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Cal Poly Plans Fermentation Sciences Center


Learn By Brewing

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 1.51.17 PMCalifornia is the the birthplace of the American craft brewing movement with nearly 700 craft breweries in operation across the state. Craft brew sales have steadily risen the last five years and show no sign of slowing. A growing number of craft brewing operations are popular here as well.

So its no wonder Cal Poly SLO has a fermentation class focusing on beer making.

Of course when it comes to wine, this area is no longer a backwater with the Paso Robles area alone sporting some 200 wineries.

Now comes a plan to take the fermentation sciences to the next level at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Cal Poly want to build a Fermentation Sciences Center that would provide a central location for conducting education and research in fermentation sciences, and related consumer products including wine, beer, and distilled liquor.

According to an environmental document released this month the proposed project includes construction of three new structures totaling approx 42,000 sf, near the corner of Mt. Bishop Rd and Highland Dr, immediately north of the existing crop sciences building compound on the west side of Mt. Bishop Rd. Vehicular access to the site would be provided via Parking Lot H-1, which connects directly to Mt. Bishop Rd.

The proposed structures would be a single story in height, with a more steeply sloped central roof ridge and more gently sloped side wings; height to the central ridge would range from 29 to 31.5 ft for the three structures.

The new buildings would provide a single, central location for education pertaining to commercial fermentation; in particular, these extensive activities for the Wine and Viticulture Department are currently housed in several locations throughout campus. Beer making and liquor distillation education activity has been at a much lower scale, given current space limitations for these related fermentation practices. One building would provide a central classroom or meeting hall that would provide lecture space as well as two academic labs and a sensory lab. The majority of the other two buildings would be dedicated to production facilities and research, specifically one for wine- making and the other for beer and distilled spirits. The new facility may be used on a limited basis for product tasting, retail sales, or special events.

Construction of the project is anticipated to begin in the Winter / Spring of 2018 and would take approximately 24 months to complete.

The proposed project entails the addition of 42,000 square feet of academic space on campus that would provide for instruction and laboratory space for approximately 100 students and associated faculty and staff.

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