NC beer experts tapped to present at OCB Conference

Two beer experts at Niagara College have been tapped to speak at the Ontario Craft Brewers (OCB) Conference virtual event that runs Oct. 27 to 29.

Kelly Byer, research laboratory technologist at Research & Innovation’s Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre, and Adrian Popowycz, NC brewmaster and professor, have teamed up to present at the OCB Conference & Suppliers Marketplace 2020.

The session that Byer and Popowycz are delivering is Oct. 29, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. and is titled “Creating a Sustainable, Resilient Quality Program for your Brewery.”

The talk will review program components, from purchasing and receiving, through production and distribution, including calibration programs, traceability, sensory programs and root-cause analysis, as well as data review and analysis. The session will help brewers create quality programs that are robust, adaptable and useable.

During the conference, the CFWI Innovation Centre will also have a virtual exhibitor booth: #134.

To learn more about the OCB Conference & Suppliers Marketplace 2020 click HERE

The Ontario Craft Brewers Brewers is a trade association of 90+ small, independent brewers dedicated to making great-tasting, high-quality beer across the province. The members of the OCB develop and produce hundreds of different brands and styles of beer using fresh, all natural ingredients in more than 110 communities throughout Ontario. 

Kelly Byer, research laboratory technologist, CFWI Innovation Centre:

In her role at the CFWI Innovation Centre, Byer is responsible for managing the College’s research labs – facilities, which allow students to explore such areas of food science as microbiology, chemistry, sensory analysis and shelf-life testing. She also works with Ontario craft brewers in the areas of beer analysis, sensory testing and quality assurance.

Byer has a wealth of experience in quality and food safety programs; compliance with regulatory programs and standards; and new product development. She has an Honours Biology degree with a minor in Biochemistry from the University of Guelph; she has HACCP and SQF certifications; and has recently received her BJCP (beer judging) certification.

In addition to her post with R&I, Byer is a part-time professor of NC’s Applied Plant Pathology course in the School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies, and has taught Brewing Chemistry in the CFWI.

She is also heavily involved in helping the craft brewing industry in the province. She utilizes the leading-edge equipment at the CFWI Innovation Centre labs – one of the very few labs where the craft beer industry can get their brew analyzed.

As the Innovation Centre’s resident hops expert, Byer has worked with the Ontario Hop Growers Association (OHGA) to institute benchmarks for the hop market and prepared an annual report for the association to assess the performance of different cultivars over growing seasons.

Niagara College is one of the only analytic labs in Ontario to provide the required hop testing for the hops and craft beer industry.

The Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre (CFWI) team offers a full suite of services to support industry innovation and commercialization of new products and processes. From new recipe development to shelf-life testing and nutritional labelling, the CFWI Innovation Centre pairs industry partners with faculty, recent graduates and students with the right expertise and equipment to meet industry’s needs. For more information visit