Bench Brewing partners with Niagara College Teaching Brewery; scholarships awarded to future leaders in the Ontario craft brew industry

Matt Giffen, president of Bench Brewing Company (third from left) presents a $30,000 donation to Niagara College president Dan Patterson (second from left) to establish the Bench Brewing Graduating Student Award. Pictured (from left) are Steve Gill (Niagara College Learning Enterprises Corp. general manager), Dan Patterson (NC president), Matt Giffen (president, Bench Brewing Company), Gary Torraville (NC Canadian Food and Wine Institute associate dean), Craig Youdale (NC Canadian Food and Wine Institute dean), and program professor Jon Downing (NC Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management).
Bench Brewing Company president Matt Giffen (front, fourth from left), the first recipient of the Bench Brewing Graduating Student Award, Matthew Shea (front, fifth from left), and NC present Dan Patterson (front, third from right), are joined by students and faculty from the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program and the team from Bench Brewing Company to celebrate a $30,000 gift from Bench Brewing.

With a $30,000 donation to Niagara College, Bench Brewing is pleased to announce its long-term partnership with the Niagara College Teaching Brewery to award three scholarships each year to outstanding graduates starting August 9, 2017.  As the craft brewing industry continues to grow in quality and reputation, these scholarships will continue fostering innovation, inspire high standards of excellence and prepare graduates for professional success.

“We are honoured to begin a long-term partnership with the Niagara College Teaching Brewery in providing an annual scholarship for outstanding graduating students,” said Matt Giffen, founder and president of Bench Brewing. “These talented new graduates represent the future of the Ontario craft beer industry as it continues to grow and strive for new levels of quality and innovation.”

Partnering with the Niagara College Teaching Brewery, Canada’s first and largest teaching brewery, will help further academic and professional excellence not only for graduates, but also incoming students.

“We thank Bench brewing for its generous support that not only support the future of the craft beer industry, but our mission of ‘enriching lives and fulfilling dreams’ of our students,” said Craig Youdale, dean of Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute.

“The very generous award set up by Matt of Bench Brewing recognizes two of the key attributes of any brewer and their products, quality and consistency,” said Brewmaster professor Jon Downing. “By recognizing the high level of continual effort over four semesters both in the classroom, as a volunteer at events and in the brewery, Matthew Shea is a natural first recipient of the award.”

The Bench Brewing Scholarship – of $2,000– will be awarded to three NC Brewmaster students each year for the next five years. It will be awarded to a student in the final term of the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program who exhibits academic excellence, excellent brewing skills, and collaboration and a passion for the industry.

The first recipient of a Bench Brewing Scholarship is Thornhill resident Matthew Shea, a university graduate who followed his dreams to enter the craft brewing industry two years ago by enrolling in NC’s Brewmaster program. Now a recent graduate of the program (June 2017), Shea applauded the support he has received from the craft brew industry as a student and said he was grateful for the Bench Brewing scholarship.

“Financial assistance is greatly beneficial to students,” said Shea. “Students face a lot of pressure and time requirements trying to balance school, work, and family duties, and we are often saddled with debt after graduation, so any assistance is greatly appreciated.”

 

About Bench Brewing

Currently under construction, Bench Brewing Company is proudly located near Beamsville, Ontario in the Twenty Valley of the Niagara Escarpment. Bench Brewing embraces the local agricultural traditions of the area and is inspired by the Belgian farmhouse-style of brewing. Opening in 2017 in the converted historic Maple Grove Schoolhouse, the site will feature a three-acre hops field, wild ale and barrel fermentation program, tap room and beer garden.

 

About Niagara College

Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs. Visit niagaracollege.ca.

 

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For more information please contact:

 

Vanessa Cheng

Events and Communications Manager, Bench Brewing Co.

vanessa@benchbrewing.com

 

For Niagara College media inquiries, please contact:

Susan McConnell
Media Advisor, Niagara College
Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 4330
Cell: 905 933-6259
susan.mcconnell@niagaracollege.ca