OSU Produces Mighty Fine Brew(ers)

Students Alex Jones and Rachel Hotcho test beer for bitterness

Story Kevin Miller | Photos Hannah O'Leary | Oregon Stater, Spring 2014Professor Tom Shellhammer and student Victoria Chaplin measure carbon dioxide and other gases in packaged beer
In the hallway outside Tom Shellhammer’s office in Wiegand Hall, clues abound that being a “beer major” at Oregon State might be a little tougher than it sounds.

The posters on the walls bear no resemblance to the imagery typically associated with promoting frothy alcoholic beverages.

Instead of bikini- and boardshorts-clad young people watching a sunset on a beach, there’s “Iron chelating properties and hydroxyl scavenging activities of hop acids.”

Instead of an ice climber digging a chilled bottle out of a glacier so he can magically pop out of a cooler and deliver a cold one to a tailgater, there’s “Foam Stabilizing Effects and Cling Formation Patterns of Iso-alpha-acids and Reduced Iso-alpha-acids in Lager Beer.”

And instead of an affable brewery owner inviting thrilled tourists to sample his latest brew, there’s the ever-popular “Impact of processing and hopping regimes on pro-oxidant metal content of pale lager beer.”

Shellhammer, professor of food science & technology, presides over a fermentation science program whose graduates are prized by beer makers large and small — in Oregon’s booming craft brewing industry and across the nation and overseas.

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Cover of Oregon Stater magazine, Spring 2014


OSU-trained fermentation scientists (left to right) Eryn Bottens, ’13, Annette Fritsch, ’07, and Jeb Hollabaugh, ’12, take a break in the tasting room at the Massachusetts headquarters of The Boston Beer Company, brewer of Samuel Adams and several other brands, and the larg­est and most successful American craft beer maker. Fritsch is Boston Beer’s top brewing scientist; Bottens operates the company’s small-scale test brewery and Hollabaugh works in the brewing laboratory. They and a growing group of well-trained food scien­tists with a passion for making the perfect brew are why beer-makers large and small, around the world, seek out Oregon State graduates.
Story on page 30 | Photo by Hannah O’Leary