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 B.C., 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 B.C. submitting a total of 750 tasting samples of their beer on Oct. 15 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.