Iron Brewer trophy awarded to Niagara College staff member

 On September 26 2014 Master Brewers Association of Canada members gathered at Amsterdam BrewHouse in Toronto to taste entries and vote on a winning beer for the Iron Brewery competition. Support liaison for Niagara College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program Alan Brown (left) holds his Iron Brewer trophy. He is pictured with Paul Dickey (right) event organizer and member of the NC Brewmaster program Advisory Committee.

A Niagara College staff member and graduate of its Brewmaster program has brewed up another recipe for success.

Support liaison for Niagara College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program Alan Brown who has worked at the College since he graduated from the program in June 2013 has won the annual Iron Brewer competition organized by the Ontario chapter of the Master Brewers Association of America – an organization that promotes better beer and better brewing through education and research. The competition challenges competitors to create at least 10 liters of beer in any style from a bag of specialty ingredients including several varieties of brewing grains hops and yeast.

Brown was presented with an Iron Brewer trophy for his Highland Gale Highland Ale – an 8.2% 100-shilling wee heavy – ‘wee heavy’ referring to a very sweet smooth Scotch ale stronger than 5% and ‘100-shilling’ indicating that it is stronger than a regular wee heavy. The deep rich chestnut-coloured ale with a fine-beaded persistent ivory head has a sweet wild honey nose and a smooth and full-bodied palate with complex flavours of caramel treacle a touch of smokiness and a long warming finish.

“Many of the beers were truly outstanding examples of the creative brewing arts so I was truly surprised when I was announced as the winner” said Brown. “My victory is another example of the focus on brewing skills science and creativity that are the hallmarks of Niagara College’s Brewmaster program.”

In November Brown will adapt his winning recipe to be brewed at the NC Teaching Brewery with the aid of the College’s Brewmaster students. It will be available for sale at the NC Teaching Brewery before Christmas.

“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 dean of the CFWI. “We are very proud of Alan who is a graduate of our Brewmaster program and continues to be an inspiration to our students.”

This is the second Iron Brewer win for Brown. Last year he won third place for his spiced winter ale.

This year’s judging was held at Amsterdam BrewHouse in Toronto on September 26. Proceeds were donated to Prostate Cancer Canada.

The Niagara College Teaching Brewery was Canada’s first teaching brewery and is a unique applied learning environment for students in Niagara College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program – the first of its kind in Canada. The brewery forms a key component of NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute – a leader in culinary wine and beer education in Canada.

Located at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus the Canadian Food and Wine Institute is also home to the College’s Teaching Winery – the first and only commercial teaching winery in Canada – and Benchmark the college’s teaching restaurant.

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 Part-Time Studies 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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