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Colorado State University Launches Hands-on Brewing Lab with Help from Malisko Engineering, Rockwell Automation

April 10, 2018

New lab will give students a real-world learning experience and provide a testing ground for brewing companies

MILWAUKEE, April 10, 2018 – Colorado State University (CSU) held a grand opening yesterday for a new hands-on brewing lab and industry showcase that will give students practical experience for careers in the brewing and fermentation industries. The lab is part of CSU’s state-of-the-art Fermentation Science and Technology (FST) program. Support from both the university and members of the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork program was vital to getting the brewery operational.

Large multi-national and regional breweries have long depended on automated brewing processes and precise control technologies to maintain product consistency and quality, while satisfying the discerning palates of its consumer base. Today, smaller craft brewers are increasingly investing in these technologies for the same reason.

“Demonstrating repeatability to students is vital,” said Jeff Callaway, associate director for the FST program at CSU. “We are able to be agile with flexible procedural control, and we can confirm consistency with data collection and analysis.”

Malisko Engineering, a Solution Partner in the PartnerNetwork program, led the automation specification and integration efforts of the new brewery. Dan Malyszko, director of operations and lead engineer at Malisko Engineering of Denver, has been active in the program for several years, serving as a regular guest speaker in the brewing classes and teaching students about automation technology and batch processing. He also serves on the program’s industry advisory board.

“Part of the mission was to expose students to automation technology for brewing at an early stage so they can apply these methodologies in their careers,” said Malyszko. “This project involved multiple companies working together to make sure CSU stays on the cutting edge of what’s become an incredibly vibrant and innovative industry.”

CSU will be home to two future breweries, one modeled after a craft-style brewery and the other modeled after a commercial brewery, albeit on a smaller scale. Both breweries will run on the PlantPAx distributed control system (DCS) from Rockwell Automation. This plantwide control system allows brewers to automatically control and visualize the brewing equipment as well as critical process control points such as temperature, flow, density and pressure. FactoryTalk Batch software from Rockwell Automation supports the reuse of modular phase code, provides intuitive recipe authoring and has built-in batch tracking and reporting.

“With the PlantPAx system, students gain valuable insights into the brewing process while getting practical exposure to a scalable, stable and operator-friendly automation platform,” said Malyszko.

CSU’s mission as a land-grant university includes industry outreach and extension encouraging the application of research-based knowledge in response to high-priority needs. The on-campus breweries provide industry with a unique resource to engage in recipe development, lab testing, operational technology research and process data analytics. 

“Brewers from industry can do anything from trying a new grain bill to a new kind of boiling scheme,” said Callaway. “For commercial brewers, having access to a miniature system allows small-batch experimentation with raw materials and process changes that may not be feasible on industrial-sized systems.”

More information about automation and technology for brewing applications can be found here.

About Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation Inc. (NYSE: ROK), the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information, makes its customers more productive and the world more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., Rockwell Automation employs approximately 22,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.

About Colorado State University
Founded in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College, Colorado State University is now among the nation's leading research universities. Located in Fort Collins, CSU currently enrolls about 24,000 undergraduate students, 4,000 graduate students and 580 Professional Veterinary Medicine students and has more than 1,800 faculty members working in eight colleges. More information is available at

About Malisko Engineering
Malisko Engineering, Inc., System Integrator Hall of Fame member, is a CSIA Certified manufacturing automation integrator with capabilities in Plant Floor Control, Process Automation Solutions, Manufacturing Intelligence, Power Quality & Energy Management (PQ&EM), Industrial IT and Validation. Its multi-disciplined team of engineers, designers, programmers and automation and validation specialists help clients safely increase production speed, reduce cost and maintain product quality. Learn more about Malisko Engineering at

Media Contacts
Kristen Crump
Rockwell Automation

Beatrice Zvosec

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