Brewing Students Craft Unique Beers for Graduating Projects


At the start of the spring semester, graduating students in the Brewing and Brewery Operations program were assembled into 10 teams. Each team was tasked with creating their own signature brew, a level of freedom that in the past has led to the creation of such far-ranging flavours as jalapeno and kimchi beers.

Once the teams had developed their recipes, they had to brew it, package it, and sell it. This is a highly involved process, as groups must come in each day to manage their beer’s fermentation and perform any necessary control tests to ensure its quality.

Essentially, these beers are the culmination of a year and a half of studying in the Brewing program, and students are excited to share their hard work.

Every Friday until April 5, a new team’s beer will go on sale at the KPU Brewery.

One such beer, which will be made available on Feb. 15, is the “Norwegian farmhouse” Punsch ale, brewed by Alexander Szymanski, Levi Loree, and Paul Osborne. Their beer pays homage to the traditional Punsch, a popular drink in Europe during the 18th century.

According to Difford’s Guide—one of the world’s largest online drink-related reference websites—Punsch is a liqueur traditionally made with spirits, water, sugar, citrus, and spices. In order to add their own unique spin to the classical recipe, the group’s Punsch-inspired ale is infused with lemon, clove, cardamom, tea leaves, molasses, and other spices.

For those who enjoy a nice IPA, Wesley Bain and Daryl McDonald’s “Fruity and the Yeast” IPA goes on sale on Feb. 8.

“It’s kind of a mix between the New England IPA style and the Belgian IPA,” explains McDonald.

“We added coriander and used Belgian Yeast instead of American ale yeast, so you’re getting all the haziness and fruitiness and low bitterness of the New England IPA style beer, but with the Belgian yeast estery business,” adds Bains.

The high ester levels give the beer its fruit-forward character, featuring notes of mango, banana, pineapple, coriander, and citrus.

As a member of the graduating class, I took part in the process and contributed to the creation of “Gingerbread Dunkelweizen”, which went on sale on Feb. 1. The beer was made with 50 per cent wheat malt and freshly grated ginger. The ginger was thought to pair well with some of the yeast-derived flavours in the beer.

“The hefeweizen yeast that was used imparts notes of clove and banana, which together with the ginger and wheat creates a flavour reminiscent of a gingerbread cookie,” says Daniel Hoffman, one of my brewing team members.

Beers made through the program can be purchased from the Brewing and Brewery Operations program on the Langley campus. Check out the program on the KPU website or visit its Facebook page for more details.