Niagara College’s Teaching Brewery celebrated its 10th anniversary on April 13th. The milestone was marked by a virtual “Brewunion” for a group from the first class of Brewmaster graduates – who, in June 2012, set forth as pioneers in what was then an emerging craft beer scene. They joined college staff and president Sean Kennedy who led them in a special toast: “To history, and the trailblazing first class that put NC on the map.”
Located at its Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Teaching Brewery is home to NC’s groundbreaking Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program which has grown alongside the now booming craft beer industry in Ontario. Provincial, national and international awards continue to pour in for student-crafted brews from NC’s Teaching Brewery, which has become a springboard for budding Canadian brewing talent and continues to raise the bar for the industry. Class after class of graduates have seeped into the industry over the past decade – many as brewery owners and brewmasters who continue to craft their own award-winning brews.
In addition to College brews, Downing and the Brewmaster team have also designed or assisted with numerous recipes for industry – including Wayne Gretzky Estates Craft Brewing (No. 99 Rye Lager), as well as MADD Virgin Craft Brewed Lager with NC’s Research & Innovation Division – and have contract brewed dozens of beers for others.
Downing noted that the past decade has been “a wonderful ride” with 19 graduating classes, more than 360 graduates, and 74 current students.
“It has been so much fun and hard work that would not have been possible without the dedication and diligence of all the students who wanted to succeed and thereby helped us to,” said Downing.
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