Ellie Hadley, wearing a bright red patterned jacket, stands in a brewery in front of pipes and fermenters. She smiles under her mask.

Photo Credit: Lee Simmons / Alberni Valley News

High Class Home Brew at North Island College

I'll drink to that!

Maybe more of us would have gone to college if we could have studied beer

Microbreweries are big business. People in BC spend millions of dollars every year on craft beer. North Island College’s newest program in its Comox Valley campus is training students to jump right into the industry.

Adam Chatburn is the program’s instructor. He trained to be a brewer in Britain, and says the NIC’s new Craft Brewing and Malting program gives students skills in the full brewing experience.

“By the time our current students graduate in June, they will have the skills to start their own careers as brewers, production assistants, craft bartenders or even as business owners,” Chatburn told Alberni Valley News. “That’s great news for the brewing community.”

It’s great news for the students, too. They’re already getting job offers, or are starting their own businesses.

Ellie Hadley, in the picture above, is starting Maehem Spirits distillery with her husband in Port Alberni.

“The program takes you right into the industry and you can learn all about the equipment and operations of a brewery,” she told Alberni Valley News.

Students learn about more than just making good beer, though. “You also learn about the business applications as well, including going through the licensing process.”

Chatburn, the program’s instructor, says the goal is to transform the North Island into a professional hub for the brewing trade.

Cheers to that!