About Beaver Island:
This last year, chemistry interns Alec Syvrud and Tyler Schreifels spent part of their summer performing quality control (QC) tests in a laboratory – not at a university or on a technology campus, but at Beaver Island Brewing, a local brewery based in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Early on in Beaver Island’s founding, Matt Studer, the brewery’s co-founder, knew an on-site QC lab would be an important investment. Their beer already had a superior taste, but it would take superior quality, and quality assurance, to really move Beaver Island ahead.
“SciTech was a big part of that too,” Studer said, “to be able to afford another intern to come in and help us get that part of our business off the ground.”
SciTech not only helped the brewery pay for its interns through a wage match reimbursement, the program also provided a free-to-use talent pipeline that allowed Studer and his team to easily find the right STEM talent for the job at hand.
Sam Ellis, a past SciTech intern, designed Beaver Island’s quality control lab that Syvrud and Schreifels worked in and developed the day-to-day operations and protocol that Syvrud and Schreifels followed. They, like their predecessor, made significant contributions during their internship as well.
“When we won an international award,” said Brew Master Chris Laumb, “the interns were a part of that, too.” The summer of Syvrud and Schreifels internship, Beaver Island Brewing took home a bronze medal at the 2018 World Beer Cup, an international brewing competition that’s considered by many to be the “Olympics of Beer.”
In short, Studer said, “we love the program and the people that it’s brought us.”
About the Interns:
Alec Syvrud is a senior at St. Cloud State University, pursuing his bachelor’s in biochemistry. Tyler Schreifels, also a senior at St. Cloud, is majoring in biomedical science. Together they were responsible for all biological and chemical testing of in-process and packaged samples at the Beaver Island Brewing Co. facility.
“My favorite part,” Schreifels said, “is the fact that I get to use the things I’ve learned in school, because it seems all big and complicated when you’re taking the classes and doing all these chemistry experiments. But actually applying it for something, even just an internship like this, is pretty exciting.”
Small Minnesota companies receive up to $2,500 to help pay a STEM intern. At least 350 wage matches are available through August 2019.