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CSU San Marcos Chronicles San Diego's Rich Beer-Making History in a New "Brewchive"

Angie Marcos

With more than 150 breweries in San Diego County alone, the region is arguably the craft beer capital of the U.S. So what better place to introduce a special library collection of beer-related artifacts and launch an “engibeering” certificate program?

CSU San Marcos recently launched "Brewchive," a  special library collection that highlights San Diego County's brewing history. The archive comes on the heels of the campus's announcement of an "engibeering" certificate program to debut in early 2018. Photo courtesy of CSU San Marcos


Beer and science. It may not seem that the two go together, but it turns out you can't have one without the other.

And in a brewery-rich area like San Diego County — ­dubbed by some "the craft beer capital of America" — the demand for specialized education in beer-making is on the rise.

California State University, San Marcos is stepping up to fill the demand: In the spring of 2018, the campus will introduce an "engibeering" certificate program, a joint venture between the campus' College of Business Administration and College of Science and Mathematics. The program will focus on both the science and business of craft beer.

"What we're doing is really [creating] something that is needed and wanted by the brewing community," says Jennifer Fabbi, Ph.D., University Library Dean and one of the lead organizers of the campus's new brewery archive.

"There is this entire category of education around beer that … breweries need for the people they are hiring." 

'This Project is a Living History'

In the same spirit (so to speak), CSU San Marcos' Kellogg Library launched a special collection called "Brewchive" in August 2017. The archive is made up of hand-written beer recipes, photos, videos, interviews, logs, trade periodicals, marketing items and oral histories, all collected from the region's many craft beer brewing companies. 

The Brewchive highlights San Diego County's brewing history, which spans the last 30 years. There are currently more than 150 breweries throughout the county, including Green Flash Brewing Co., Stone Brewing and Karl Strauss Brewing Company.   

"We really wanted a unique collection that would reflect our region and our community," explains Dr. Fabbi. "[CSU San Marcos] is so important and instrumental to the north San Diego County community. We knew we wanted to feature something that was historically important but also engaging to our community." 


"Brewchive" is a new special collection specializing in San Diego County's many breweries. It is available for viewing at CSU San Marcos' Kellogg Library or Photo courtesy of CSU San Marcos

The archive is viewable both in the library or online. Fabbi hopes to expand the collection's reach and the types of artifacts it holds as the brewing industry evolves and changes.

"Our ultimate goal is to have a good selection of our material online so that anyone across the globe could access it," Fabbi says. "We want to be an expert resource."

"This is a project that is a living history," she notes. "In 100 years, when we are long gone, this archive will be something completely different than what it is right now."

And while visitors can find decades-old bottle caps and coasters, the Brewchive isn't set up for pints or flights so  alas no tastings are part of the collection for now.

Since its launch, the archivists have already seen a number of small breweries reach out, asking to become a part of the collection. Eventually, Fabbi says the library wants to offer special exhibitions that focus on themes like women in brewing.

"The CSU campuses all have special collections that aim to reflect their communities. It promotes community engagement, which is really special to our campus in particular," explains Fabbi says.

"It's been very special to start this special collection from the ground up."

Learn more about CSU San Marcos' Brewchive.