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The chancellor at Louisiana State University recently unveiled a proposal to build a microbrewery on campus. The facility would serve as a laboratory for food science students and a training center for aspiring brewmasters.
"At some schools around the country, they have mini breweries on campus," says president and CEO of the LSU Alumni Association, Charlie Roberts, pausing to clarify his pronunciation: "That's m-i-n-i breweries, not m-a-n-y," he adds helpfully.
According to Roberts, Chancellor Michael Martin believes a LSU-branded brew could contribute significantly to the school's marketing and generate revenue for its programs.
Planning's still in a preliminary stage, so nobody's quite sure yet what kind of beer might bear the LSU name. "I'm not even familiar with the different types, light and dark," Roberts admits, "but we joked and said we'd make a purple-and-gold beer."
The school is still grappling with legal and logistical hurdles, including how to make the beer available for sale on campus. But Roberts is sure tailgaters and other LSU fans set on celebrating game day in proper Fightin' Tiger style would somehow track down the signature student-made ale. "It would be a great conversation piece," he says.
Not surprisingly, students have been abuzz about the potential project since it was announced in the campus newspaper. "They expressed interest," Roberts says. "They expressed, 'Is it real?' and they expressed, 'Are [administrators] sincere?' Typical student reaction."