Brewing an immediately-iconic beer for your university community, plus getting real-world business experience at the same time? Sounds like a dream come true, right?
On this episode of Manufacturing Happy Hour we joined by Jackson Cosgriff, a student at Marquette University, and John Knapp, Director of the university’s Innovation Alley program. Both of these individuals were instrumental in launching Blue & Gold Brewing this past year, a student-led venture that made for a unique case study in the future of higher eduction.
Their project was to create and brew a new beer called ’77 Golden Ale in time for one of Marquette’s biggest basketball games of the year on “National Marquette Day.” Thanks to a group of 4 students – consisting of Jackson, Grace Pionek, Connor Nelson, and Will Dales – the participation of multiple Milwaukee breweries, and a great board of advisors and mentors, the team pulled it off and the beer was an instant hit.
In this episode, John and Jackson share a behind-the-scenes perspective of the whole project, from getting the project off the ground, to selecting a brand and recipe and, eventually, distributing the beer. We also hear their thoughts on the future of student-run business and whether applied learning is the future of higher education.
3 Quick Things from this Episode
- To create real-world learning experiences at universities, it’s critical to have business and industry mentors that support those experiences.
- As industry demands change, the ability for higher education to adapt to those demands in a quick way is sometimes constrained. Higher ed needs to continue to create real-world opportunities that shape graduates into people that are business-ready on Day 1 of the job.
- Don’t let your college degree limit the projects or careers you pursue. If something interests you, chase after it.
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- “It’s OK to have a big idea! Don’t shut that idea down.” – John Knapp, Executive Director – Innovation Alley at Marquette University
- “People get drawn into working up these ladders when they don’t really enjoy it. A lot of people are happy working with their hands and that’s one of the things I love about this project.” – Jackson Cosgriff, Student at Marquette University
- “I knew right away (this project) was going to be a winner!” – John Knapp, Executive Director – Innovation Alley at Marquette University
Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode
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What We Discuss with John and Jackson
- Explaining Innovation Alley and Blue & Gold Brewing
- Behind the scenes of Blue & Gold Brewing
- The beer brainstorming process
- What’s next for student-run business?
- What concerns they had about their project
- Whether applied learning is the future of higher education
- Advice for other universities looking to introduce similar programs
- Why it’s time to go beyond “thinking outside the box”
- Blue and Gold Brewing, a student-run business created at Marquette University aimed to develop collaborative partnerships with community business owners; Marquette students teamed up with the below brewing companies (all Marquette alums) to learn about craft brewing and create and distribute a beer of their own
- Innovation Alley, driving students to reimagine education in the classroom and in workplaces, creating a ripple effect far beyond the walls of the campuses at Marquette University
- Broken Bat Brewing, the brainchild of Milwaukee baseball fan Tim Pauly, providing a unique, welcoming atmosphere in the Walker’s Point neighborhood in Milwaukee
- Good City Brewing, a brewery that originally started on Milwaukee’s East Side that has since expanded to Milwaukee’s now iconic Deer District, located next door to the Fiserv Forum
- Gathering Place Brewing, an award-winning, community centered craft brewery located in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood and Wauwatosa, making European-inspired styles with American twists
Connect with John, Jackson, and Blue & Gold Brewing