Penn State's Berkey Creamery

October 29, 2010

When you sink your teeth (or tongue, for those more sensitive to the cold) into a creamy, silky-smooth scoop of Peachy Paterno, the taste in your mouth is not the result of an epiphany. Long before Joe Paterno coached his way onto the menu at Penn State’s world-famous Berkey Creamery, University researchers were hard at work mastering the many aspects of food and dairy science which, combined, deliver that scoop of ice cream from the cow to your cone in spectacular fashion.

Watch “Penn State’s Creamery, from the Cow to the Coneto learn more about the modern ice cream production process at the Creamery.

To see a history of the Creamery in photos, visit this link.

Work on that scoop of ice cream first began in 1865, when the Creamery was established in the College Barns, located behind present-day Old Main. In addition to the Creamery, the College Barns housed a blacksmith shop and a hayloft.

The first stand-alone Creamery was built in 1889. In the same year, the University began offering an extremely popular series of dairy short courses that eventually led to the development of the Creamery’s now-famous Ice Cream Short Course, now the world's oldest, best-known and largest educational program dealing with the science and technology of ice cream.

In order to provide more space for processing operations, the Creamery moved in 1904 to Patterson Building. That year, the dairy manufacturing major was introduced, and retail delivery of pasteurized milk and cream began. The Creamery moved again in 1932, to Borland Laboratory -- by that time it was selling milk, cheese and ice cream to the State College and Altoona markets. The raw-milk receiving room and the salesroom (which many seasoned Creamery customers will remember clearly) were added to the original structure in 1960 and 1961.

In August 2006, the Creamery moved to the first floor of the new Food Science Building at the intersection of Curtin and Bigler roads on the University Park campus. The Berkey Creamery Store, named after Earl and Jeanne Berkey, now occupies 3,700 square feet (2.5 times the size of the old store in Borland Lab).

Each year, the Creamery produces hundreds of thousands of gallons of milk for Penn State’s dining halls and for sale in its store, and hundreds of tons of ricotta, cream and cheddar cheeses; yogurt; sour cream; ice cream and sherbet.

To purchase items from the Creamery's online store, visit this link and click on "Penn State Creamery."

For more information about the Creamery, visit online.

This Penn State landmark is part of the iHear Penn State self-guided cell phone campus tour, listed as stop #20.  Accessing iHear Penn State is easy. Dial the tour access number (814-308-5020) on your cell phone and follow the instructions. All stops are listed at

  • Since 2006, Penn State's world-famous Berkey Creamery has been housed in the new Food Sciences Building.

Last Updated September 04, 2020