Tap into Project Brew festival at St. Catharines Market Square Aug. 12

Eighteen unique craft beers and the student brewers who created them will be in the spotlight on Friday, August 12 as part of Niagara College’s Project Brew Summer 2016 beer festival in downtown St. Catharines.

The open-to-the-public event, which will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Market Square (91 King St.), was organized by the graduating class of Niagara College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program who are capping off four semesters of learning.

A variety of beers will be available – including Electric Grapefruit Acid Test (Grapefruit Saison), Stacks on Stacks (Maple Blueberry Blonde), Nicely Toasted (Toasted Coconut Porter), Roast Chocolate Belgian Wit (Chocolate Tangerine Wit), Fruitless Pursuit (American Pale Ale), Eye of Newt (Black Lager), Captain Badass (Baltic Porter), and more – each showcasing the personal tastes and flair of the brewer who created it. The event will also feature food vendors, live music and games.

This will be the fifth Project Brew festival from Niagara College’s Brewmaster students since April 2015. It not only provides the public with an opportunity to sample unique craft beers served by the brewers, but offers hands-on learning experiences for students who are responsible for creating the beers and organizing the event.

“Through Project Brew, our students have the opportunity to experience all aspects of planning, from marketing and logistics to working with vendors and hosts,” said instructor Brianne Hawley. “It’s also a chance for them to showcase and promote a beer they created, and network with others in the industry.”

Brewmaster student Joseph Bannon is looking forward to watching guests enjoy the Altbier beer he created, Ctrl+alt+del, at the event. Bannon, who relocated to St. Catharines from Yellowknife to enrol in the program and will soon begin working at a brewpub/distillery Calgary, values the experience he has gained through Project Brew – crafting his beer, as well as recruiting sponsors and marketing the event.

“Project Brew is great because it has challenged us to make a beer, which we are proud of but was made for the public, not for ourselves,” he said. “This can be challenging and really pushes us as brewers to better understand how to read the market and accommodate it. It also pushes us to be responsible for projects and gets us out of our comfort zone.”

Guests must be 19 years of age or older (valid photo ID required) to attend. Tickets may be purchased online in advance for $20 or at the door for $25. The price of admission includes a commemorative Project Brew glass and four drink tokens. Additional tokens may be purchased for $2 each (for a four ounce sample).

Proceeds from Project Brew Summer 2016 will benefit the Matt Soos Memorial Scholarship, which will be presented to a student in the College’s Brewmaster program. The scholarship is in honour of Matt Soos, a graduate of the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program who died in August, 2015 at the age of 26.

For tickets and information visit the Project Brew website at http://ncprojectbrew.ca

The first facility of its kind in Canada, Niagara College Teaching Brewery opened in April 2011 and supports Niagara College’s two-year Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management diploma program. The brewery forms a key component of the College’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 CFWI 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, 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 NiagaraCollege.ca.


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Julie Greco
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