KPU Brewing has its own state-of-the-art, award-winning teaching brewery
Our program has a strong emphasis on brewing science and quality control
Diploma in Brewing and Brewery Operations
KPU's Brewing and Brewery Operations program is the only brewing diploma of its kind in British Columbia, the first brewing program in Canada recognized by the Master Brewers Association, and our students recently won four medals in the 2021 US Open College Beer Championship tying in second place overall as one of the top brewing schools in North America. KPU's teaching brewery also won Brewery of the Year at the 2019 BC Beer Awards
This program was developed in consultation with the BC Craft Brewers Guild and an Advisory Committee consisting of local brewmasters, brewery owners and industry experts, and taught by award-winning instructors with decades of brewing and beer industry experience.
Why Go to "Beer School"?
Go beyond your passion for craft beer and turn it into a career. We created this program to meet the demand for knowledgeable, trained brewers educated in brewing science in the rapidly growing craft beer industry.
Your formal education in brewing and brewery operations at KPU shows potential employers a strong commitment to a career in the brewing industry. Add to that the hands-on experience and practical skills gained through the program and you will be prepared for any challenge in the industry.
Who Studies Brewing and Brewery Operations?
KPU Brewing students come from diverse backgrounds and have more than just a passion for craft beer.
They demonstrate a deep interest in science in areas such as biology, chemistry, engineering and technology, as well as areas like business, marketing and food.
"My Brewing Diploma and time at KPU opened doors for me that weren't previously open."
"My time and what I learned in the KPU Brewing program gave me a fantastic base of knowledge that I am continuing to build on every day. I still refer to my notes from classes as a head brewer."
"My KPU Diploma helps in so many ways: brewing theory and science, business best practices, marketing and sales, people management. Since my work experience to this point was more actual brewing and less business focused, it really helps having schooling in the latter three points."
"The courses are very in-depth and they cover all aspects, from brewing in general to the science behind it and how to brew good beer. All of that has been extremely beneficial and definitely helped me get the head brewer position at Big Ridge when I first graduated."
Our two-year Diploma in Brewing and Brewery Operations teaches you the science, production and business of brewing craft beer. The program combines a solid foundation in microbiology and brewing science with hands-on practical learning in our state-of-the-art, two-hectolitre pilot brewery, located on our Langley campus.
Small class sizes ensure you get the one-on-one support you need from our instructors, who have decades of brewing and beer industry experience. With their help, you'll develop critical skills and training with brewing equipment and technologies, recipe formulation, sensory evaluation, brewing chemistry and microbiology, production and packaging, sales and promotion, and management and supervisory skills.
Brewing is a physically demanding, hands-on career. You're expected to wear appropriate protective clothing and safety gear at all times inside the brewery and science labs. Breweries can be hot or cold, wet, and noisy environments. You should expect to be on your feet for six to eight hours a day and should be capable or lifting 25kg or moving 75kg.
The Brewing and Brewery Operations diploma program is intense and requires a full-time commitment. However, many students need to work while going to school. There are lots of opportunities to work at local breweries and KPU students are also eligible for employment both on and off campus through the university. For more information, check out KPU's Brewing Job Board and KPU's Career Services for job postings and instructions for using Career Connection.
Ashley Brooks, Diploma in Brewing and Brewery Operations Grad, Faculty of Science and Horticulture
The craft beer industry is growing exponentially in BC, across Canada, and worldwide. Brewers with technical training and an education in brewing science are in high demand.
The KPU Brewing & Brewery Operations Diploma gives you the specialized training, hands-on experience, and solid brewing education needed to launch your career. Whether you want to become a head brewer, open your own craft brewery or work in another area of the industry, most of our students receive job offers before they graduate.
Popular brewing careers include:
- Head Brewer/Assistant Brewer
- Brewery Operations
- Quality Control Manager
- Sensory Analysis Technician
- Brew Pub Operations
- Marketing and Public Relations
- Agency Sales and Operations
- Retail Sales and Distribution
- Human Resources
Continuing and Professional Studies
Want to see what brewing is all about? Or want need to brush up on your biology or chemistry? Our Continuing and Professional Studies courses offer you the opportunity to do some prep work before the start of classes or learn more about brewing before you apply.
Visit the our Brewing Continuing Studies web page for the latest continuing studies offerings from the KPU Brewing department.
Ken is the Executive Director of the British Columbia Craft Brewers Guild, a Prud’homme Beer Specialist and a founding board member for the Canadian Craft Brewers Association. He brings decades of brewery management and sales experience from national brands.
Dominic has a Master of Science in Brewing and Distilling that he obtained with distinction from Heriot Watt University in Scotland, and has completed the Professional Development Program at SFU. He is also a member of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas.
Alek has a Master of Science in Food Science; Bachelor of Engineering in Food Processing Technology; and was with the Canadian Malting Barley Technology Centre for 13 years with the last four as brewing manager. Alek focuses on the importance of science because of its capacity for inventiveness, creativity and quality control.
Jon has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from UBC and shares his love of science and beer with students, teaching them the art of brewing and the importance of paying attention to the details when making beer. He’s also an award-winning brewer and instrumental in KPU winning multiple brewing awards.
Derek holds diplomas in Brewing & Brewery Operations and Chemical Production & Power Engineering. He is an award-winning brewer, winning gold in the 2017 US Open College Beer Championship, and contributed to KPU winning multiple awards at the BC Beer Awards, including 2019 Brewery of the Year.
Nancy has a degree in Chemistry and is the first female brewmaster in North America. She focused most of her career on supply and general management in the brewing industry and held senior management positions across Canada and around the world. Nancy is a champion for our students and inclusion in the industry.
Martina Solano Bielen
Martina has a Master of Science in Microbiology from McGill and went on to study Brewing Microbiology at the Siebel Institute. She also completed her brewing diploma at the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. Martina loves teaching students about microbiology and the elements of beer that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
Stan brings his wealth of marketing experience working in senior management positions for two of the world’s most globally-successful companies; Nike and Labatt Breweries/AB-InBev. His business experience and knowledge make him a huge asset to the KPU Brewing program.