Via St. Catherines Standard -
Who knows where Jon Downing would be if he hadn’t gone for a beer that night.
He might be a banker. Or an accountant. Certainly not sporting a pair of knee-high, steel-toed white rubber boots amidst tanks of fermenting beer in Niagara College’s Teaching Brewery.
Indeed, that beer (or two), launched a career that has seen him help launch 107 breweries in Canada and beyond. His latest, along with a team from the college, was opening the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management course in fall 2010. This year there were hundreds of students competing for 24 spaces.
The focus is on small, craft breweries. Students learn grain-to-glass skills — everything from creating a recipe, to tasting beer, to running a business. And next fall, he’ll have a hand in opening an identical program at Olds College in Alberta.