The awards keep pouring in for the Niagara College Teaching Brewery, which scored three honours at the recent Ontario Brewing Awards.
The Teaching Brewery walked away with a trio of medals for its student-made beers, including:
- Gold for Beer 101 Bock in the Amber Malty European Lager category;
- Silver for Beer 101 Strong in the Strong British Ale category; and
- Silver for Beer 101 Saison in the Strong Belgian Ale category.
“Our Teaching Brewery’s repeat success at the Ontario Brewing Awards and elsewhere shows how Niagara College is a leader in training the best and brightest in the province’s and country’s brewing industry,” said Steve Gill, general manager of NC’s Learning Enterprises. “Another testament to the Teaching Brewery’s leadership is the number of Niagara graduates who medalled at these awards for beers produced at their own breweries and for others in Ontario.”
This is the 11th medal for NC’s Beer 101 Strong and the second year in a row that it’s been a Top 3 finisher at the Ontario Brewing Awards. The repeat accolades, handed out in a virtual ceremony, attest not only to the quality of beer produced by the Teaching Brewery but to the quality of training the country’s future brewmasters are receiving, said NC Brewmaster professor Jon Downing.
“It’s great that we get recognized for what students are doing. Every time we win, it’s a different group of students that wins. That validates what we’re doing at the brewery,” said Downing. “Our standards are high; head brewer George Eagleson’s training of students is awesome, and our beers — people like them.”
This is the first time the Teaching Brewery entered its Beer 101 Saison in a competition. The recipe has been a work in progress for the past five years, Downing noted. While it occasionally appeared on Teaching Brewery store shelves as a seasonal beer done in the style of a rustic Belgian farmhouse ale, it never gained the traction of other one-off suds made by students until now.
Downing credits Eagleson’s tenacity at perfecting a recipe that produced consistent results in the classroom, which isn’t always the case with this style of beer. With Lead Brewer Brad Barta’s guidance, and bottled under the Beer 101 label, the saison has become one of the Teaching Brewery’s big sellers. And now it’s an award winner.
The gold medal for Beer 101 Bock follows a silver medal finish at the Canadian Brewing Awards in September.
The award-winning beers are sold in 473-millilitre cans and are available for purchase at the Wine Visitor + Education Centre located at the College’s Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
A full list of Ontario Brewing Award winners is available online. For details visit ontariobrewingawards.ca.
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 150 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, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information, visit niagaracollege.ca.