We are proud of our award-winning programs, faculty, wines and beers.


Ontario wins big at 2016 US Open Beer Championship

Oxford, OH – Ontario’s Niagara College Teaching Brewery earned the top spot in the first annual US Open College Beer Championship, being named Grand National Championship as the best brewing college program in North America.

Niagara College earned 2 gold, a silver and a bronze medal in the competition for their student-brewed beers. Seven different colleges took home medals in 5 categories. These categories included IPA, Witbier, German Pilsner, Imperial Stout and an “Open” category.


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Students looking to round out their culinary education should also look at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Niagara College, where Canada’s only teaching winery is located, as well as an on-campus brewery for aspiring craft beer makers. In addition to training for both sweet and savoury sides, there are tea and wine sommelier programs, and classes on how to run your own brewery and winery.

ACCC Gold Program Award

ACCC Gold Program Excellence Award for the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management Program

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.

40 Under 40 Award

Jennifer Wilhelm wins Niagara Top 40 Under 40

Wilhelm, who is an instructor and coordinator of Niagara College’s wine programs, will be one of 40 business people under the age of 40 to be honoured by the The Business Link.

“The Business Link recognizes 40 individuals under the age of 40 for their leadership, growth and development of the Niagara region and their community involvement,” said Wendy Smith, account executive/office manager, Business Link Media Group. “Jennifer was chosen by an independent judging panel of 40 Under Forty alumni for her growth in her position and what she gives back to the community, her compassion for what she does, her knowledge and her drive to be successful.”

The awards recognize Niagara’s next generation of business leaders who consistently make their mark in business and in their communities. To be nominated, candidates must have achieved business success and be active in a civic organization.

Terence Van Rooyen wins Tony Aspler Cuvee Award of Excellence

Terence Van Rooyen, winemaker/professor at the NC Teaching Winery, was honoured with the Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Excellence at the 2013 Cuvée gala. The award, initiated in 2000 by celebrated Canadian wine writer Tony Aspler to mark 25 years of wine writing, is given to the individual or organization who has done most to further the aims and aspirations of the Ontario Wine Industry.

“This year, the award was presented to Terence Van Rooyen for honing the skills of future cool climate winemakers for Canada and the world,” said Aspler. “Terence has spent many years explaining and practicing the production of cool climate wines for students at Niagara College. With his experience of working at and consulting to various Ontario wineries he is in a great position to instruct the province’s future winemakers.”

Ontario Craft Brewers

Ontario Craft Brewers Centre of Excellence Award for Educational Leadership

Niagara College received the Ontario Craft Brewers Centre of Excellence Award for Educational Leadership at the Ontario Craft Brewers Awards Dinner as part of the Craft Brewers Conference on Oct 22, 2012. The Ontario Craft Brewers Conference is in its inaugural year and celebrated the achievements of industry leaders in a variety of capacities. Niagara College is honoured to be recognized for the contributions of Canada’s first and only Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program to the future of the craft brewing industry through Educational Leadership.

The Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program is an award winning academic program that incorporates an open-concept state-of-the-art 1,500-square-foot teaching micro-brewery. This facility is where students are empowered to learn through hands-on training in all facets of the brewing industry, including beer making, licensee and agent sales and operations, brewery operations, marketing and public relations, brewpub operations, retail sales and special events. Students learn the art of brewing by crafting a full range of beers including the College’s First Draft brand available in lager and ale, now being sold in the LCBO.

Golden Tap Awards

NC Teaching Brewery Wins Editors Choice at Golden Tap Awards

The Niagara College Teaching Brewery received an Editor’s Circle Award at the 10th Annual Golden Tap Awards, presented at the close of Toronto Beer Week on September 22, 2012. The Golden tap Awards recognize the best achievements in beer in Ontario, and are presented in categories for particular brewing styles and to industry leaders. The Niagara College Teaching Brewery received an Editor’s Circle Award, as chosen by the editor of Bar Towel Magazine.

This award, signifying the status of Niagara College’s Teaching Brewery as a leader in the brewing industry, was received with great honour by the CFWI team and is an exceptional recognition of the continuing support of The Bar Towel. We are very proud of our team of faculty and staff who were instrumental in launching the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program at Niagara College, and who continue to perform at an exceptionally high standard in the execution of this program.

Generation Next Awards

Amy Proulx nominated for Generation NEXT Awards

Canadian Grocer magazine has just announced the finalists for this year’s Generation Next Awards, and amongst them is the Canadian Food and Wine Institute’s Amy Proulx. Amy heads up our Culinary Innovation and Food Technology program at Niagara College. The three year program has been largely developed using Amy’s expertise and industry experience. Amy’s dedication to the program has resulted in a unique learning opportunity for students with coursework being one aspect of the encompassing educational experience. Students work directly with people in industry, including retailers and ingredient suppliers. Amy has worked hard to develop a new breed of food science student with the practical training and skills that the industry demands.

Being nominated for this award is quite an accomplishment for Amy who, by being nominated, is recognized as being a New and Exciting Thinker in the food science industry. Requirements for nomination include a demonstrated innovation, leadership and a commitment to the grocery industry.

Bill White Awarded Educator of the Year at the Canadian Brewery Awards

The Educator of the Year Award is presented by the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, and in its inaugural year was awarded to one of our own, Bill White. The criteria for this award include the commitment of the individual to elevating the knowledge and talent in the Canadian Brewing Industry through an educational role, and a commitment to the industry that is demonstrated through years of industry inclusion, promotion of the industry, and raising industry standards through exceptional work. Bill White is a very deserving recipient of this award.

In his career of 37 years in the brewing industry Bill has worked to earn multiple accreditations including his Belgian Service of Beers from the Confederation of Belgian Brewers in 1997. With his company “Better With Beer” Bill develops the palate for beer appreciation in developing an understanding of taste. He has also been featured on Beer TV, Beer Buddies, and The Thirsty Traveller. Bill also assists with judging at various competitions including the Canadian Brewing Awards, the Great American Beer Festival, the Mondial de la Biere, and the World Beer Cup. Bill writes about beer and travel for magazines and co-authored the MBAA Beer Steward Handbook. We are extremely proud to have Bill White on our team at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, and proud of his achievement in receiving the Educator of the Year award.

Jennifer Wilhelm the Wine Educator of the Year Award

The VQA Promoters’ Awards are given annually at the Experts’ Tasting held on Cuvée weekend at Brockn University in St. Catharines, Ontario. The awards are designed to recognize individuals who have consistently promoted VQA wines through education and/or promotion in the areas of retail (LCBO Product Consultants), hospitality, media, education, Promoter-at-Large and Lifetime Achievement. The mission of these awards is to acknowledge those individuals that celebrate the Ontario VQA wine industry with unselfish enthusiasm, constructive input and unsolicited promotion.

In 2010 one of our own was honoured with recognition in the education category. Jennifer Wilhelm is a certified Sommelier, international wine judge and educator. She is currently the Wine Program Coordinator at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute. She has worked in the food and beverage industry in the Niagara Region for over a decade, and has watched the area evolve into a world class wine and culinary destination.  Jennifer is dedicated to sharing her passion for wine with others and has been teaching a multitude of wine and hospitality classes at Niagara College since 2006, including courses for the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. She imparts her knowledge in an enthusiastic and approachable manner and remains invested in her students long after they have left her classroom.

Jennifer is committed to supporting the Canadian wine industry and believes that the best way to get people interested in wine is to get them involved in wine as a whole experience; visiting the wineries and vineyards, meeting the grape growers and winemakers, learning the history and stories of the people who have built up the industry and investing in the next generation of passionate and knowledgeable professionals who will continue to put Canadian wines on the world wine map.

Jon Ogryzlo wins the Tony Aspler Cuvee Award for Excellence – 2010

In 2010, The Dean of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, Jon Ogryzlo, was honoured at Cuvee for his outstanding contributions to the wine industry with the Tony Aspler Cuvee Award for Excellence. Jon was chosen for this award for his leadership in the development of the wine and viticulture programming that culminated in the opening of the Wine Visitor and Education Centre on November 5, 2009.