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CWU Alumni Behind New Bale Breaker AlumnIPA

Brewing alumni ipaLast month, Bale Breaker Brewing Company partnered with the Central Washington University Alumni Association to create a craft brew called AlumnIPA.

Brew day was on December 21, and among the team at Bale Breaker were two CWU alumni production brewers, Dimitri Kupanoff and Casey Stephenson.

“Working as a brewer for Bale Breaker Brewing Company was a long-time dream of mine, and the CWU Craft Brewing Program was the first step towards achieving that dream,” said Stephenson “Collaborating on AlumnIPA, our beer recipe to celebrate the CWU Alumni, has been a wonderful milestone in my craft beer journey!"

There are two release parties scheduled for the Wildcat Nation to come together and enjoy this alumni-crafted beverage. group photo at bale breaker ale

The first is at Bale Breaker Taproom in Yakima on January 14, and the second is in Seattle at Bale Breaker & Yonder Cider on January 21. Both release parties will include a raffle, tasting of the newly released brew (for those 21+), a limited quantity of CWU-branded pint glasses, and the chance to meet the alumni brewers.

"It has been a fun opportunity and honor to work on the alumni brew with my coworkers at Bale Breaker and the CWU team,” said Kupanoff. “I am thankful for the foundation that the CWU Craft Brewing Program provided me. I find being a brewer at Bale Breaker Brewing Company to be a very rewarding career and getting my Craft Brewing certificate was an integral part to making that happen.”

Group talking at brewing facilityThe Craft Brewing Program at CWU offers a Bachelor of Science degree, a minor, and a certification, and is unique in that it is the only four-year craft brewing program on the West Coast. Located in the heart of hop country, the program offers student internships and hands-on brewing experience which leads to nearly 100% job placement for graduates, ranging from production to laboratory research to sensory evaluation.

“We are extremely happy to have been a part of our alumni’s successes in their brewing careers—this is what our Craft Brewing Program at CWU is all about,” said CWU Director of Craft Brewing Eric Graham. “The future looks just as bright for our current students as we expand our degree and course offerings and as we move into our new brewing space this spring on campus!”

CWU alumni brewing beerCWU brewing at bale breaker alecwu brewing and bale breaker ale brewing beerbrewing equipment with brewers


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January 2022

Story by: Robin Burck