Tap into your inner bootlegger at Project Brew December 8

Niagara College Brewmaster students to host Prohibition-style beer festival at the Market Square

Brewmaster students from Niagara College are turning back the clock to the Roaring Twenties and serving up their next craft beer festival, Prohibition style.

Project Brew Bootlegger’s Ball will be held on Friday, December 8 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the St. Catharines Market Square. Seventeen one-of-a-kind beers crafted by students in their final term of the College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program will be on tap at the evening event. Brews will be presented in a Great Gatsby-esque, speakeasy-inspired setting – complete with silent movies, and a police lineup photo booth for ‘convicted bootleggers.’

Faculty advisor April Tyrrell noted that the event is an opportunity for the public to sample unique, locally developed and often experimental small batch beers from the College’s Teaching Brewery, while graduating students showcase what they have learned.

“Project Brew is the culmination of four semesters of learning for the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management students. Not only do the students design a recipe and create an original beer from scratch, they also plan and execute Project Brew to highlight the skills they have acquired during their time at Niagara College,” said Tyrrell. “This fun community event is an excellent opportunity for students to promote themselves and their beer to the general public.”

For student event chair Ian Fraser, preparing for Project Brew has been a valuable experience.

“For many of us, it has been our first experience planning a beer festival,” said Fraser, who is brewing an English Porter with roasted chestnuts for the event. “To have the creative freedom to develop any beer we would like – from start to finish, in a professional setting – has been both a lot of fun and a novel experience for many of us.”

Guests seeking an alternative to beer may opt for the NC Teaching Winery’s multiple-award-winning Cider 101, or mulled mead from Rosewood Estates. Food will also be available for purchase from Niagara College’s Bench on the Go, new St. Catharines restaurant oddBird, and Andrzejewski Perogies.

Student beers will be judged on site and Praxair, one of the event sponsors, will award a $4,500 scholarship to the graduating student who creates the winning beer.

Proceeds from Project Brew support the Matt Soos Memorial Fund, which awards a scholarship each year to the student who brews the best beer at the College’s Annual Brewmaster Competition. Established by Muskoka Brewery and Railway City Brewing, the scholarship is in memory of Matt Soos who died at the age of 26 in August 2015, just a year after he graduated from the program.

Tickets for Project Brew Bootlegger’s Ball are $20 in advance (online) or $25 at the door (limited; must be 19 years of age or older with valid photo ID). A group rate of $17.50 for four guests or more will be available before Dec. 8. Admission includes a commemorative sample glass, and four drink tokens.

Meet the brewers, get a sneak peek at the brews, order tickets or access additional event details at niagaracollege.ca/ncprojectbrew.

NC’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program was launched in 2010 as the first of its kind in Canada. The award-winning, two-year program offers extensive hands-on training at an on-site, state-of-the-art Teaching Brewery to prepare students for employment in the expanding brewery, microbrewery and brewpub industries. Located at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, students learn from award-winning faculty and have access to on-site hop yard and local farm products to brew a full range of beer styles. Visit ncteachingbrewery.ca.

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; 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.





Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management student Ian Fraser values the experience he is gaining through Project Brew. Fraser is pictured in the hop yard at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.


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