Niagara-on-the-Lake college get $1.7 million from government to create program leading craft breweries


Published April 21, 2022 at 2:31 pm

Lyndon Ashton, manager of the Niagara College's Canadian Food and Wine Institute Innovation Centre, was happy to get a sizable cheque from the government to create a program ensuring quality from Canadian craft breweries. (Photo: Niagara College)

Given the huge success of the Niagara College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program – Canada’s first Teaching Brewery – it comes as little surprise that they are considered a leader for both education and industry.

In fact, they are so much so that the federal government recently gave them a $1,789,330 grant to lead a project supporting the Canadian craft brewing industry by improving quality assurance and control measures in small and medium-sized breweries.

The project’s goal is to create a Craft Brewer Quality program, which will be piloted across the country to train brewers and students.

In fact, Niagara College will be the lead in the project, which will also involve three other institutions – Durham College in Oshawa, Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick in Bathurst, New Brunswick and Olds College in Olds, Alberta.

“We are absolutely thrilled for the support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. It really shows that the federal government is committed to supporting the craft beer industry in its ongoing growth and development,” said Lyndon Ashton, manager of the college’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute Innovation Centre.

“Since the 1980s, the craft brewing industry has grown to 24 per cent of all beer made in Canada. Of key importance now for the growing industry is developing a systematic way to increase quality assurance and consistency in the products sold to the public.”

Ashton noted that the funds will be used to collaboratively develop a framework of industry standards and guidelines with college and industry experts.

They will be operationalized into customized written quality programs and the concepts will be proven in partnership with 16 breweries across New Brunswick, Ontario, and Alberta.

At every step, students will be trained alongside industry partners, exemplifying work-integrated learning and capacity building for the businesses.

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