KPU wins silver and bronze at the U.S. Open College Beer Championship

Fri, May 11, 2018

Students in their first year of the Brewing and Brewery Operations Diploma program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) won silver and bronze at the 2018 U.S. Open College Beer Championship.

Competing against 16 other post-secondary institutions from across the United States and Canada, KPU won a silver medal in the open category for the Belgian Dubbel brewed by first-year students Wes Bain, Levi Loree and Daryl McDonald. 

In the Belgian category, KPU took home bronze for a Witbier brewed by first-year students Jeffrey Bressette and Paul Osborne. The beers were submitted by KPU brewing program chair and instructor Alek Egi. 

“This is KPU brewing’s second time participating in the U.S. Open College Beer Championship and our second success. It’s great to see our students continuing to perform well each year, especially since they’re all first-year brewing students. With more schools competing this year and more entries than ever before, we’re very proud that our students won medals in two out of the five categories,” said Egi.

The college championship is the only brewery competition exclusively for post-secondary institutions that have brewing programs. It is a showcase for the best future brewers in North America and features five categories: Belgian, Bavarian, Stout, IPA and open. The open category is where students could brew any style of beer they liked.

"We are honoured to win this award and owe a lot of it to our instructors, said Wes Bain, one of the students to win silver. “The Belgian Dubbel was a beer we were all familiar with but hadn't attempted before. We started with a great recipe from our instructors and made some tweaks to the mashing regime and yeast selection. It was exciting knowing it would be sent to competition, especially after our instructors gave it the final nod.”

This isn’t the first win for KPU Brewing — students won gold and silver medals in the 2017 U.S. Open College Beer Championships, and bronze at the BC Beer Awards last October.

Earlier this month, KPU brewing alumni Dan Marriette, who is now head brewer of Ravens Brewing Company, won gold at the 2018 World Beer Cup (WBC) for his Corvus Lingonberry Lime Gose. Widely recognized as the Olympics of beer, the WBC is a global competition that recognizes the most outstanding brewers and their beers.

Marriette, a long-time craft beer fan, entered KPU’s two-year brewing diploma program in its inaugural year 2014. While he was in the program, he started working part-time at Ravens, then became their full-time assistant brewer after he graduated in 2016. In May 2017, Dan was promoted to head brewer.

“The KPU brewing program really laid the foundation and provided in-depth knowledge in subjects like sensory analysis and brewing chemistry, which are immensely helpful for professional brewing,” said Marriette. “This program gets you started in the right direction but, like in any growing industry, the learning never stops. And that’s what makes it so fun.”

“We couldn’t be prouder of our brewing students and alumni,” said Dr. Elizabeth Worobec, dean of the Faculty of Science. “The U.S. Open is an important competition for us because we’re going up against our post-secondary peers from across North America and our students continue to stand out, which is exciting for our brewing program. It’s also incredible to see how successful our alumni are doing not only locally, but internationally.”

The KPU Brewing and Brewery Operations Diploma is the first program in Canada to be recognized by the Master Brewers Association for a standard of excellence in brewing education. For more information on the program, visit


U.S. Open College Brew Championship winners