If someone’s going to school for a degree in beer, we think their education can’t be complete without thorough schooling on the micro-canning segment we created. So we’ve donated a canning system to the growing Beer Industry Program at Metropolitan State University of Denver, in Colorado. Our Micro-Automated Canning System (mACS) will serve to educate the program’s students on the packaging, environmental, and freshness-keeping benefits of canned craft beer.
“The MSU Denver Beer Industry Program,” says Cask founder Peter Love, “helps aspiring members of the brewing trade learn about the best practices a brewery can employ. It was important to us that these women and men get firsthand experience with the best package there is for a delicious craft beer: the aluminum can.”
The MSU Denver brewing program (a branch of the school’s innovative School of Hospitality, Events and Tourism) offers several degree and non-degree options. It blends the art and science of brewing beer with the hospitality knowledge and operational skills sought by the beer and brewing industries.
“The Cask canning line will be a true difference maker for both MSU Denver and the beer industry as a whole,” says Scott Kerkmans, instructor and director of MSU Denver’s Beer Industry Program. “Our students are the next generation of brewery leaders, and now they can learn about micro-canning on equipment ideally suited for small and medium-sized breweries. They can apply that knowledge while interning during school and working after graduation.”
“When we toured the school’s beer lab,” Love says, “we were blown away by the caliber of the testing equipment and the sophistication of the staff. We love that MSU Denver students will get quality control and testing experience way beyond what they could get in a typical craft brewery, and our micro-canning gear and cans will be put through that same rigorous testing and scrutiny.”
Better still, our mACS donation will also provide valuable funding for the beer program. Tivoli Brewing Company, located in the school’s Tivoli Student Union, is adding cans to its packaging lineup and will host the mACS in its brewery. Tivoli will pay the university for use of the machine (at market rate) as if employing a mobile canning service. Students will receive training from Tivoli Brewing staff on the canning operation and get firsthand experience with brewing, packaging, and distribution.
“We’re delighted to get some of our beer into cans and help take the Cask and MSU Denver partnership to the next level,” says Ken Hehir, Tivoli Brewing Co. president and CEO. “While the canning line could have gone in a classroom or lab, instead it will be in a fully operational craft brewery. So it’ll provide revenue to the beer program and real-world brewery experience to students.”
The school’s students and the Tivoli Brewing team will now reap the benefits that so many other brewers and breweries have gained with hands-on-cans experience. The new January 2019 report from the Brewers Association (Boulder, CO), reports that canned craft beer sales have been outpacing bottles since 2012, and today a whopping 40% of US packaged craft beer is in cans. The survey concluded that while “bottles remain the majority of craft beer packaging, craft continued to see share shift toward cans.”
MSU’s Beer Industry Program is especially comprehensive. It includes courses in a range of topics — chemistry, biology, management, hospitality, marketing and others — that are valuable in the beer trade. Students can earn Bachelor of Science degrees with a major in Brewery Operations or Craft Brewing and Pub Operations, or a minor or certificate in Brewery Operations.
Situated in downtown Denver on the Auraria Campus, the University’s central location within Colorado and the nation offers students access to a considerable number of experiential learning opportunities. Students often engage with breweries, restaurants, distributors and hotels located within a few miles of the campus. Learn more about this trail-blazing beer program at https://msudenver.edu/beer/.