College hosts Project Brew, craft beer festival

Brewmaster and Brewery Operations students James Clark, left and Aaron Martin prepare for Project Brew, which takes place at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus Dec. 5 

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus will be buzzing with activity on Saturday, Dec. 5 with the Project Brew craft beer festival, as well as open house events at  the Wine Visitor + Education Centre and the Niagara College Teaching Brewery.

Project Brew

A craft beer festival is on tap that will give the public a chance to experience one-of-a-kind beers from the next generation of brewers.

Project Brew will be held at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus on Saturday, Dec. 5 (1-5 p.m.). Expected to draw about 500 people, the indoor craft festival will feature 17 different student beers, in a variety of styles, each individually designed and brewed – from recipe to finished product — by students from the graduating class of the College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program.  It will also feature five guest breweries, as well as a guest winery and local food vendors. Students will showcase a home brewing demo and also hold a raffle during the event.

This will be the third Project Brew festival hosted by the Brewmaster program, since the first successful event was launched in April.

The event is a learning opportunity for the students who, in addition to brewing the beer, work on planning the event, as well as sales and marketing as part of their Sales, Marketing and Promotions class.

“The event is a semester-long learning activity for our students, who learn how to put on a successful event from conception to execution. They get to experience all sides of event planning — from marketing, logistics and working with vendors and hosts,” said class instructor Brianne Hawley. “The most special part of this event is that the students get to showcase and promote a beer that they created and share it with beer lovers for the first time. It is a very exciting time for a new brewer and it is also a great industry networking opportunity.”

For Brewmaster student James Clark, who has taken on the position of event chair, preparing for the event has opened his eyes to all the work that is involved – more than he ever thought when he attended the last two events – and he values the learning opportunity that being part of the process has offered him.

“The event has been a tremendous learning opportunity for the class because it forces us into a lot of very unique situations that as festival goers we couldn’t entirely appreciate,” said Clark.  “It’s going to be a really satisfying capstone to the last two years that my Brewmaster cohort has been working to develop our talent as brewers. On top of that, it’s a chance to bring in our family, friends and community and show them what it is we do, and what brewing is, and why we’ve chosen it as a vocation.”


The event is open to guests 19 years of age or older (valid government issued photo ID is required). Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. The cost includes a commemorative Project Brew sample glass and four drink tokens (additional tokens may be purchased for $2 each).

Tickets and more information are available on the Project Brew Winter 2015 website and on Facebook at (

Proceeds are being donated to the Matt Soos Memorial Scholarship Fund.