By Liz Holland
Toby Eppard has Colorado roots so deep his family teases his great uncle about being the mayor, postmaster, and sheriff of Ward, Colorado, at its beginning. With no plans to leave Colorado, Eppard has created a successful career through the rich culture of brewing here. With his comprehensive education and a distinguished career at Coors Brewing, Eppard has been an ideal industry instructor for the next generation of brewers in Colorado State University’s Fermentation Science and Technology Program in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.
With degrees from the University of Colorado at Denver, Metropolitan State University, University of California at Davis, University College in Cork, Ireland, Cambridge University, and Regis University, he has certainly earned credentials in the world of brewing. In addition to his extensive formal education, Eppard was employed by the Coors Brewery in Golden for 34 years of continuous service until his recent retirement.
Eppard reflected on his time at Coors, “Throughout my professional life, I have had twenty-one different positions at the brewery – from operational work to my latest position which was the manager of staff brewing for MillerCoors. I have worked in just about every area of the brewery and led maltings and research and development at Coors Brewing Company for new product development and process research.”
Eppard has been a key part of the brewing process at Coors and has had the opportunity to make international connections with people all over the world, as well as teach the younger generation of brewers through the MolsonCoors businesses. He is also an industry instructor for the CSU Fermentation Science and Technology program. He designed and taught FTEC 360, a class all about brewing processes, until 2015 when Charlie Hoxmeier, owner of the Gilded Goat Brewing Company, took over. He now teaches a senior level class about operations management for fermentation students.
“It is about giving back and sharing the experiences and realities of what the business entails,” stated Eppard. “I would think any educator would tell you there is no better way to impact what the future will bring, than to share that experience in the development of what will soon pass.”
Eppard finds joy in the coaching and mentoring aspects of teaching. “I absolutely love the opportunity to provide a ‘glidepath’ for a chosen career – a key aspect and crucial to success,” he said. “I had the opportunity to receive this type of guidance early in my career by such notables as David Thomas (MSc Heriot Watt University) and previous director of R&D in Golden, as well as others – which really made a difference in my development path. My goal is to pay that forward.”