Administration says no to SOU brew

Jim Beaver and his Raider Red beer. Photo by Emily Albertson/The Siskiyou

A brew customized for Southern Oregon University set for release last month won’t be available to the public after all.

Southern Oregon Brewing Company began to brand a special brew just for SOU called Raider Red in early December, but plans have changed according to SOU public affairs officer Jim Beaver.

“The President said it wasn’t appropriate,” Beaver said.

The university bought 50 cases of the draft and tested it at two events for faculty and alumni, and considered making it available to the public after receving positive reviews.

The beer was supposed to be used to celebrate the university’s 140th anniversary in 2012, but the idea was too cool to postpone, said Beaver.

“I got a call from Doreen asking me what I thought,” Beaver said. “It was a neat idea. Why wait until 2012? So we did it for Homecoming.”

Raider Red was a hit amongst alumni at Homecoming, said Beaver.

“We served it at the State of the University address for faculty and staff, and we had a longer line for the beer than for wine or cheese or cupcakes,” said Director of Alumni Relations Doreen O’Skea in an interview with the Daily Tidings. “Many of them wanted to keep the bottle.”

Last month, Tom Hammond, owner and president of Southern Oregon Brewing Company spoke with the university about making the ale available for retail.

The initial plan was to offer the beer at a few local restaurants and bars in Ashland that would appreciate supporting SOU, said Beaver.

The university had planned to brand the beer as an SOU draft and sell it at select local bars and restaurants.

The beer was supposed to be available this month, but plans to release the SOU blend were halted, and there are currently no plans to make the beer public.

“It may be a collector’s item now,” Beaver said.

Beaver said he is unsure about whether or not the draft will be available at special events again because of its limited use.

Until deals are revived, Beaver can relish in the glory of having one of the last bottles of Raider Red sitting in his office.


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