C.B. & Potts shark auction to benefit fermentation science program

C.B. & Potts is auctioning off the iconic 15-foot shark that hung from the ceiling of its former Campus West location — and the proceeds will benefit the Fermentation Science and Technology Program at Colorado State University.

Potts officials announced the opportunity to “Hook the Shark” at the April 9 grand opening of their new Foothills Mall restaurant and taproom.

The former C.B. & Potts location on West Elizabeth
The former C.B. & Potts location on West Elizabeth

“Since we opened in 1974, we have enjoyed our relationship with CSU,” said Dave Iverson, chief operating officer of C.B. & Potts. “We began brewing 20 years ago in Fort Collins, and since the inception of the Fermentation Science and Technology program, it has been our pleasure to be involved with the development of CSU students pursuing careers in the craft beer Industry. The Potts Shark is iconic in the community, and we are happy to be partnering with this special fundraising initiative.”

Thousands of memories have been made at Potts’ West Elizabeth Street location during its long history, and for the past 22 years, those memories were made under the watchful eye of the huge Potts Shark suspended over Colorado’s tallest bar. The Potts Shark, which wears a No. 22 CSU football jersey, is not making the move to Foothills and will instead go to the highest bidder in an online auction that kicked off Saturday night and continues through April 30.

Potts has been an advocate and supporter of CSU’s Fermentation Science and Technology program since its inception. The program, which originated from a brewing class that began more than a decade ago, includes coursework in beer brewing as well as food fermentation.

Shark graphic“We have worked with C.B. & Potts for many years through our Brewing Science and Technology class, for which they provide tours and help guide students through a sensory evaluation of the first beer they brew,” said Jeffrey Callaway, director of industry outreach for the program. “We want to thank everyone at C.B. & Potts for thinking of the FST program and supporting us in such a creative and fun way.”

Jeff McCubbin, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, where the undergraduate degree program resides, agreed.

“We appreciate the generosity of our friends at C.B. & Potts and the unique opportunity they’ve provided us to generate support for our Fermentation Science and Technology program,” McCubbin said. “It’s been fun to reminisce with alumni about their Potts Shark memories. He’s quite an icon here in Fort Collins.”

The old CSU scoreboard
The old CSU scoreboard

About the shark

The Potts Shark weighs about 250 pounds, is approximately 5 feet wide and is just under 7 feet tall from the top of its dorsal fin to the bottom of its underside fin. In addition to the CSU football jersey, it comes with two winch, cable and pulley systems that allow it to be easily raised and lowered after installation. Potts purchased the movie prop for $5,000 in the early 1990s, and it has become a unique piece of Fort Collins and CSU history that can now be owned by one lucky bidder.

The walls of the new Potts location at Foothills are decorated with many of the pictures and memorabilia from its historic west side location as well as new items representing CSU and the city. A large Fort Collins mural and pictures of CSU greats and special athletic moments adorn the walls of the new 7,800-square-foot restaurant, which includes two patios. Among the memorabilia transferred to the Foothills location is the Colorado A&M football scoreboard from Colorado Field on College Avenue, where the Jack Christiansen track is now located.

Bids for the shark will start at $1,000, and the winning bidder may be eligible for a tax deduction, if the bid is more than the fair market value of $5,000. The winning bidder is responsible for all removal, shipping and transportation costs. For more information or to place a bid, visit CSU2016.gesture.com.

The Fermentation Science and Technology Program is housed in CSU’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.