NC’s Teaching Brewery was hopping with activity over the mid-term break professional beer-makers, home brewers, and beer aficionados capped off a full week of sharpening their brew-making skills.
Mid-term break week (February 26 to March 2) marked the first run of the week-long Brew Academy course – in which participants from all walks of life can gain hands-on experience in brewing, managing marketing and tasting beer. The course is broken out into five day-long modules, which students can take individually or in a series, that cover everything from beer ingredients, beer-making processes, to brewery operations, management and marketing, to sensory evaluation and tasting.
The inaugural class of 10 students was a diverse group with a range of experiences in brewing. Some were seasoned brewmasters looking to up their game in a particular field, while others were looking for tips and tricks to help improve their home brews. Many saw the course as a way to get an inside look at NC’s hyper-competitive two-year Brewmaster program.
“Since the inception of the Brewing program in 2010 the number one question the public has always given me is “when can I come and take a class too?” said CFWI dean Craig Youdale. “The group at our inaugural Brew Academy was able to not only learn so much about the brewing industry, they were able to get in and use our production facility, have personal time with five different brewing professionals and make their own product.”
Participants got a chance to learn from experts from the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, as well as those in Ontario’s beer industry. On February 26, students were led on a tour through the Teaching Brewery brewed their own batches of IPA. February 27 and February 28 saw students introduced to the basics of brew ingredients and sensory evaluation, while March 1-2 focused on packaging, health and safety, and other facets of managing a brewery in Ontario.
“There was a real sense of community between our ten students as the week progressed,” said CFWI business development coordinator Kristina Inman. “They started out as strangers, but by the end they were helping each other, building on each others ideas and laughing quite a bit.”
Brew Academy is just one example of a growing line of part-time studies at NC aimed at opening up the world-class facilities and expertise at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute to the wider community. Learn more about part-time courses on everything from artisanal breads and baking, to wine and beer production and tasting, and even tea, at www.canadianfoodandwineinstitute.ca/classes
“This is an experience every beer love needs to have, and we look forward to rolling out not only more Brew Academies but also ones for Cider, Distilling, Culinary and Food Safety soon,” said Youdale.