After completing our Craft Beer and Brewing Essentials program, Robin Miles is getting ready to open Dog Mountain Brewing, a new craft beer brewery in Port Alberni. Recently, she shared with us her experience in the program and how it has helped prepare her to stake out her own claim in B.C.'s growing craft beer industry:
“Not only did I learn a lot about the industry, but I also made invaluable connections.”
When we decided that we were leaving Alberta and that we were “going to start a brewery,” our friends and family thought we were a little crazy; we were just home-brewers and didn’t know anything about opening a brewery. I wasn’t interested in getting a ‘normal’ job while we figured out how to open a brewery, so I was looking for an alternative way to prepare for this great adventure—enter SFU’s Craft Beer and Brewing Essentials program.
I wouldn’t be where I am now without SFU’s Craft Beer and Brewing Essentials; the courses taught me so much that is specific to this industry; I have a science degree, have taken an MBA program and have worked in yeast labs, but none of those skills prepared me the way the program did.
The Craft Beer Business Fundamentals course was instrumental in getting me ready to deal with the LCRB and the LDB; Introduction to Brewing taught me how to taste beer properly; the Ingredient Development and Fermentation course taught me what malt actually is, and the list goes on and on.
Not only did I learn a lot about the industry, but I also made invaluable connections with others in the industry. While I was in the program I gained employment at a local brewery as an assistant brewer and this experience was great! I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to work at a big brewery if I wasn’t in the program; personal connections and word of mouth go a long way in the craft beer industry.
I have a giant support group of brewers and industry workers that are more than happy to help with my questions and offer support when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Our brewery will be opening in a few months, and I couldn’t have done it without SFU’s Craft Beer and Brewing Essentials program.