Operations brew manager Eric Basssett (right) gives a tour of the brewery to anniversary attendees. ARIANA AFZALI | THE POLY POST

Innovation Brew Works celebrates fourth anniversary

By Ashly Hernandez and Ariana Afzali

With only a few weeks left in the semester, Cal Poly Pomona students are looking for ways to take a break from projects, papers and presentations. 

Innovation Brew Works (IBW) offered food and fun at its fourth anniversary celebration on Saturday, April 13. 

Oh … and craft beers.

From 5-9 p.m., the brewery promoted its anniversary beers and bites which honored CPP by using campus products in their creations. 

Operations brew manager Eric Basssett (right) gives a tour of the brewery to anniversary attendees. (Ariana Afzali / The Poly Post)

“Today I am outside pouring our Ortiz’s Orange, a Belgian witbier that we’ve added juiced blood oranges from campus,” said Stephanie Gebhardt, one of the head brewers at IBW.

Ortiz’s Orange is another way of honoring CPP history. 

Former CPP president Michael Ortiz retired in December 2014 (just before the startup time of IBW) after 11 years of service, during which he promoted minority initiatives and academic programs. 

Many of the beers are named after important people or memorable places at CPP and even the city of Pomona. 

Gebhardt also promoted the Koi Pond, a kettle sour beer to which the brewery added CPP grapefruits. 

Other produce like honey, orange juice and wild sage were used in the anniversary beers. 

The bites also featured the flavors of CPP.

Belgian pretzel bites were made with CPP-grown parsley. 

Boneless chicken wings were marinated in fresh CPP orange juice and honey. 

A wide variety of creative options were available to please attendees of all tastes. 

Aside from the specialty brews and bites, IBW arranged a plethora of activities for attendees to partake in. 

The patio area featured live music and a communal seating style to invite people to socialize while enjoying their brews. 

A collection of board games was also available.

Giant Jenga, cornhole and a mini petting zoo with baby goats were frequented by families with children. 

Attendees could also tour the brewery, which is normally closed to public. 

This offered a unique behind-the-scenes experience of the daily workings at IBW and a deeper look into what a brewery looks like. 

 “I definitely think that [Innovation] Brew Works did great with this celebration. 

“There’s a lot of fun activities and it’s just a really great time with great beer,” said Cole Bertz, a fifth-year business student.

The tagline for IBW is “crafting an education.” 

A class is offered at CPP about brewing science, where students receive lecture and lab experience in the brewery. 

IBW beers can be found in stores from West Covina to Upland. 

Its success has reaffirmed the “learn by doing” motto by which IBW was founded and it shows that the organization is ready to take on the future. 

Commemorative collector’s glasses were available for presale online, along with 8-ounce pours at the celebration. 

Even if individuals were unable to order the glass, IBW sells other merchandise. 

But the public can always drop by and order a drink to see what everyone is so buzzed about.

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