DAVIS, Calif. – For the fifth time in six years, a UC Davis Extension Master Brewers Program student has won the London-based International Institute of Brewing and Distilling’s prestigious JS Ford Award for the best overall performance on the Diploma in Brewing Exam.
Minnesota’s very own Ben Smith had a big year in 2013. He snagged not only a brewer position with Surly Brewing Company this July, but also took home the JS Ford Award as well as the Brewers Engineers Association Engineering Award for the highest mark on the Module 3, Packaging and Process Technology exam. “I love beer, number one. I enjoy the process of making beer,” explained Smith, who began as an avid homebrewer and quickly became interested in the science of fermentation.
Todd Haug, head brewer at Surly Brewing, is very impressed with Smith.“Not only has Ben proven to be a super competent brewer in our manually operated brewhouse, he apparently has an incredible understanding of technical brewing!” His experience, both in and out of the classroom, will undoubtedly help him at the $20-plus million Destination Brewery in Minneapolis, where he will be working by the end of next year.
“Brewing is a labor of love and hard work,” explained Smith. “But at the end of the day, you get to enjoy a tasty beverage that you made.”