University Community | Research and Impact

Jackie O's Ohio Brew Week Keg Tapping Ceremony features a beer started in an OHIO chemistry class

"Honey Sunrise," a beer that started as a chemistry capstone project, was selected by Jackie O's for their official 2023 Brew Week keg tapping event scheduled for Monday, July 10, at 5 p.m. at the Uptown Brewpub.

"Honey Sunrise" is an American pale ale with a hefty dose of orange blossom honey and apple puree. It was designed by Dylan Geisen for his final project in CHEM 4501 last summer, and it was brewed early this summer at Jackie O's with help from this year's CHEM 4500/4501 class.

Jackie O's head pub brewer, Liam McDonald, selected "Honey Sunrise" from among the 2022 final projects. This is the second year that Jackie O's has brewed a student-designed beer, the first year’s recipe selection being Francesca Carney's "Sun Tea" English IPA.



Michael Held, far right, and his students get a lesson in brewing at Jackie O's Brewery.
Michael Held, far right, and his students get a lesson in brewing at Jackie O's Brewery.

Students in Mick Held's CHEM 4500/4501 brewing science class have been designing craft beer recipes as part of their capstone project in the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio University for more than a decade.

All 15 students in this summer's class also submitted final projects that will be considered for production at the Brewpub next summer.

Blending the Business and Science of Brewing

Held and Jackie's O's owner Art Oestrike have been collaborating on brewing education for many years. Recently, the two developed two new craft brewing certificate programs; one for undergraduates and another for graduate students. The new brewing certificates offer two pathways: one for those interested in the science of brewing and one for those interested in the entrepreneurial aspects of running a business.


Art Oestrike, owner of Jackie O's and an Ohio University instructor, gives his students a firsthand view of the brewing process.
Dylan Geisen, designer of "Honey Sunrise," helps in the brewing process.

Oestrike, an OHIO alumnus, never took a biochemistry course like the ones Held teaches. But he turned his passion for brewing into an iconic brewpub in Uptown Athens and a popular brand sold throughout OHIO and across the United States. Recently he opened a new venue, Jackie O's on Fourth in Columbus.

Oestrike teaches one of two required courses in the new certificate: CAS 4413 The Art of Craft Brewing: The Athens Case Study.

"Owning and operating any business is more about being interested in what you are doing and being able to work more and longer hours than you think imaginable, at least from my perspective. If you like what you do, it’s that much more feasible and fun. Jackie O's started in the room that this beer (Sun Tea) was brewed in 16 years ago. Through hard work, perseverance and some luck, we have grown slowly but surely these past years," Oestrike said.

"To me science can be learned by doing, so the more you do it, the better you get at it! Business is similar. I am happy that my father sort of gifted me the entrepreneurial spirit through osmosis. The biggest take away from CAS 4413 is that anyone can work in the beverage industry. It takes drive and a desire, but anyone can do it! We have students from all areas of the university, and everyone is able to contribute and thrive through the course. It’s also very experiential as you get to check out every fermentation facility around Athens," added Oestrike, who earned a B.A. in Russian in 2001 and an M.A. in Linguistics in 2008 from the College of Arts and Sciences, along with a BSED from the Patton College of Education.

July 7, 2023
Staff reports