Commemorative beer brings colleges, community together

Students and Doug Odell harvest hops
Kimberly Mashek, left, an MBA student in the College of Business, helps to harvest hydroponically grown hops for the college's 50th anniversary beer alongside Doug Odell, co-founder of Odell Brewing Company, on August 17, 2016.

Stalwart Golden Ale. That’s the name of the recently debuted brew built from the ground up by business and fermentation science students on Odell Brewing Company’s new pilot system.

The College of Business led the collaborative effort to celebrate its 50th anniversary and to thank the thousands of alumni who have contributed to the success of the college. Students and graduates from colleges across Colorado State University were also invited to submit their ideas for a name, label design, and idea behind the concept.

Abby Lawson’s striking illustration incorporating the Rocky Mountains, Aggies A, and a proud ram, bubbled to the top. The 2011 CSU graduate studied graphic design and works as a web designer in Denver, bringing her strong sense of aesthetics to the project.

“Going to school at CSU I’ve always loved Odell’s, and all of the breweries in Fort Collins, so I was really excited to try it out,” said Abby, who heard about the contest from a friend in the College of Business.

From hop harvest to tap room

Abby spent hours researching the label style and estimates it took around 15 hours from start to finish to complete the design. While she was working on the project, Abby looked forward to getting off work with a little extra anticipation so she could go home and make progress on the illustration.

So hearing the news that her design won the contest, and become a part of the group’s effort, was a thrill.

“I’ve seen a lot of collaboration with CSU and other Fort Collins establishments and companies and I think it just shows that small town feel that Fort Collins can have,” said Abby.

Abby Lawson, beer design winner
Abby Lawson designed the College of Business' winning beer label, picking a name and detailing the idea behind the concept with help from her husband, Thomas Lawson.

“Having all the disciplines work together makes a more rounded product and it makes it a little bit more fun,” Abby added with a laugh.

Kimberley Mashek, a College of Business MBA student, was one of the project members, helping to brew and pick out the 100% Colorado-sourced ingredients that ended up in the ale.

“Everybody I know loves beer,” Kimberley said. “If it’s coming from a place where you went to school and got your degree, whether it be an undergrad or graduate program, that just makes you excited.”

The four finalists in the competition were tested by Nielsen, a market research company, against established brands. All of the designs scored high marks for their unique approaches, with some outperforming traditional companies.

The finalists also included: Jackie and Katie O’Hara (Rockwell’s Golden Laurel – A Celebration Ale); Bryce Kelley, Joe Menaugh, and Jeff Riley (Stalwart Anniversary Ale); and Greg and Katie Ewing (Jubilee Golden Ale).

Stalwart Golden Ale will soon to be available at Odell Brewing’s Tap Room and CSU’s Ramskeller Pub. The first tastings will take place at the College of Business’ 50th Birthday Bash on Oct. 8 during CSU’s Homecoming and Family Weekend.