ABERDEEN, SD (Dakota News Now) – Alpha Lager is Aberdeen’s newest local beer, and it’s the product of a partnership between Northern State University and One-Legged Pheasant Brewery.
The idea to create NSU’s official beer has been in the works for years.
“We were tasked in the dean’s role, in the oversight role, by the foundation to look for revenue generation opportunities. So this is a conversation that I remember from a previous conversation that happened years ago between Dave and I. came,” said Dr. Alisa Kisov, dean of NSU’s College of Arts and Sciences.
With the help of North State biochemistry students and teachers this summer, One Leg was able to produce Alpha Lager.
“So what we’re looking for here is an American-style lager, easy drinking, a good front and a real clean finish. It’s good for everyday, mowing the lawn, watching football, whatever,” said a brewer and founding member Dave Welling.
Alpha Lager is sold in a purple pint and at North State football games. Welling says the beer has sold out at both games that have been offered so far.
Welling says Alpha Lager will be available from Kessler’s store within a week. Now beer is canned by hand.
“Right now we’re putting them in the cans one at a time, but hopefully soon we can get something a little more automated to speed up the process. Hopefully it will expand to pubs and everything. We give it to anyone who wants to sell it,” said Dr. John Mitchell, an NSU professor of biochemistry and biotechnology who helped create Alpha Lager.
Dr. Mitchell says creating Alpha Lager was a great learning experience for his students.
“I think one of the great things about working with Dave and the One-Legged Pheasant is that it allows students to spend time in a real environment to learn about fermentation,” Dr. Mitchell said.
Senior biochemistry major Kennedy Davis says the process also helps her expand her beer palate.
“I don’t have much experience in beer tasting and all that. Just, you know, the college palette of light beer and all that. Now it’s interesting to see all the different types that are out there,” Davis said.
Welling says the partnership has also been beneficial for his business, and he’s honored to be part of the Northern State University brewery.
“It’s a great partnership all around. There is really no loss here. It’s not only fun, but it’s good for our business and for society in general, right? Welling said.
Alpha Lager also gives back to NSU students and future projects. 15% of gross beer sales go toward student scholarships in NSU’s College of Arts and Sciences.
“The idea is that the pool of money will then create a permanent scholarship for a need-based student or a student who is academic or research-based, because we want to invest in our students to do great things.” , said Dr. Kisov.
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