Oregon State University Research Breweries – A Rich History, A Future of Leadership

The global landscape for the brewing industry is in flux and so is the business of training new brewers and solving the industry’s technical problems. We train the industry’s future brewers and prepare them to enter both large-scale and craft brewing companies. Our industry-relevant research, R&D work for commercial breweries in our research pilot breweries, and professional and continuing education have helped us garner our reputation in the U.S. and abroad. Students from our top-tier program graduate with deep knowledge of brewing science and extensive practical experience in the pilot breweries; many students enter esteemed positions as leaders in the industry.

OSU has elevated its program to be one of the preeminent programs in the country and world. Recent investment of ~$1.5M from industry partners, CAS, FST, Shellhammer/Clawson helped modernize and upgrade equipment in the existing OSU teaching/research brewhouse and cellar. This transformation has moved us from a rudimentary yet highly flexible brewery with interchangeable equipment to a modernized facility with state-of-the-art equipment that mirrors today’s commercial breweries. This investment further elevates and enriches our graduates’ educational experience and preparation in addressing the current and future complexities in the industry. Tomorrow’s brewers from OSU will have deep knowledge of brewing science through research and hands-on training and will be better prepared as they enter large-scale breweries or microbreweries.

Leaders in Practical Industrial Training

OSU Brewing Science undergraduate students receive instruction across multiple disciplines: chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, physics, and engineering. Our key strength is taking the classroom exercises and transitioning them to “boots-in-the-brewery” practical experiences. The new equipment for brewing – as well as the instrumentation and control systems – will allow students to have regular access to a modern brewery in which they will be able to hone their practical and technical skills. This experiential learning sets OSU Brewing Science education apart from programs at other institutions.

Brewing Related Research Support

There are nine tenure track faculty conducting beer related research at OSU, the breweries supports those working specifically in the area of raw materials, hop chemistry, brewing microbiology, and pharmacy. The breweries are used to help advance new cultivars in the hop and barley breeding arenas, expand our understanding of hop flavor and aroma, discover new applications of microbes, explore new processing technologies, and help industry solve technical problems. Four to six undergraduate employees during the school year are supported with these continuing partnerships, these students tend to be strong leaders in the brewing industry once they graduate.