Central New York, Food, Syracuse

IBU Teaches You How to Brew

The brewery at IBU was transformed from an abandoned auto body shop. Take a 360 view here. (c) 2018 Frank DeLuca

By Frank DeLuca SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Class is in session, and beer is on the agenda.

IBU Brewing in Syracuse wants to get customers in on the action, and teach them what it takes to brew your own. In fact, that’s the whole reason the school-themed brewery came to be.

“We had the idea from the very beginning,” owner Mike Mintier said.

Take a 360 view of the IBU tap room. (c) 2018 Frank DeLuca

Mintier wanted to open a teaching brewery, but the New York State Liquor Authority told him he needed to open a brewery to offer a Brew-on-Premises (BOP), where customers can come in and learn hands-on from the brewers themselves.

The idea was to push home brewers in the right direction.

“When we have a large pool of home brewers, hopefully we get more breweries here in Central New York,” Mintier said. “Then we get on the map as a place for really good craft beer.”

IBU ran into a roadblock when the SLA changed the law to require a BOP license, and with that came a price tag that turned many people away. The business model had to change, and Mintier adjusted to more of a lecture-based idea.

The brewery features a school theme, with beers like “Magna Cream Laude” and “Snack Time.” (c) 2018 Frank DeLuca

Even though the business model has pivoted, the classroom theme has remained strong, and Mintier is happy to be the teacher.

“There’s no black magic, there’s no trade secret. The information is all out there,” Mintier said. “We like sharing that knowledge because we don’t feel like we’re giving away some sort of competitive edge.”