Ivory Tower Brewery
The Ivory Tower is a non-profit educational brewery and pilot plant managed by Appalachian State University faculty and students. The facility provides students with hands-on educational and research opportunities in the development, production, and release of a marketable product.
Fermentation Science courses at Appalachian State University provide rigorous coverage of the chemical and physical processes that go into production of beverages, from raw ingredients characterization to yeast and bacteria metabolism, and how these elements translate into a final product. These principles are a focal point of activities in the pilot plant where students are encouraged to think creatively and to consider how their knowledge can be applied to provide novel and innovative solutions to real-world challenges.
Recent awards from the US Department of Agriculture and North Carolina Biotechnology Center have allowed us to expand our pilot plant to handle volumes ranging from 1-gallon to 150-gallon processes as well as flow-through, immobilized bed reactors. The variable brewing and processing capacities provide students an opportunity to take bench trials up to a small, commercial-scale experience and the opportunity to run collaborative trials with commercial producers.
Students have worked to develop computer control and monitoring systems, cooling and heating solutions, options for process-water reclamation, increased energy efficiencies, uses for spent grains and solids, and efficient design and layout of the facility and laboratory.
The Ivory Tower Brewery and Fermentation Science program are already receiving national attention, including on the American Brewers Association's Craft Beer Muses blog in August of 2011. All profits from the Ivory Tower and the annual High Country Beer Fest (Top 10 Summer Road Trips for Beer) are directed into student research, experimentation, and internship opportunities on- and off-campus. We have been extremely fortunate in receiving generous support and contributions from many local and regional business and agencies to build a world-class pilot facility on the ASU campus.
ASU Box 32163
730 Rivers Street
Edwin Duncan Hall, Suite 108
Boone, NC 28608
2014 Brewing Short Course
The Fermentation Sciences program will offer 2, 5-day brewing short courses in July 2014 intended for those working within the brewing industry or the advanced home brewer.
See http://wine.appstate.edu/workshops/brewing-short-course for more information.