NC Teaching Brewery wins gold and silver medals at U.S. Open Beer
The Niagara College Teaching Brewery “owned the podium” at this week’s 2012
U.S. Open Beer Championships in Atlanta, GA, capturing two gold medals and
two silvers along with a prestigious top-10 overall ranking in the
international competition. The four-medal finish helped the Niagara College
Teaching Brewery place sixth overall - landing Canada’s first commercial
teaching brewery in a top ten that includes leading North American craft
brewers, including the Boston Beer Company - brewer of Sam Adams beers.
“This is a great result for our teaching brewery and speaks to the quality beers
that are being created by students and staff in our Brewmaster and Brewery
Operations Management program,” said Jon Ogryzlo, dean of Niagara College’s
Canadian Food and Wine Institute. “That our beers compare favourably with those
of the top craft brewers in North America shows that our graduates will be ready
to make significant contributions to Canada’s craft brewing industry.”
The Niagara College Teaching Brewery won Gold medals in the Bitter category for
its Butler’s Bitter - a traditional English-style Bitter inspired by the War of
1812 - and in the Munchner Helles Category for its Helenboch Beer. Silver medals
were won in the English Summer Ale category for its First Draft Ale and in the
Wood/Barrel-Aged Strong Beer category for its Bertwell Barrel Aged Barley Wine.
The NC Teaching Brewery also received a nod from the judges in their top ten
“most creative names” for its Rudolph’s Red Nose Barley Wine.
The beers entered into the competition were brewed by a crew of student brewers
supervised by Niagara College brewmaster Jon Downing. The crew includes Elliot
Herman, a program graduate and lead brewer, along with students Eric Cardin,
Chris Eddy and Jamie Daust.
“Competitions like these are a great learning experience for our students,” said
Downing. “It provides an opportunity to see what they’re doing well, while
learning from some of the leading brewers in the industry.”
Downing also served as Director of Judging for the U.S. Open Beer Championships,
and was responsible for training judges and overseeing the registration of
entries. Due to Niagara College’s entries, he did not judge any categories in
this year’s competition.
This year's U.S. Open Beer Championship saw more than 1,650 beers judged in 65
different categories. Last year, the Niagara College Teaching Brewery won three
medals at the competition.
NC’s Teaching Brewery opened in April 2011 and supports Niagara College’s
Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program. 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 Brewmaster students
graduated in June 2012. In spring 2012, Niagara College signed an agreement with
Olds College in Alberta to deliver NC's Brewmaster and Brewery Operations
Management program in western Canada.
The Canadian Food and Wine Institute, located on Niagara College’s
Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, is the college’s centre for food wine and beer
education. It is home to Benchmark, the college’s teaching restaurant, as well
as the Teaching Winery and Teaching Brewery.
Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level
programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls. 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, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit