The Colorado State University Mountain Campus and Odell Brewing in Fort Collins have come together in partnership to celebrate the remote 1,600-acre campus through the creation of a fundraiser that supports various programs and activities hosted at the campus. Mountain Campus IPA is a limited, special-release beer featuring a unique label and brew.
The Mountain Campus is a very distinctive part of the University, a diamond in the rough tucked away in the mountains of the beautiful Pingree Park Valley. The campus provides a platform for cutting-edge research and scholarly endeavors. It is a living and learning experience for CSU students, faculty, and staff, as well as many other groups including local school districts, professional societies, churches, and conference groups. CSU Professor Emeritus Rick Knight, who has taught Natural Resources courses at the Mountain Campus for 12 years, is passionate about the life-changing experiences gained during summer coursework. “It’s been the connection between the academics taught at our main campus and the world of conservation that exists beyond a university boundary.”
Situated at 9,000 feet, the rustic campus has endured many natural disasters and hardships over the years. The past 18 months have been no exception and have proven especially challenging, with the pandemic and wildfires shuttering the campus for the entire 2020 season. But the Mountain Campus as an organization, as a facility, and as a place, is as hardy as its natural environment, according to Mountain Campus Director Seth Webb. It, too, will bounce back.
Cheers to the Mountain Campus
The limited release beer pays homage to the Mountain Campus on several levels. It signifies a tribute to returning to operations, while also celebrating the special place that has helped forge deep connections for all those who work and learn there. The collaborative brew is also helping to raise funds that will help offset costs associated with the campus’ closure and will go toward facility improvements, campus upkeep, scholarships, and curriculum development.
“Through our charitable program, we volunteer with local organizations to rebuild trails and plant new vegetation, but we wanted to do something more, and the idea of brewing a beer to support the CSU Mountain Campus rose to the top,” said Odell Brewing Marketing Manager Adam D’Antonio. Local connections helped to solidify the partnership.
CSU Mountain Campus at-a-glance
- 1,600 acres
- 70 buildings
- 35-40 staff
- 300 resident max. capacity
- 9,053 ft. above sea level
- Open mid-May through mid-Oct.
- 53 miles from Fort Collins
“Our CEO, Eric Smith, is a Fort Collins native and has fond memories of attending Eco Week as a kid at the Mountain Campus,” added D’Antonio. And thus, a local beer was born.
“It’s an innovative approach to fundraising for the Mountain Campus and a fun way for us to celebrate the transformative experiences the campus and valley offer those who spend time studying, visiting, or working there,” reflected Webb. “This is a great example of a CSU and private-sector partnership with one of our most acclaimed local breweries. It doesn’t get any more FoCo than this.”
The brew is truly collaborative, as the Mountain Campus staff contributed to the beer selection and name. “As part of the partnership, we were invited to provide input on the beer recipe and assist with the brewing process, which takes place about three weeks prior to pouring the beer at the taproom,” said Webb. “Odell let us decide on the name, with their approval. In the end, despite having some creative names on our list, we realized that perhaps the best name may be the simplest and the one that puts forth our current branding on a beer label.”
Mountain Campus staff at Odell Brewing: Tess McGinty (left), CSU Mountain Campus assistant director; Joe McGirr, CSU Mountain Campus Dining manager; Byron McAghon, Odell Brewing Co.; Jessica Smolenske, CSU Mountain Campus conference specialist, and Seth Webb, CSU Mountain Campus director.
The production of pilot brews such as this one are typically smaller quantities – about seven barrels, which is equivalent to 14 kegs. Mountain Campus IPA will be available for purchase by the glass in the Odell taproom, as well as in 32-ounce aluminum crowlers (with the Mountain Campus IPA label) to take home and enjoy. A limited amount of the beer will also be available on tap at the Ramskellar in the Lory Student Center.
“We are proud and honored to work with the CSU Mountain Campus on this beer,” said D’Antonio. “We really appreciate and love the work that happens up at the Mountain Campus, and we look forward to watching the area recover in the years to come. In just a few years my kids will go to Eco Week there too.”
Save the date
Check out the new beer and celebrate the Mountain Campus at a fundraising event on Wednesday, Nov. 3 from 4 – 8 p.m. at Odell Brewing (800 E. Lincoln Ave., Fort Collins). This one-time, special event is open to the public, so bring your colleagues, friends, and family to enjoy live music, food truck fare, and camaraderie as we celebrate all things Mountain Campus. Non-alcoholic beverages as well as Odell’s new signature wines will also be available for purchase. A percentage of the proceeds from the Mountain Campus IPA pint and crowler sales will directly benefit the Mountain Campus, as will Mountain Campus merchandise sales at the event.