NC’s Brewmaster program taps into western Canada

Just one year after the official launch of Canada’s first Teaching Brewery and Brewmaster program, Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute is expanding its course offering to Western Canada through a historic new partnership with Olds College in Alberta.

As part of the agreement between the two colleges, Niagara College has committed to sharing its expertise and knowledge with the Alberta-based college to deliver the Brewmaster program at its Olds campus. A project team from NC is collaborating with Olds College on the development of its Teaching Brewery, which will be housed within an on-campus hotel and conference centre currently under construction. Olds College will also use similar infrastructure and brewing equipment as can be found at Niagara College’s hugely successful Teaching Brewery. The new Teaching Brewery is expected to be ready to accept students for September 2013 enrolment.

Dr. Steve Hudson, Acting President of Niagara College, said the expansion of its two-year Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program to Olds College is a testament to the Brewmaster program’s success.

“When we created our Canadian Food and Wine Institute, our objective was to create a Canadian presence focused on food, wine and beer, and academic programming that can serve as a model for applied education,” he said. “We are delighted that Olds College approached us to establish this collaborative relationship.

“The program has elements of agriculture, business and hospitality. It is an exceptional program, and will only grow stronger drawing on Olds’ strong agricultural background and Niagara’s strengths in hospitality.”

Jon Ogryzlo, dean of Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, noted that the partnership will open the door to new opportunities for Brewmaster students.
“This is an exciting day for the CFWI as our east-west partnership will not only bring our program to students in Alberta but will make it possible for NC students to take a portion of their studies at Olds College – and vice versa,” he said. “Our partnership with Olds College will also help bridge the craft brewing industry across the country as we work with brewers from Western Canada.”

NC’s Teaching Brewery opened to much fanfare in April 2011 has hundreds of applicants on its waiting list each year for its popular Brewmaster program. It has already gained national and international recognition, with three medals from the 2011 United States Open Beer Championships and the debut of its distinctly Canadian beer Great Weiss North – created in collaboration with Sawdust City Brewing and Taps Magazine – at the Canadian National Exhibition last summer. NC Brewmaster students have created more than 70 varieties of beer, available at the on-campus retail beer store, while their signature First Draft brand is also available at select establishments throughout Ontario. NC’s first class of about 20 Brewmaster students will graduate in June 2012.

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