Simmer down with a brown at CSU’s Odell tapping party

photo of Mersch and West
Andrew Mersch, right, brewing outside of the Gifford Building with food science and nutrition graduate student Andy West.

Students in Colorado State University’s Brewing Science and Technology course are tapping their newest frothy creation at Odell Brewing Company on Thursday: a Northern English style brown ale called Simmer Down Brown.

The beer, brewed through a partnership with Doug Odell, co-owner of Odell Brewing Co., will be offered for the first time at the April 23 tap room celebration from 4 to 6 p.m. The event will feature tastes of the new beer for sale. Odell Brewing Co. is located at 800 E. Lincoln Ave. in Fort Collins.

The brewing class has been offered through the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at CSU since 2005. The goal of the class is to introduce students to the production and quality control aspects of brewing, said Andrew Mersch, a senior in the Fermentation Science and Technology program, and the brewing lab director for the course. As brewing lab director, Mersch is in charge of the products and equipment, as well as assisting in teaching brewing and packaging in the lab.

‘Chill the Floc Out’

“Each year, the students come up with the name for the featured beer, as well as a slogan,” Mersch said. “This year’s slogan, ‘Chill the Floc Out,’ refers to yeast flocculation, which is the process of combining and settling. After fermentation ends, it is necessary to remove the yeast from the beer. We do this by cooling the beer, and the yeast simply flocculates out.”

CSUBrewingTappingPartySimmerDown.jpgMersch said that the first beer of the semester is tested with Doug Odell and then scaled up and brewed at Odell Brewing Co. Doug Odell is a longtime supporter of the brewing class at CSU, lending his expertise and allowing students to brew on a commercial scale in his brewery. He also donated the brewing system currently used at CSU. Last year, co-owners Doug and Wynne Odell along with the Odell Brewing Co. donated $100,000 to support the Fermentation Science and Technology program.

Mersch said that the class consists of not just fermentation science students, but also many from other majors such as chemistry, biomedical sciences and business. This semester’s students learned to brew several different beers and were also able to learn from brewers at Funkwerks and Equinox Brewing. Mersch is back at CSU for a second degree after earning his first degree in 2006 in hospitality management and then working as a chef in Denver. He hopes to have a career in the brewing industry.

Simmer Down Brown will be on tap at Odell Brewing and the Ramskeller in the Lory Student Center for the remainder of the semester or until it is gone.