Just weeks after winning a Grand National Champion title and multiple medals for their beers, Niagara College’s final term Brewmaster students will host an on-campus beer festival to cap off their studies.
A class of 10 students from NC’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program are preparing for Project Brew Augtoberfest – a theme they chose which adds a summer twist to the annual fall beer festival held in Germany.
Hosting Project Brew has become a rite of passage for NC Brewmaster students and an essential component of their applied learning experience. Final term students plan the event for their Beer Sales and Promotions class, which covers everything from marketing and social media, to licensing, layout and design for the event, which are vital skills to those entering the beer industry.
“The students plan everything from ticket sales and marketing promotions to recruiting sponsorship and volunteers for the event,” said Sarah Scott, manager of food-services operations for NC’s Culinary, Tourism and Beverage Studies Division.
It’s also a culmination of their brewing lessons as students create their recipes and brew individual and class beers for Project Brew.
“For their graduation project, it’s a chance for students to apply the technical brewing skills they’ve learned in the program brewing beers to style specifications,” said Brewmaster Professor Jon Downing. “They really get creative with their Project Brew beers.”
The event gives students an opportunity to interact with guests who are sampling their beers, while the public has a chance to get a taste of unique craft beers from the next generation of brewers.
In the case of Project Brew Augtoberfest, the public has an opportunity to sample craft beers created by the same class who recently won the ‘grand national champion’ title and five medals at the U.S. Open College Beer Championship.
Brewmaster student Marye-Anne Chisholm (Stevensville) has taken a lead role as chair for Project Brew Augtoberfest. Chisholm noted that the class came up with the idea for Project Brew’s Bavarian theme before their class even began, inspired by their experience in Germany on a previous College ‘Be World Ready’ trip, which several of them attended. Now, as the graduating class, they have an opportunity to put their own stamp on Project Brew and are excited to make it happen.
“We thought the Bavarian theme would be a lot of fun for Project Brew,” she said.
Student-made brews will be on tap for guests to enjoy in the ‘biergarten’ and guests are encouraged to get into the festive spirit and wear Bavarian attire – such as dirndl or lederhosen – to the event.
Chisholm noted another positive about the event is that it will bring students from different classes together. Various classes of Brewmaster classes will help serve at Project Brew, culinary students will be making food, and hospitality students will assist at the door and with token sales.
Chisholm said the students look forward to having their Project Brews enjoyed but the class will keep their beers a secret until the event.
“There will be 13 unique beers and many of them are experimental,” said Chisholm. “Having the chance to see people enjoy our beers will be very rewarding.”
Kyla Dewey (Toronto), who is responsible for Project Brew social media and is helping with ticket sales, is enjoying the learning experience.
“I love working with people and creating fun content on my personal socials when I have a chance, so this has further solidified my passion for both. Marketing knowledge is a priceless tool and I’m thankful to have the experience of working on the team’s social media this semester,” said Dewey, who noted that if she doesn’t work in a brewhouse after graduation, she may pursue marketing within the beer industry.
While Dewey’s Project Brew remains a secret, she revealed it will be an “easy drinking beer that’s great to enjoy on a hot day in August.”
“I’m happy to be graduating from the program with some good beer recipes and buckets of knowledge that will continue to help me make tasty beer,” said Dewey. “I’m proud of the amazing beers our class has made, five of which recently won medals at the U.S. Open College Beer Championship, and this is a fun festival to showcase our beery talents.”
Thomas Morenzoni (St. Catharines), who was born in Peru and raised in Switzerland, said he is brewing a beer related to his home country. Morenzoni developed the floor plan for the event and is embracing the opportunity to get involved in various ways. A former metal-building designer, he became interested in a career in brewing in recent years, thanks to a friend who owns a brewery.
“I am used in planning, organizing and executing the work if considered in a company. However, I do not have experience in organizing, or promoting events,” he said. “Gaining knowledge in how an event is organized, it is a precious asset to add to my curriculum and personal skills.”
In addition to the experienced he is gaining through Project Brew, Morenzoni considers his biggest achievement to be the bonds he has made at NC.
“I already achieved my biggest achievement during the time spent in Niagara College … meeting my fabulous classmates, who made me feel at home, far away from home.” he said.
Project Brew beers will be judged by a panel from the College, and the winner of a $4,500 scholarship from Lallemand Brewing will be announced at the event.
In addition to supporting student learning through the scholarship, Lallemand Brewing supports the Teaching Brewery with donations of brewing yeast throughout the year, and by hosting guest lectures for the brewing program on a regular basis.
”Lallemand continues to support the Brewing program at Niagara College because we see the positive influence that the program has on our industry,” said Kevin Somerville, Technical Sales Manager at Lallemand Brewing, a family-owned Canadian company. Somerville has been involved with NC’s Brewmaster program since it began in 2010, as its first program coordinator, as an instructor during the first five years of the program, and he continues to be involved as a member of its Program Advisory Committee.
“We are proud to partner with the College in continuously improving the brewing community,” said Somerville.
Project Brew Augtoberfest will be held on August 11 from 5-9 p.m. at the Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The event will be held outdoors in the courtyard, weather permitting.
Ticket prices are $20 plus taxes and fees. Guests must be at least 19 years old to participate. The ticket price includes four beer tokens and a beer glass (additional tokens are available for purchase at $2 per token). Food from NC Culinary Arts will be available for purchase.
All proceeds from Project Brew benefit the Matt Soos Memorial Scholarship, in memory of Matt Soos, who graduated from NC’s Brewmaster program in 2015. The scholarship is awarded to a student winner of Project Brew every year. This year’s winner was announced at the last Project Brew ‘Hops the Docks’ at the end of Winter term.
With hundreds of tickets already sold, organizers have currently paused ticket sales for Augtoberfest. Additional tickets may be released prior to the event if weather permits an increased capacity (for the event to be held outdoors).
For the latest Project Brew and ticket information, visit projectbrew.squarespace.com/brewers-1.
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 diploma program offers extensive hands-on training at an on-campus, state-of-the-art Teaching Brewery to prepare students for employment in the brewery, microbrewery and brewpub industries. Visit ncteachingbrewery.ca.
Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 10,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is consistently ranked among Canada’s top 10 colleges for research funding. Learn more at niagaracollege.ca.
Group: Final term Brewmaster students prepare to host Project Brew Augtoberfest.
Marye-Anne Chisholm: Brewmaster student Marye-Anne Chisholm has taken a lead role as chair for Project Brew Augtoberfest.
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