KPU alumnus Tom Morrison (left) with brewing lab instructor Martina Solano Bielen. (KPU)

KPU alumnus Tom Morrison (left) with brewing lab instructor Martina Solano Bielen. (KPU)

Alumni brewers craft summer flavours at Langley’s KPU

Returning former students are creating new types of beer.

Langley’s Kwantlen Polytechnic University campus turns out professional brewers – and some of those beermakers are coming back to campus.

KPU has invited a group of former students to create “alumni collaboration brews.”

The alumni teamed up with KPU brewing instructors Martina Solano Bielen, Jon Howe and Derek Kindret over the summer to develop recipes and brew at the KPU brewery in Langley. The brewers, who were able to get as creative as they wanted, produced recipes such as a Salsa Piquanté Wheat Ale with mango and a Dry-Hopped Kettle Sour with Lemondrop hops.

The participating alumni brewers are:

• Tom Morrison, brewer, Red Truck Beer, Vancouver (class of 2016)

• Ashley Brooks, quality control manager, Four Winds Brewing, Delta (class of 2016)

• Dan Marriette, head brewer, Ravens Brewing, Abbotsford (class of 2016)

• Jonny Kostiuk, head brewer, Deep Cove Brewers + Distillers, North Vancouver (class of 2017)

• Jacquie Loehndorf, head brewer, Faculty Brewing, Vancouver (class of 2018)

“We have so many alumni to choose from and we tried to pick from each grad class, so it wasn’t an easy task,” says Alek Egi, chair and instructor of the KPU brewing program. “The goal is to do a collaboration series every year during the summer break. It’s also a great opportunity for grads to come back and put their unique stamp on a KPU beer.”

The first collaboration beer, a Salsa Piquanté Wheat Ale by Tom Morrison at Red Truck Beer, was released Friday, Aug. 10 at the KPU Brew Lab in Langley, where customers can purchase growler fills and enjoy free beer tastings from 1-6 p.m.

“It was great being back in the KPU Brew Lab and creating one of the first alumni collaboration brews,” said Morrison. “It’s a much smaller system than what I’m used to at Red Truck and it reminds me of how far I’ve come since graduation. For our collaboration brew, we made a Salsa Piquanté beer which is a sessionable summer wheat ale with a few surprises; it’s infused with mango and habanero pepper but only has a tiny bit of heat to it. We wanted the flavour, not the shock factor.”

“We’re unbelievably proud of our alumni and their accomplishments,” says Betty Worobec, dean of the Faculty of Science and Horticulture. “These collaboration brews are a way to celebrate and showcase the fine work many of our grads are doing in the industry. We hope to make this an annual tradition.”