By Thea O’Dell
Cal Poly Pomona’s Innovation Brew Works has won the National Association of College and University Food Services 2015 Loyal E. Horton Dining Award, a prestigious award for exceptional campus dining services throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Craft brews and good food go hand-in-hand, and Cal Poly Pomona was quick to catch onto this trend. The university launched Innovation Brew Works in October, making it the first educational brewery and restaurant open to the public in the United States. In December 2014, two months after its grand opening, the brewery started to make and serve its own beer.
“Innovation Brew Works is very unique as it is part learn-by-doing educational laboratory, part microbrewery, and part cafe that is also open to the public,” said Amanda Therrien, marketing assistant and writer for the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation. “It was the perfect venue to enter into this competition.”
CPPF entered Innovation Brew Works under the “retail sales-single concept” category, which is open to any single, standalone dining unit that is not part of a marketplace concept, according to the NACUFS website.
Applicants are required to send a comprehensive book filled with examples and photographs of the restaurant, as well as detailed descriptions of the menu. They are then judged on a variety of categories, which also include marketing, sustainability, overall nutrition and “wow” factor. Both Innovation Brew Works and the CPPF marketing department spent over two months creating the 60-page project.
“To win such a distinguished award is an enormous accomplishment for Innovation Brew Works and the entire Foundation,” said Paul Storey, CPPF’s executive director, in a recent press release. “The Foundation continually strives to provide the best services to the campus and surrounding community, and we are proud to do so with an award-winning dining program.”
This is the second year CPP won gold in the Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards. The Poly Trolley received the honor in 2014 under the same category.
“This honor is so exciting and so gratifying, considering how much hard work and effort everyone who has been involved in this creation has put into it,” said Aaron Neilson, CPPF’s dining services director. “We’ve put our hearts and souls in this since day one. Innovation Brew Works is a university affair as much as the grain, hops and oranges used for brewing are grown on campus by the College of Agriculture. Even the spent grain is sent back to campus to feed our cows.”
Innovation Brew Works is planning to continue to find new ways to positively impact the university as well as the community. CPPF and Innovation Brew Works will be honored for their award at the 2015 NACUFS National Conference in late July in Indianapolis, Indiana, with CPPF set to be publicly recognized at the Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards Luncheon.
Jackie Lopez Crisp / The Poly Post
Innovation Brew Works
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