Russell Gibson is a student enrolled in the Brewmaster and Brewery Management Operations program at Niagara College. He has recently participated in an international field study experience In Munich, Germany. Read some of the excerpts from his reflection to see how his experience abroad has helped him become “World Ready”!
I was first interested in Germany due to its large impact on the history and the culture of brewing beer. Germany is a country that has been around longer than Canada has been settled by European colonials; a large part of their history has been centered on beer. No more was this apparent as we saw how many different facets of German life were connected to producing the highest quality beers. Through extensive tours of brewing schools, professional breweries, hop museums and equipment manufacturing plants, we saw this dedication first-hand. Everything we saw was so clean and professional, that it became an inside-joke among some of us that it was due to ‘German Efficiency’.
Perspective is the biggest aspect I took away from this experience.
We experienced a culture that never saw the restrictive legislation our country saw in the form of prohibition, nor is it undergoing the craft beer revolution of today. The beers Germans are producing are limited to a
few styles (such as helles lagers, dunkels and hefeweizens with some variation), but there is no doubt that the quality of every bottle produced is on a world-class level because of the dedication to tradition, history and a good end-product. It can open your eyes on the type of work many other cultures put into brewing, which can lead to quality improvement in your own craft, and how to sell to other types of people and cultures. The best way to learn quality work is to see that quality work in action.
Passion, it increases the prestige and quality of beer, for beer is not simply brewed, it is crafted to perfection constantly.
This essay has been slightly edited for flow, clarity, and grammar.