Cheers to CIA’s brewery, an educational microbrewery on the New York campus of the Culinary Institute of America, which has been honored as the New York State Brewery of the Year for 2019. In addition, two student-produced beers earned gold medals competing against professional breweries in their respective categories at the New York State Craft Beer Competition.
The competition was held February 23 in Rochester, with the results announced this past weekend in Albany. The Brewery of the Year award was based on the fact that the CIA brewery had the highest total scores in the competition. Gold medals were awarded to CIA in the Brown Ale and Wheat Beer categories. The Class Project Br-Br-Br-Brown was best in the Brown Ale category. The beer—as the name suggests—was a winter-themed ale developed as a class project by students in CIA’s Art and Science of Brewing course. The brewery’s signature Mise en Place Wit, brewed every semester by students taking the class, was champion in the Wheat Beer category.
There are 420 breweries across the state and 813 different beers were entered in the competition. The competition is hosted by the Raise A Glass Foundation.
“Breweries across New York are crafting wonderful beer. It is gratifying for our brewery to be named Brewery of the Year and to earn gold medals based on beers created by our students,” says CIA Head Brewer Hutch Kugeman, who—along with Professor John Fischer—teaches Art and Science of Brewing. “It’s especially rewarding to see the hard work of our students recognized by professional brewers and judges as being among the very best beers in New York State.”
Mise en Place Wit is on tap at CIA’s on-campus restaurants in Hyde Park and will soon be available at select restaurants and bars in the Hudson Valley and New York City owned by CIA alumni. Visitors to CIA can also purchase crowlers or growlers to take home from The Egg student dining venue on campus. The Class Project Br-Br-Br-Brown was a winter seasonal brew that was only available in late 2018 and early 2019. Each semester, a new class of students creates its own unique beer, in a different style and appropriate for the season.
“For more than 70 years, our college has rightfully built its reputation as the world’s foremost culinary educator,” says CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan. “Today, that education leadership goes far beyond just food preparation and involves all aspects of hospitality. This honor is testament to the fact that CIA provides unparalleled beverage education as well. Congratulations to John Fischer, Hutch Kugeman, and the students involved in preparing these award-winning beers.”
CIA’s brewery is primarily a classroom where bachelor’s-level students learn about the ingredients, equipment, and techniques required to produce ales and lagers. It was created in 2015 in
partnership with Brooklyn Brewery, whose brewers and business executives often serve as guest lecturers. The class helps future food professionals think differently about beer, elevating its status as a fine beverage on a level with wine.