College’s Entry Wins Silver Medal At Canadian Brewing Awards

College Brewmaster Jon Downing holds up a can of award-winning Beer 101 Bock at the Niagara College Teaching Brewery. (Supplied photo)

There’s a new reason to cheer the NC Teaching Brewery.

Its beer lesson in a can, Beer 101 Bock, won a silver at the 18th annual Canadian Brewing Awards, in the Bock Traditional German Style category. Canada’s premier national competition for judging the quality of Canadian manufactured beer, a Canadian Brewing Award medal is a widely recognized symbol of Canadian brewing excellence.

“Our Teaching Brewery’s success at national competitions demonstrates how Niagara College continues to lead the way in Canada’s growing craft beer industry,” said Steve Gill, general manager of NC’s Learning Enterprises. “It’s also a testament to the quality applied education we offer our Brewmaster students who gain hands-on experience crafting quality products that are applauded as among the best in Canada.”

College Brewmaster Jon Downing noted that this is the first award Beer 101 Bock has ever won.

“It was one of the last beers brewed by the students before the lockdown and, as a result, we got to age it for a very long time before we kegged and packaged it for the competition,” he said. “Bock is a beer that historically would have been aged for several months, so this means we were really true to style, which is the goal for all of our Beer 101 branded brews.”

Beer 101 Bock is part of the Teaching Brewery’s Beer 101 series, which comes with a lesson about the history, bitterness, colour, aroma, alcohol, ingredients, mouthfeel and typical food pairings for each type of beer. The Bock style beer was originally brewed in Einbeck, North Germany and moved south to Bavaria where it became ‘a bock,’ which also means ‘a goat’ – the animals used in many labels and ads for the style.

The recent national success of Beer 101 Bock follows a line of College brews that have proved their mettle at the Canadian Brewing Awards. In 2019, its Beer 101 Bitter and Beer 101 Strong both won bronze. In 2018, Beer 101 Strong won silver, and in 2013 Butler’s Bitter won gold.

Beer 101 Bock is available in 473 ml cans, and may be purchased at the Wine Visitor + Education Centre, located at the College’s Daniel J. Patterson Campus in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The Canadian Brewing Awards invites Canadian majority-owned breweries of all sizes to compete in a Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) sanctioned blind tasting determining the best beers in 55 style categories. This year’s CBAs were held virtually; winners were announced on September 12. Visit

NC’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program was launched in 2010 as the first of its kind in Canada. The award-winning, two-year program offers extensive hands-on training at an on-site, state-of-the-art Teaching Brewery to prepare students for employment in the expanding brewery, microbrewery and brewpub industries. Located at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus, students learn from award-winning faculty and have access to on-site hop yard and local farm products to brew a full range of beer styles. Visit

(Source: Niagara College news release)

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