Oskar Blues Brewery Establishes Endowed Brewing Fellowship at Auburn University


Longmont, CO, and Brevard, NC — Oskar Blues is excited to announce a new endowed fellowship award to benefit students in the Brewing Sciences and Operations certificate program at Auburn University.

The brewery, founded by Auburn alumnus Dale Katechis, has partnered with the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management in the College of Human Sciences, as well as the colleges of veterinary medicine, business and agriculture, to offer the graduate-level program, which started in the fall of 2014 with 20 students.

Courses are offered online through distance education; however, students visit the Oskar Blues facilities in Brevard or Longmont for hands-on training during the course of the program.

“It’s been fun getting rootsy–working with the folks in the place where I brewed my first batch of home brew,” says Dale. “Getting this program rolling has been a ton of fun, and helping students get into the program and get hands on with Oskar Blues is what we’re all about.”

Dale’s first home brew was first brewed in a bathtub during his time at Auburn. Dale’s dad and older brother also matriculated at Auburn, and his family’s roots reach deep in the red clay of Alabama.

The newly-created endowment will provide financial assistance to students who are enrolled in the Auburn University Graduate School and have been accepted into the brewing science program.

Students enrolled in the program have already earned a bachelor’s degree and are seeking entry into the malting, brewing and/or distilling industries. The Auburn program is the first of its kind in the Southeast.

“Our program was developed as a direct response to the fast-paced growth and interest in craft brewing within the Southeast and nationally,” says Martin O’Neill, head of the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management. “At a time when new business start-ups were flooding onto the market, there was a distinct lack of educational opportunity to advance brewing know-how. In partnership with Oskar Blues, Auburn’s program seeks to provide interested parties with a laser-focused and much more applied educational development opportunity.”

Graduates of Auburn’s program will be eligible to sit for the Institute of Brewing and Distilling’s (IBD) General Certificate/Diploma of Brewing examinations. Located in the United Kingdom, the IBD is the world’s leading organization dedicated to the education and training needs of brewers and distillers.

“Auburn has enjoyed partnering with Oskar Blues, who epitomize the best in industry practice when it comes to the world of craft brewing,” added O’Neill. “Over the years, Oskar Blues has thrown its full weight behind the further development of Auburn’s program ensuring both its acceptance and relevance by the wider brewing community.”

Its initiatives include student and faculty development through practical immersion in the Oskar Blues business environment, real time access to Oskar Blues personnel and facilities, as well as their presence on campus with the program’s annual Oskar Blues-sponsored tailgate. The tailgate is held each year on a home football Saturday and will coincide with the announcement of the first Oskar Blues Brewery fellowship recipient.

Dale Katechis will be honored later this year during the 2015 Hospitality Gala, the annual benefit for the Hotel and Restaurant Management program at Auburn, with the Horst Schulze Star of the Hospitality Industry Award.

Oskar Blues has been actively involved in a number of college-level beer education programs, and at least 30 students who have attended brewing programs at Oskar Blues partner colleges have been hired into the brewing industry.

About Oskar Blues Brewery:

Founded as a funky little brewpub by Dale Katechis in 1997, Oskar Blues Brewery launched the craft beer-in-a-can apocalypse in 2002, using a tabletop machine that sealed one can at a time. In 2008, the makers of the top-selling pale ale in ColoRADo, Dale’s Pale Ale, added a brewery in Longmont, ColoRADo. The brewery has since experienced explosive growth-from packaging 59,000 barrels of beer in 2011 to 149,000 barrels in 2014. In December 2012, Oskar Blues opened the doors to an expansion brewery in Brevard, North Carolina. Oskar Blues has continued craft can innovation by releasing OLD CHUB NITRO as the first American NITRO craft beer-in-a-can and introducing the CROWLER as a canned off-premise growler alternative. The innovative, original canned craft brewery now distributes trail-blazing craft brews to 42 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., as well as parts of Canada, Sweden, Norway and the U.K. For more information and social media, visit http://www.oskarblues.com.