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KPU grad brews success at BC Beer Awards

KPU grad brews success at BC Beer Awards

10/26/2016 - 10:49
Gerry Erith (left), co-founder, BC Beer Awards; Ashley Brooks, KPU alum, Brewing Diploma '16, head brewer, Big Ridge Brewing Co. and first place winner in the British Pale Ale category; and Chester Carey (right), co-founder, BC Beer Awards. Photo credit:

Metro Vancouver, B.C. – Ashley Brooks knows her beer.

At the 2016 BC Beer Awards, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) alum Ashley Brooks took home first-place for her brewery’s Clover IPA in the British pale ale category, beating out 16 other entries. Brooks graduated from the KPU Brewing and Brewery Operations Diploma Program in 2016, and is now the head brewer at Big Ridge Brewing Co. in Surrey, BC.

“It’s really exciting to be recognized for something I love doing,” said Brooks. “I’m passionate about beer and have a lot of fun playing with ingredients and creating new recipes at Big Ridge. Working at different breweries and going through the KPU Brewing program absolutely helped me fine-tune my skills to become a head brewer. It’s a great time to be in the craft beer industry and it’s pretty cool to see so many fellow KPU Brewing grads working at award-winning breweries, too.”

This isn’t Brooks’ first award—she also won silver in the 2016 Vancouver International Craft Beer Awards in the Light Standard category for Big Ridge Brewing Co.’s 152 Lager shortly after graduating from KPU.

The BC Beer Awards was attended by almost three quarters of the craft breweries in BC, and recognizes the very best of craft beer and ciders brewed in the province. This year, the event was entirely sold out, with 83 different breweries from across BC submitting a total of 750 tasting samples of their beer on Oct. 15, 2016 in the hopes of taking home an award.

“We’re extremely proud of Ashley and her win at the 2016 BC Beer Awards,” said Betty Worobec, dean of KPU’s science and horticulture faculty, which oversees the brewing diploma program. “It’s phenomenal to see her rise from recent KPU Brewing Diploma grad to head brewer to winning awards and being celebrated by the craft beer industry in such a short time. It’s exciting to see this level of success from our first cohort of brewing grads.”

Several other KPU brewing alumni who work at local breweries were also celebrating their breweries’ wins in at least one of the 30 different categories at the BC Beer Awards, including: Tony Charrett and Arthur Remy from Parallel 49; Allan Cukier, R&B Brewing; Ted Fine, Main Street Brewing; Dan Mariette, Ravens Brewing Co.; Tom Morrison, Red Truck Brewing; Scott Wallis, Yellow Dog Brewing; and Cole Smith, Dead Frog Brewery; Central City Brewers + Distillers; and Yellow Dog Brewing.

About Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at kpu.ca.

Media contact:
Tatiana Tomljanovic
Media Specialist
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288
tatiana.tomljanovic@kpu.ca

Corry Anderson-Fennell
Manager, Media and Communications
t: 604.599.2840
c: 604.828.5232
corry.anderson-fennell@kpu.ca

For more KPU news:
@KPUmedia
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