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Press Release

MSU Denver taps Tivoli Brewing Company’s new facility for hands-on beer industry education

Curriculum expands in anticipation of on-campus brewery and tap house opening Aug. 22

Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: August 17, 2015

DENVER – Metropolitan State University of Denver has added four new beer courses for fall 2015 and named a new faculty coordinator for its growing Beer Industry Operations program to facilitate a real-world, hands-on educational experience, including use of Tivoli Brewing Company’s new $7 million campus operation.  

New classes begin today, and include Brewery Operations, Fermentation Science, Beverage Sales and Marketing, and Cooking with Beer. Instructor Scott Kerkmans is the new coordinator of the Beer Industry Program within the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events. As a former brewer at Alaska Brewing and one of the first five Certified Cicerones in the world, Kerkmans is a leading professional educator for beer distributors, retailers and brewers.

A unique aspect of the program is students will learn all elements of beer industry operations and management in a historic facility that has the brewing capacity to be among the top 20 craft breweries in the state. The Tivoli Brewery will be the first full production brewery in the country on a college campus. In 2012, a group of native Coloradans formed the Tivoli Distributing Company and ending the 43-year hiatus and once again began brewing Tivoli beer after more than 100 years as one of the largest breweries in the state.

To celebrate, a grand opening of the Tivoli Brewery and Tap House is scheduled on Aug. 22 at 4 p.m. in the historic Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria Campus. The brewery and academic program will add to the economic impact of the industry in Colorado, already valued at more than $10.3 billion and employing more than 24,000, according to a recent report by the Beer Institute.

“Our faculty’s rapid response to industry need, including the Tivoli Brewing Company, in creating new curriculum demonstrates MSU Denver’s impact on Colorado’s workforce,” said MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan.

For more than 14 years, MSU Denver’s Hospitality, Tourism and Events program has been teaching students the fundamentals of beverage management with a special emphasis in service integration within restaurant and hotel environments. A foundational class, Beer and Spirits, teaches students the major categories of beer including the practical brewing and sensory analysis of beer styles. Students can earn major degrees in Brewery Operations and Brewpub Operations as well as a minor or certificate.

To complement classroom instruction, students previously utilized the Gold Medal winning Blue Moon Brewing facilities, located in the Sandlot Brewery at Coors Field, to experience first-hand all phases of the brewing process. Now with the opening of Tivoli Brewing Company on campus, the program will shift higher-level course experiences to Tivoli’s campus operation. The foundation Beer and Spirits course will also work with Rising Sun Distillery and Strange Craft Brewing Company for additional experiential education, since both facilities are within walking distance from campus.

“When we considered pursuing this endeavor, we saw the educational opportunities it would create for students, current employees and craft brewers as a whole and we knew it was a win-win for all those involved,” said Corey Marshall, founder and chief executive officer for Tivoli Brewing Company. “Educational opportunities for students will go beyond just brewing to all aspects of the operation from restaurant management, distribution, sales, marketing, packaging, quality control and business operations.” 

Tivoli Brewing Company has already hired students in roles such as certified beer server, brewer’s assistant and restaurant service.



About Metropolitan State University of Denver

For 50 years Metropolitan State University of Denver has transformed the lives of students, served as a courageous leader in higher education and boldly advanced the well-being of metro Denver communities. Throughout its history, the University has been known as a gateway to opportunity through broad access, quality academics and education relevant to the Colorado economy. The yearlong MSU Denver anniversary celebration commemorates the creation in 1965 by the Colorado General Assembly of the state’s first urban higher education institution.


About Tivoli Brewing Company

The story of Tivoli began with the formation of Denver and the settling of the Colorado Territory in 1861. Soon after gold was discovered in Colorado in July 1858, German settlers arrived and began brewing beer. The first two breweries were the Rocky Mountain Brewery and Sigi’s Brewery that evolved into Tivoli Brewery in 1900. By the 1950s, the brewery became one of the largest in the country and continued to thrive before ultimately facing hardship from the Platte River Flood in 1965 and labor strike one year later. Sadly, in April 1969, the Tivoli Brewery Company closed, ending the nation’s second oldest continuously operating brewery. In 2012, a group of native Coloradans formed the Tivoli Distributing Company and Tivoli Beer was reborn. The first batch, a re-creation of the historic Tivoli Beer recipe, entered the brew kettle on Aug. 1, 2012, and Denver-area businesses began selling it for the first time in more than 43 years. Without a retail home, the new company spent $7 million to renovate a portion of the beer’s birthplace in what is now the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria Campus in Denver. A new Tivoli craft brewery will reopen on Aug. 22, 2015, as a full-scale production brewery, restaurant and tap house. 

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