More than 200 guests attended the opening of Western Canada’s first teaching brewery at Olds College, located in the Pomeroy Inn & Suites at Olds College, to get the first taste of Olds College beer. The President of Olds College, Dr. H.J. (Tom) Thompson was joined by Niagara College President, Dr. Dan Patterson, as they sipped on the first brew from the Olds College Brewery.
“This is not just a success for Olds College, it is a success for the partners who have helped us get to this point,” stated Dr. Thompson, “In addition to our gracious partners at Niagara College, the student interest and industry support we have received is encouraging. New programs, especially those in new fields, are exciting, but provide challenges to introduce and get off the ground. Continued support from our industry partners will help us continue to build a program that will give our students the best possible opportunities to learn their craft.”
The teaching brewery has state-of-the-art equipment and is attached to the Pomeroy Inn & Suites at Olds College, located on the north end of the campus in Olds. The brewery will also serve as a retail outlet and its own brews will soon be served in the hotel restaurant and lounge. Olds College Beer will be available for purchase from its retail location in kegs, cans, bottles and growlers.
“We have four flagship beers that we are brewing,” explains Peter Johnston-Berresford, coordinator for the Olds College Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management Program, “but we will also have a number of limited release-specialty beers that will be brewed throughout the year, each of which will give our students an opportunity to experiment with ingredients and create their own unique beers.”
The Olds College Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management Diploma is one half of a unique Pan-Canadian experiment in Canadian brewing education. Grown from a collaboration with Niagara College, the Olds College Brewmaster program will equip graduates for a variety of careers within the brewing industry. The program will provide a mix of theory and hands-on practice, a long-standing strength of Olds College programs.
With the addition of its full-time brewmaster Duncan Britton and brewery instructor Jordan Ramey, the college can enhance existing programming and explore opportunities for development of online and continuing education applications. Each instructor brings key training and experience that, together, spans all aspects of brewing — from food microbiology and brewing chemistry, to large and small brewery applications, to agronomy and business management.
With a full intake of 26 students in its first year there has been tremendous excitement around this new program here. Along with the Hospitality and Tourism program that is now being offered in Olds, every student can get their start to finish hospitality experience all in one place. For more information about this program or any other offered here in Olds, check out www.oldscollege.ca.