Undergraduate Engaged Research Programs

Crafting Independent Scientists Through an Analytical Approach to Craft Beer

Craft brewing is a growing industry, representing about 20 percent of the $100 billion domestic beer market. Small independent breweries, however, do not have access to the expensive equipment they need to make science-driven decisions on how to improve their production processes. For the past two years, a group of Cornell students majoring in food science or chemistry have collaborated with the Ithaca Beer Company to conduct research projects to address challenges the small brewery faces. The projects give the students an opportunity to apply their scientific knowledge to a local business, while the beer company benefits from the students’ and faculty members’ expertise and its access to equipment at Cornell that analyzes food chemistry. The research teams have also been working with Cornell’s Vinification and Brewing Laboratory, which ensures that their research will serve the larger brewing community in New York state.

The Team

  • Brian Crane, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
    College of Arts and Sciences
  • Gavin Sacks, Department of Food Science
    College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Chris Gerling, Department of Food Science, Vinification and Brewing Laboratory
    College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Community partner: Ithaca Beer Company

Undergraduate Engaged Research Programs

Expanding the number of students involved in established community-engaged research.

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