The brewing industry in Alberta and Canada is growing rapidly. We are seeing increasing numbers of craft breweries driven largely by strong consumer demand for a greater variety of great tasting, local craft beers.
Olds College has a 100+ year history in education supporting the agriculture and agriculture value-added sectors, so the idea of starting up a teaching brewery was seen by our board as a perfect fit for us! So as not to reinvent the wheel, in 2012 Olds College began working with the Niagara College Teaching Brewery to create an Alberta based program.
As a result of the Niagara partnership, we created a state of the art 2,000 square foot facility dedicated to teaching students the art and science behind brewing the best beer possible. Our brewing equipment is tailored for small commercial production with six 1,000 liter commercial fermenters plus eight 100 liter pilot systems used for testing recipes and for niche brewing. Our first student intake was in the fall of 2013 and we began to produce our first commercial brews in January, 2014.
In the spirit of working with and supporting the brewing industry, we are also starting to offer research and testing services to other breweries through the Olds College Centre for Innovation laboratories … our research arm. We are quite excited about this as it is a first for Canada and it will help to raise the quality level of beer across the country even further!
As a working brewery we are a ‘social enterprise’. This means we sell beer. We sell cans, bottles, and kegs via our on-campus beer-store as well as at leading bars, restaurants, and liquor retailers across central Alberta! As a social enterprise we are not profit driven. All revenue from beer sales goes toward supporting education and in doing so, the brewing industry. Our only goal is to train the next generation right and to produce the best beer possible while doing so.
We produce all types of beer and train students in all beer styles, so we are constantly turning out new and creative seasonal brews in addition to our four ‘core’ brands.
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