Niagara College instructor wins award from Ontario Craft Brewers

A Niagara College instructor who played an integral role in the development of Canada’s first Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program has won an Education Leadership Award from Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB).

The award was one of six Centre of Excellence Awards distributed by OCB following an industry conference on October 17 at Amsterdam BrewHouse By the Lake in Toronto.

Kevin Somerville has been working at Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute (CFWI) since 2010 when he began to develop the curriculum for the College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program. At the time the College had been preparing to open Canada’s first teaching brewery at its Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus. In September 2010 when the CFWI welcomed its first class of Brewmaster students Somerville became program coordinator. He is currently an instructor for the program as well as a brewmaster and partner at Oast House Brewers located in Niagara-on-the-Lake where he currently resides.

“This award is a testament to the industry expertise of staff and faculty at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute who our students learn from every day” said Craig Youdale acting dean of the CFWI. “We are very proud of Kevin who helped launch our Brewmaster program and currently at Oast House Brewers hires NC students and continues to be an inspiration.”

Somerville was honoured to receive the award.
“I’m just happy to be a part of such a great team at Niagara College and part of Canada’s first Brewmaster program” he said. “The program will have a great influence on the future of the brewing industry. I enjoy sharing knowledge about something that I am passionate about.”

This was the second annual Centre of Excellence Awards. According to Ontario Craft Brewers the goal of the industry awards is to recognize examples of excellence among small medium and large organizations that drive the craft brewing industry at the local regional national or international level. Initial nominations were pared down to the top three nominees per category and final voting took place online.

“The Centre of Excellence Awards also known as the Industry Choice Awards are an opportunity for the craft brewing community – and its fans – to nominate and celebrate the good work of their beer heroes” said Bill Coleman president of Cameron’s Brewing Co. and master of ceremonies for the event.

There were 65 nominees for six awards and the OCB also recognized the three top nominees in each of the six categories. In addition to Somerville NC Brewmaster professor Jon Downing was among the top three nominees for the Education Leadership Award as well as Prud’homme Beer Certification.

The Canadian Food and Wine Institute located on Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus is the College’s centre for food wine and beer education. It is home to Benchmark the college’s teaching restaurant as well as the Teaching Winery and Teaching Brewery.

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences advanced technology media applied health and community safety supported by unique learning enterprises in food wine beer horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit

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