Southwestern College Fermentation Science Program Students Collaborate with NOVO Brazil on Australian Pale Ale

Students from Southwestern College’s Fermentation Science Program have collaborated with NOVO Brazil Brewing Company to create Tzunúm, an Australian Pale Ale that is available on draft only at the brewery’s Imperial Beach location starting today.

Tzunúm marks the first time students of the program have brewed outside of the classroom and in a professional brewery. The program started in Spring 2018 with a lecture class, and the first brewing lab was held in Fall 2019 with a small, five-gallon system.

Tzunúm, which is Mayan for hummingbird, was named by the students for its lightness and summer-y features. It has a light golden color, steady white head, and a 5.5% alcohol by volume (ABV). The beer is slightly hazy, and it features a citrus and fresh lime zest from a single hop of Wakatu.

“It was such a privilege to see the eager students get actual hands-on experience in a professional setting,” said NOVO head brewer Guilherme Hoffman. “It was a great, exciting moment for these beginner brewers, and I can’t wait to be a part of more projects with them.”

Only one keg was created in NOVO Imperial Beach’s nano brewery, and Hoffman expects sales of Tzunúm to not last through next week. The participating students were Amanda Esquivel-Chacon, Fred Hafer, Zackary Lieras, and Matthew Pineda.

“NOVO Brazil has been an amazing supporter and partner of our program, and we are very grateful for this amazing experience for our students,” said David Hecht, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry at Southwestern.

NOVO Imperial Beach opened in November at the south end of San Diego Bay with views of the Coronado Bridge and downtown skyline in the distance. The restaurant features 64 taps, serving all NOVO beers and its other lines of beverages: NOVA easy kombuchas (hard and non-alcoholic), California Spritz beer cocktails, and hard seltzers.

NOVO is located at 535 Florence Street, just one mile off the I-5 freeway and less than 20 minutes from Downtown San Diego. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. Friday – Sunday and at 12:00 noon Monday – Thursday.

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