 7 to 9 p.m. for 19.2 stovepipe cans of Dale’s Pale Ale and Mama’s Little Yella Pils on the patio and several OB drafts at the main bar.



Dale and the Oskar Blues crew will be tailgating under Oskar Blues tents next to Spidle Hall on Mell St. They’ll be cooking up beer can chicken and handing out Oskar Blues swag.

198 Percent Three-Year Growth Lands Oskar Blues Brewery on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies List

From 2010 to 2012 Oskar Blues Brewery,  the Funky little brew-pub that has grown to Colorado’s second largest craft brewery and leader of the canned craft beer revolution, underwent an explosive 198 percent growth, landing them on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list for the fourth year.

The 2008 addition of a 35,000-square-foot brewing facility in Longmont, CO and continual infrastructure improvements fueled the brewery’s growth in existing markets, until 2012, at which time the makers of Dale’s Pale Ale expanded distribution for the first time in four years to include Ohio, Illinois, Alabama and Kentucky.  The brewery more than doubled barrelage production during the three year span jumping from 42,000 barrels in 2010 to 85,750 barrels at the close of 2012.

Innovation put the folks at Oskar Blues on the map in 2002 when they defied the status quo by canning their voluminously hopped Dale’s Pale Ale instead of bottling it. Cans keep beer fresher, longer by eliminating light & oxygen while being infinitely recyclable & portable.  During the Inc. 5000 award timeframe (2010 – 2012) the brewery has continued to push the boundaries of canning options by canning two of their complex and challenging beers, Deviant Dale’s IPA & G’Knight Imperial Red IPA,  in 16 ounce “tall boy” cans.  In October of 2012 the brewery introduced America’s first 19.2 ounce can of craft beer into the single-serve bomber market.

Oskar Blues Brewery continues to experience explosive growth, kicking off brewing operations in December of 2012 at the craft brewer’s second location in Brevard, NC. The North Carolina location is on pace to hit 50,000 barrels in its first year while the brewery is on pace to produce 125,000 to 130,000 barrels overall in 2013.

New Belgium enters Ohio in December; new packaging for 2014

New Belgium Brewing will reveal a whole new look and feel in 2014 with a portfolio-wide packaging refresh due to hit markets in January. The new design reimagines New Belgium’s iconic and playful watercolor imagery from the past 22 years through a modern lens. The artwork will progress many of the themes celebrated in New Belgium’s labels over the years, which have been hand-painted by founder Kim Jordan’s neighbor, Ann Fitch, since the brewery’s beginnings.

“This colorful, handcrafted look has been with us since our inception and the new design brings the portfolio together in a fresh and contemporary way,” said New Belgium’s Strategic Marketing and Branding Director, Josh Holmstrom. “We feel these designs will delight our long time fans while also inviting new folks into the fold.”

The new design, created by Hatch Design of San Francisco, featuring illustration by artist Leah Giberson, will appear on all brands and packages. The only place to officially see the redesigned labels as they are revealed is in the Exclusive Content section of New Belgium’s mobile app. Users can download the app for free by searching “Beer Mode” in the App Store or Google Play.

And in news that makes this beer drinker very happy, Ohio beer drinkers will get an early firsthand look at the new artwork when New Belgium opens that market in December 2013. New Belgium’s appearance in Ohio is long overdue and I am looking forward to being able to pick it up locally rather than make a pilgrimage to neighboring states!

Oskar Blues set to release Ten-Fidy Imperial Stout brewed in new North Carolina facility

ten-fidy-1Oskar Blues is pumped to announce the release of the first batch of the award-winning Ten FIDY Imperial Stout from the East Coast brewery. This much-anticipated seasonal brew is now fermenting in the tanks at both the ColoRADo and NC locations. It’ll be released at parties at both Tasty Weasel Tap Rooms and distributed to all 32 states where Oskar Blues is sold.

Less than nine months after the first North Carolina brew bubbled, the brewers have recreated all seven of Oskar Blues’ regular line-up of beers, finishing with the much-anticipated, highly-coveted Ten FIDY (10.5 percent ABV).

This supremely full-bodied seasonal, that has bulldozed beer connoisseurs, will be available at your favorite watering hole or retailer earlier than ever  this year—in September—thanks, in part, to the new(ish) brewery. Following the successful release of our spring seasonal, GUBNA, the FIDY will be available until February 2014 (or until it sells out), making it a perfect holiday gift beer. Stay tuned, as Oskar Blues plans to brew up a brand new seasonal in 2014 to be sold between the GUBNA and Ten FIDY releases!


The Brevard Ten FIDY release party takes place on Thursday, August 29, 2013, at the NC Tasty Weasel. Come taste thefirst NC FIDY, plus another special Ten FIDY tap. The night includes a chili cook-off with brewery judges (bring extra chili to share), music from This Mountain, a rockin’ folk band from East Tennessee, Ten FIDY corn hole, and special T-shirts featuring the “First in FIDY” license plate.

Western North Carolinians who visit the brewery will be among the lucky first tasters of this uniquely crafted brew, with its inimitable flavors of chocolate-covered caramel and coffee that hide the hefty 98 IBUs underneath a smooth blanket of malt.

The Longmont Ten FIDY release party will happen on Friday, August 30, 2013, at the ColoRADo Tasty Weasel Tap Room. The night’s offerings will feature a vertical tasting of FIDY from years past, plus a barrel-aged FIDY, a firkin of FIDY Pale, and a Nitro Smidy. Because if its hefty ABV, FIDY is uniquely cellarable and gets bought up and stored by beer geeks nationwide. The nectar becomes even more smooth with age.

An Asheville Ten FIDY release party will take place at Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria on Tuesday, September 3, 2013. Keep an eye out for other bars and restaurants celebrating the return of this boundary-busting brew.

Oskar Blues’ Ten FIDY has been showered with accolades that almost stand up to the size of this behemoth-in-a-can, including:

  • “The biggest, baddest, boldest beer in a can” from Celebrator Beer News
  • “2008 Beer of the Year” The Denver Post
  • “100 Rating” – Ratebeer.com
  • “A-Rating” – Beeradvocate.com
  • Gold Medal – 2010 and 2012 World Beer Championships
  • “Top 51 Beers” – 2011 Beer Magazine

Ten FIDY is a super-strong beer that takes strength to make. This brew is made with an enormous amount of two-row malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, flaked oats and hops. Ten FIDY’s nearly 5000-pound grain bill is just short of 50 percent specialty malts, which are packaged in 55-lb bags and loaded into the mills by hand. The many bags of oats are poured directly into the mash tuns. The oats and rice hulls have to be lugged up 20-odd stairs to the top of the brew-decks.

“Brewing Ten FIDY is unlike any of the other beers we make. We have to mash-in two batches just to get one kettle filled because we only take the most concentrated wort from each mash. It’s a very time consuming and labor intensive process. This is part of how we make Ten FIDY so unique, rich, and complex,” says Brevard head brewer Noah Tuttle.

Ten FIDY is packaged in 12-ounce CANS and sold in 4-pack carriers, as well as on draft at craft beer retailers, growler fill shops, restaurant, bars and more.







Watch Oskar Blues Brewery’s new video HERE via YouTube.

New Belgium Gives the Traditional Pumpkin Beer a Kick

Pumpkick_Bottle 3Adding the unexpected kick of cranberries gives New Belgium Brewing’s 2013 fall seasonal the kick it needs to take the traditional out of this pumpkin beer. Pumpkick Ale is brewed with plenty of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, but it is the healthy dose of cranberries that will have you sipping for more.

The aroma is full of spicy pumpkin, with a hint of cranberry and even lemongrass – another unexpected, but delicious addition to the beer. New Belgium added some oats to cream up the mouthfeel and the finish is quick and dry.

This fruity and malty sweet beer is complex, but not overwhelming and has a hefty dose of crisp tartness, making it a great complement to pumpkin pie this fall. It pours a rosy orange glow with light haze and cream-colored foam. Pumpkick is 6% ABV and 18 IBUs.

“Tis the season for baked goods, so why fight it, just pair it,” said New Belgium’s Master Blender and Sensory Specialist, Lauren Salazar. “The cranberries absolutely make a difference in this beer and is another great example of how we’ve used our Belgian roots to give a traditional style a different dimension.”

To find out if Pumpkick is sold near you, use the New Belgium Libation Location tool: http://www.newbelgium.com/beer.aspx. Pricing varies by location. You can also follow New Belgium on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/newbelgium and Twitter @NewBelgium.