New Belgium Brewing will gift $1 million to Colorado State University to renovate the facilities that host the school’s fermentation science and technology program, the brewery announced this afternoon.
Kim Jordan, New Belgium’s CEO, will herself give $500,000 to the school, per a statement from the company. The remaining half million dollars will be allocated over five years through the brewery’s philanthropy arm.
The money will go towards updating a facility on campus to include analytical, brewing, kitchen and sensory room space. The project, which is to be named the New Belgium Fermentation Science and Technology Laboratory, is expected to be complete by this August.
“We’ve had a great relationship with the university over the years and it’s personally meaningful to me to be able to give something back,” said Jordan in a press statement. “Craft brewing has afforded opportunity to more than 100,000 people working in our industry and it’s important to support the next generation of brewers who will take us into the future.”
The Brewers Association recently ranked New Belgium as the fourth-largest craft brewery by sales volume. The company sold 945,367 barrels in 2014.
Colorado State began offering a brewing science and technology course back in 2005 and subsequently launched the fermentation science and technology undergraduate degree program in 2013. There are currently 76 students enrolled in the program, according to the school, more than twice the number expected after just four semesters.
New Belgium — which shares a hometown in Fort Collins, Colo. with the university — has been involved with the program in the past by making people available to give guest lectures and providing expertise to the school and its students, according to the release.
“A partnership like this has strengthened our academic program by allowing our students to interact with individuals who are directly involved in the industry,” added Mike Pagliassotti, the head of the school’s department of food science and human nutrition. “Partnerships such as these allow us to build a program that both the university and industry will be proud of, and it will ensure that we train our students appropriately and in a manner that makes them competitive for post-graduate employment.”
New Belgium isn’t the first area brewery to make a sizeable donation to the university. According to CSU, Anheuser-Busch, which also operates a brewery in Fort Collins, donated $250,000 to the school last April. In June, another local brewery, Odell Brewing, gifted $100,000.