NIC Craft Brewing and Malting program instructor Adam Chatburn is passionate about training the next generation of craft brewers. Photo by NIC

NIC launches online craft brewing and malting courses

B.C. craft beer sales have steadily gained a larger share of beer sales in the province

  • Jun. 19, 2020 6:00 a.m.

Aspiring craft beer makers and brewery owners can gain a head start to work in a rapidly growing industry, thanks to new online training being offered by NIC this fall.

The Craft Brewing and Malting program kicks off in September with three online courses that will give students a solid foundation in understanding the core principles and business practices of craft brewing.

The course list includes BRW-010 – Beer and Brewing Basics; BRW-030 – Recipe Development and Quality Control; and BRW-060 – The Business of Craft Brewing.

Instructing the courses is Adam Chatburn, veteran professional brewer and former president of the Vancouver branch of the Campaign for Real Ale Society of BC.

Chatburn, who also taught craft brewing at Simon Fraser University, began homebrewing in the UK at age 16, later starting his career as head brewer for a small brewpub in Lancashire. Now based in Burnaby, he is also a contributor to the publications What’s Brewing BC and BC Craft Beer News.

“My passion lies in craft beer but beyond that, education and community engagement are even more important to me,” Chatburn said. “The modern craft beer industry has grown dramatically, creating a need for competent, qualified, professional brewers across the province, country and world. B.C. is one of the world leaders in beer innovation and that needs to be nurtured.”

B.C. craft beer sales have steadily gained a larger share of beer sales in the province as the number of small beer producers has exploded over the past decade. According to the BC Liquor Distribution Branch, fourth-quarter 2019/20 sales by micro-breweries alone topped $32 million in the province.

NIC Continuing Education manager Bob Haugen said input local breweries and assistance from the Comox Valley Economic Development Society was key to launching the program.

“There has been a massive shift to the community model of producing quality beer and this program recognizes and embraces that,” Haugen said. “Once graduates have left the program, they will be qualified to work in a wide variety of beer industry positions or expand their skills with other certifications.”

A second, in-person component of the NIC Craft Brewing and Malting program is set to be offered in 2021. The practical, hands-on brewing experience will cover malting fundamentals, introduction to brewing equipment and operations and the chemistry and biology of brewing.

To learn more or to register, visit

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