NUSU’s student-run microbrewery, Stu Brew, has scooped an international award at a prestigious gala event.
The student brewers ran out as Reimagine Education Overall Enterprise Winners, beating competition from academic institutions around the globe as they were deemed by an extended panel of international judges to have achieved outstanding standards for innovation, effectiveness and originality.
The event, hosted by Reimagine Education, aims to support transformative academic projects that facilitate new learner-student dynamics, and we cannot imagine a better example than our very own Stu Brew team.
The project, run in conjunction with Go Volunteer, puts a focus on student employability and entrepreneurial flair by reinvesting profits into training schemes and ensuring future sustainability.
It is no surprise, then, that, in addition to coming away with the Overall Enterprise Winner Award, the brewery also received a Silver in the Sustainability Category.
James Milne, a postgraduate student, former Student Brewmaster and now the Stu Brew Sales Manager, travelled to Philadelphia to present to hundreds of delegates.
He said: “Winning the Enterprise Award and Silver in Sustainability was unexpected but a great pleasure.
“The fact that Stu Brew is now being recognised on an international stage at the Reimagine Education conference is fantastic and a signal for even greater things to come.”
Red Kellie, Go Volunteer Project Worker at Newcastle University Students’ Union, added: “This international award is a brilliant and thoroughly-deserved recognition of the hard work and determination of Stu Brew's student volunteer team.
“The enterprise is going from strength to strength; both in terms of beer sales across Newcastle and the North East, and with its ongoing mission to promote sustainability within the brewing industry. Congratulations Stu Brew.”
Stu Brew was launched in August 2013 and has always emphasised an environment-friendly approach. Hops grown on student allotments and a brewing process that uses a hot water recovery system help to make the process as energy efficient as possible.
In recent years, the organisation has forged links with the School of Engineering with an eye on research for sustainable brewing design, working closely with students and academics alike to continue to improve their approach.
Dr Chris O’Malley, a lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Newcastle University, who leads the research arm of the Stu Brew initiative, said: “I’m really pleased to see the team getting the recognition they deserve for all the long hours that they’re putting in to the project.
“We’ve had a busy 12 months with a rebrand last Christmas, growing our own hops and starting to sell our products in keg, cleaning research projects, career development module students, and more.
“It’ll be exciting to see what the next 12 months brings. A big thanks to the School of Engineering, Newcastle University Students’ Union and Go Volunteer for all the support - we couldn’t do it without their backing."
With international recognition now coming its way, it is clear that further success is brewing for this student-led project.