Niagara College wins national Gold Program Excellence Award

accc award for inc

Pictured above: NC president Dan Patterson (right) and former dean of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute Jon Ogryzlo (middle) accepts the ACCC Gold Program Excellence Award from chair of the ACCC board Ann Buller. Photo by Marilyn Hicks.

Niagara College has been awarded the 2013 Gold Program Excellence Award by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC).

The national award was granted to Niagara College for its Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management diploma program, which is the first of its kind in Canada. It was presented during the annual ACCC conference held June 1-3 in Penticton, British Columbia.

“The Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management diploma program embodies our conference theme of Ideas Uncorked,” said ACCC President and CEO James Knight. “This innovative program is a hallmark of success in academic programming that has caught the imagination of educational institutions around the world.”

It was noted by the ACCC that Niagara College worked with the Ontario Craft Brewers Association to develop the two-year program within its Canadian Food and Wine Institute. The program combines applied learning in the field with a two-acre hop yard, crafting beer in Canada’s only teaching brewery, sales and marketing, working with breweries and budding entrepreneurs in research, and recipe development. The College is also creating a pan-Canadian program with Olds College in Alberta, which is replicating the program for a launch later this year.

Last June, Niagara College’s first class of Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management students graduated – the first time in history that Canada has had a graduating class from a brewery program. The College’s second class of Brewmaster students will graduate this month.

“Having our Brewmaster program recognized at a national level by the ACCC is a testament to our College’s success in applied education,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson.  “It’s a great source of pride for us to have developed a unique world-class program that has made Canadian history and equips students with in-demand skills as they prepare to enter the rapidly growing North American craft brewing industry.”

The NC Teaching Brewery, the only fully-licensed teaching brewery in Canada, opened at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus in April 2011. The facility allows students to brew their own craft beer on campus and get hands-on training in beer making, management and sensory evaluation.

Niagara College also won the ACCC Program Excellence Award 2003-2004 for its Winery and Viticulture Technician program (at that time there were no bronze or silver ACCC awards).

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. The CFWI delivers culinary, wine and beer programs that are unique in Canada, including Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management, Wine Technology, Wine Business Management and Culinary Innovation and Food Technology. 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; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Continuing Education 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, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit

For more information contact:

Gord Hunchak

Associate Vice President, Planning and Communications

905 735-2211 ext. 4650

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