Niagara College Teaching Brewery Celebrates Success in 2021 U.S. Open Beer Championship


NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — Niagara College’s (NC) Teaching Brewery, home to the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program, earned three gold medals and tied for 10th place in the list of Top 10 Breweries from the 2021 U.S. Open Beer Championship.

“Back in 2007, when we were looking at starting the Brewmaster program, who would have known that it would become the premier spot for beer studies that it is today,” says Steve Gill, general manager of NC’s Learning Enterprises. “Our students are consistently making high-quality beers that shine among the best on the national and international stage.”

“This recognition shows that our students, under instruction from head brewer George Eagleson and lead brewer Brad Barta, are taught how to brew world-class beers,” says Brewmaster professor John Downing. “Each time our Beer 101s are brewed, it’s by a different group of students in different semesters, usually as a collaborative effort between two or more classes.”

The 2021 U.S. Open Beer Championship drew more than 8,000 beer entries, representing 140 different styles for this year’s competition.

Moreover, at the U.S. Open College Beer Championship, the NC Teaching Brewery tied for fourth place overall, with four beer entries created by students.

“The feeling of winning gold was a shocker plus great excitement for me and my family and an enormous sense of pride being able to represent Niagara College,” says Joel Droogh, gold medalist for a Holstein and Jersey milk stout. “This is such a landmark for my career as I just entered the brewing industry three years ago, right after highschool, and I know this is just the start.”

Now in its fifth year, the U.S. Open College Beer Championship drew entries from 11 post-secondary institutions in the U.S. and Canada.

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