Story and photo by David Baker
A visit to Oregon State University’s fermentation science pilot plant will engage all of your senses. You’ll confront an array stainless steel tanks, a chorus of exhaust fans and the scent of baking bread blended with steaming clouds from boiling brewer’s wort. It’s no surprise that Jeb Hollabaugh vividly recalls his first visit as a high school freshman on an FFA outing.
And given Hollabaugh’s interests, it’s not surprising to find him nine years later graduating with a degree in Food Science and Technology from that same program. “I knew I wanted to do something in science, and I love food and cooking anyway, so that was a big moment for me,” Hollabaugh says of his first visit. “Fermentation Science combined everything I love: it’s an art and a science.”
The Right Fit
The pilot plant and brewery in OSU’s Wiegand Hall would become a second home for Hollabaugh, where he’s spent four years studying, conducting research and working as brewmaster for the Food and Fermentation Science Club.