Recognizing craft beer’s importance to the hospitality industry—the beverage is on a surge, with U.S. consumption growing in double digits for three consecutive years—the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) is partnering with Brooklyn Brewery, one of America's top craft beer makers, to develop a small brewery on its Hyde Park, New York campus.
The partnership is two-fold. A fully operational brewery will be open for tours and tastings for campus visitors and students 21 years and older, while also serving as a research and development classroom to create and test new beer flavors. It will be located in the college’s new student union and dining facility, currently under construction. The brewery will house a seven-barrel brewing system within a glass-walled environment, evoking an old Brooklyn warehouse.
Expected to open to the public in summer 2015, the Brooklyn Brewery at CIA will initially offer its own lager and pilsner, along with seasonal brews, on tap at the brewery and at the four CIA restaurants on campus.
Additionally, juniors and seniors pursuing a concentration in Advanced Wine, Beverage, and Hospitality will staff the brewery and learn about fermentation and brewing techniques, along with the business aspects of running a small food and beverage operation.
Brooklyn Brewery's famed Brewmaster Garrett Oliver and his team are helping CIA staff to develop curriculum and recipes, and plan to visit the Hyde Park campus regularly.
"Brooklyn Brewery has worked with the college for more than two decades on beer and food promotions, and special dinners. We are pleased to be able to make this gift to the CIA campus, and look forward to helping further develop beer education at Hyde Park,” says Steve Hindy, Brooklyn Brewery co-founder and chairman.
Collaborating with culinary experts is nothing new for the brewery, which boasts its own house chef—Chef Andrew Gerson—and participates in food and beer events on a regular basis.
Founded by 1988 by Hindy and Tom Potter, Brooklyn Brewery was one of the early players in the current craft beer boom. It doubled its overall capacity in 2012 and quintupled it in 2013. Its beers are currently distributed in 25 states and 20 countries, making it one of the largest exporters of American craft beer.
The market itself is expanding at an unprecedented rate. At the end of 2013, reports the Brewers Association, the number of breweries grew by 400 from 2012, reaching 2,722—the highest number since the early 1870’s. Ninety-eight percent of these breweries are small and independent craft beer producers.
By Joann Whitcher