Food and beverage assignment turns into new GBC craft beer, The Copper Dragon Ale
Course assignments and beer don’t typically go together.
But a student assignment for one course in the food and beverage management program ended up with George Brown College (GBC) getting its own beer: The Copper Dragon Ale.
The assignment for beer tasting, brewing and theory consisted in visiting The Chefs’ House restaurant and to look at their beverage offerings and then working on a small beer menu. The students would have to create their own signature beer recipe to be offered at the restaurant by the end of the fall term.
“The idea was that we were, eventually, going to actually brew the beer, the winning recipe, and then we would have it ready in the restaurant for the busy Christmas season,” said Jordan Shuler, professor at GBC’s centre for hospitality and culinary arts and coordinator of the project.
Forty students paired up and worked on their recipes. Twenty submissions were pared down to five finalists. Shuler consulted with Henderson Brewing, and after consideration from co-founder Adin Wener, the winning recipe was announced.
“The beer is an English amber ale. It’s full-bodied with a very good balance between bitterness and sweetness,” explained Shuler. “Beers are often very bitter or quite sweet and the idea is they’ve made a very good beer because the recipe had a nice balance between these two tastes.”
The winning team was Jessie Mak and Jesse Chi, both first-year students. They considered the fact that many consumers don’t have much knowledge about a beer and food pairing when they were creating their recipe.
“We chose English ale because it will match any kind of dish,” said Chi. “Especially when any kind of cooking and any type of meat is used.”
The beer label was also the work of a student. In partnership with the school of design, Shuler took the recipe and approached one of their professors about what he was looking for. After a couple of months, a logo created by Yusuke Yamazaki, a third-year design student, was chosen along with the name, “The Copper Dragon.”
According to Shuler, The Copper Dragon Ale should attract two groups of people. He figures those supporting the students would order the beer out of interest to give it a try. The other potential client would be the local business crowd that comes to The Chefs’ House for a quick lunch or after-work dinner.
“If they drink beer normally, they would understand an ale and they’d understand that is a very food-friendly. I think they would be intrigued to order it, especially if it is modeled after a traditional English amber ale, knowing that type of beer is quite flavourful,” he said.
The Chefs’ House is always changing up its beer selection and The Copper Dragon Ale was able to get into the rotation. The beer was available on draft but did sell out. A new batch can be made if the restaurant gets enough requests.