Indulging in alcoholic beverages is quite the popular pastime across college campuses everywhere. Students may consume anything from fine liquor to cheap beer for any occasion (depending on their taste and wallet size, of course). However, some students have that extra interest in not only the taste of their beverage, but also in the production of that beverage. The Beer Crafting and Science Association welcomes these students with open arms. BCSA is an organization here at UW–Stout for beer enthusiasts, or “beer nerds” as the President, Tyler Fregine, would say.
As mentioned on their OrgSync page, the interests of BCSA include, but are not limited to, brewing science, microbiology, fermentation science, cereal science, sensory science and promoting responsible consumption. It is an extremely educational organization, but very enjoyable at the same time for the “beer nerds” out there.
BCSA has monthly meetings where a relatable topic is chosen and discussed. So far this year, they have had a brief overview of beer, became enlightened on the many styles of beer and how to differentiate them from each other and were educated on hops. Not only is it great to learn, but Fregine also feels it is a great place to get to know people with a common interest – good beer. With so many people on one campus, finding people with similar interests can often be difficult. Through this organization, beer enthusiasts can talk about beer with their other beer enthusiast friends.
BCSA is not limited to just beer, though. Fregine is taking an elevated interest in wine and has decided to share that with the rest of the group. Along with beer and wine, the organization delves into ciders and more. There is appreciation for many types of beverage and brewing styles. Fregine says one of their main goals is to take students past the cheap, yellow, fizzy drink and introduce them to an entirely new world of beer.
Along with the educational aspect and the social aspect, there are also opportunities for experience! At least once a semester BCSA hosts an event. These events have included brewery tours, wine production and “Brew Days” where the group gets together, goes to a brewery and brews beer. These events are there to increase understanding of the process, find some enjoyment and promote beer appreciation.
This entire idea began in 2010 when UW–Stout alum Ryan Verdon and friends got together, loved beer and felt the urge to share the love with the rest of the campus. Verdon worked at Rush River Brewing in River Falls, Wisconsin after graduation. Now, he is right back in Menomonie, WI brewing beer for The Raw Deal! The mixture of passion and education within the organization can very well lead to the mixture of passion and career after graduation.
If you consider yourself a beer nerd, beer enthusiast or want to be one of the two, BCSA could be your new-found treasure. Everything is free, and all ages are welcome. Send an email to Fregine, contact them on OrgSync, find them on Campus Life Today or simply show up to a meeting! Meetings are the first Tuesday of every month at The Raw Deal. German philosopher and scholar Friedrich Nietzsche reminds us, “Without beer, life would be a mistake.”