KPU Brewing Program Recognized by Master Brewer’s Association of the Americas

The recognition will give students a better chance at finding jobs post-graduation
Braden Klassen, Contributor

Alek Egi

KPU brewing instructor Alek Egi (The Runner)

 

The KPU Brewing & Brewery Operations Diploma Program has received official recognition from the Master Brewer’s Association of the Americas for being one of eight Brewing and Fermentation Science programs in North America to meet the standards and learning outcomes established by the MBAA’s Higher Education Committee. KPU is the first Canadian university to ever receive this recognition from the Association.

“Earning Master Brewers recognition is a great opportunity for programs and academic institutions to stand out in a competitive and growing education market,” wrote Susan Welch, VP of the MBAA, in the committee’s official press release.

The MBAA was established in 1887, and has worked to become the “globally recognized knowledge authority in brewing science, technology and operations,” according to the organization’s vision-statement.

“This is really important,” says Professor Alek Egi, a KPU Brewing Instructor. “It’s showing us that, at least for now, we’re doing things right, and we would definitely like to keep improving.”

The two-year Brewing program began in 2014, and the KPU Brewery held its grand opening in late 2015. Egi says that he received a call from the technical director of the MBAA, who had been reaching out to the coordinators of similar programs in North America.

“This was always kind of on my radar, even as soon as we started the program,” says Egi. “With so many craft breweries popping up everywhere, a lot of universities were looking at the possibility of offering some sort of brewing education.”

Egi is a member of the MBAA and says that KPU was the first program of its kind to submit an application to be evaluated for the recognition.

“They came with the learning outcomes for four-year bachelor programs, two-year diploma programs, and certificate programs,” he says. “Of course, these learning outcomes should be such that the people who are graduating from these programs can actually find entry-level positions in the brewing industry or associated industries, such as cideries.”

Egi says that the recognition provides a boost to the credentials of students who graduate from the program, and can really help them get jobs as brewery technicians, packaging line operators, or in quality control, working in microbiology, chemistry and sensory labs.

“They have recommendations for the practical hands-on work that the students are supposed to get, so that can be arranged as an internship with the local brewers in the area. Even better is if the university or program actually has its own brewery.”

The KPU Brewery also offers services to local breweries, where the brewers can send packages of their beer to the brewing lab for full chemical and microbial analysis. KPU also allows breweries to make use of its state-of-the-art NSI Newlands pilot brewing system in the summer months when students are not using it.

“The industry is still growing,” says Egi. “There are more and more brewers that are operating and hopefully that will be a trend that will continue in the future.”

 

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