University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Alumni Spotlight: Mike Salo

Mike Salo '10 B.S. Nutrition; Food Science Minor

Advisor: Dave Smith

Current Organization/Employer: Fulton Beer

Favorite memory of campus: Listening to Dr. Ted Labuza tell stores about his research and work experience.

Why did you choose CFANS as a college?
I have always been really interested in food and the way that our bodies process the things we consume so CFANS was a pretty easy choice for me.

Why do you think the University of Minnesota is "great?"
I think the University of Minnesota does a great job of giving students a practical set of skills that can be applied to real jobs in their respective fields of study. I also think that the University of Minnesota does a good job of requiring students to take a diverse set of courses that provide general background knowledge in areas outside of one's main field of study.

Career information/professional achievements:
My current position at Fulton is Head Brewer. Prior to working at Fulton I worked at a restaurant called Brasa where I ran the house made soda project and worked as a kitchen supervisor. I was fortunate enough to get involved with Fulton at nearly the beginning of the company. I had a very influential role in starting up the brewery in downtown Minneapolis and creating the standard operating procedures that are in place today.

What's your passion? What do you love about your work and your field?
I love the variety. Every day is different. some days you are brewing, some days you are filtering, some days you are looking through a microscope and plating samples. You never really know what any given day is going to hold. I also like the creative aspect of brewing. Using new ingredients, processes, and techniques to create new styles and flavors of beer keeps me excited.

How did your education at the U of M help prepare you for what you are doing today?
Many of the courses in the Food Science department have direct applications in the brewing industry. I think that the Food Science program provides an excellent background for people who are interested in pursuing a career in the brewing industry. Some of the courses that were especially useful were: Food Engineering, Food Microbiology, and Fermentations.

What advice do you have for current students (and future alumni)?
Find something that you like to do and stick with it, even if it seems impossible. You may not get your dream job right out of school but if you can position yourself and gain experience in similar fields you can find a way to get a job that you truly enjoy.

Student activities:
Food Science and Nutrition Club