Back in November I shared a story about the passing of Matt Soos, a 2014 graduate of Niagara College’s Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program. Matt passed away just a few months after commencing work as a brewer at Muskoka Brewery.
In that post, I wrote about Natterjack Toad, a 7% ABV Belgian Strong brewed with pistachios and created from one of Matt’s own recipes. Matt’s friends and family traveled to Muskoka Brewery in Granvehurst to brew the beer and the proceeds of its sale were to go toward a scholarship in Matt’s name.
A few days ago I received an email from Dan Soos, Matt’s older brother, letting me know that on February 19th, Matt’s family presented a cheque to Niagara College in the amount of $31,800 for the creation of the Matt Soos Project Brew Memorial Fund.
The total represented the proceeds from Muskoka’s sale of 3800 litres of Natterjack Toad through Muskoka Brewery, a portion of sales of beer and the proceeds of a fundraising event held in Matt’s honour at St. Thomas’ Railway City Brewing, where Matt worked for multiple summers, plus a $1000 donation from Denning Funeral Chapel, and $5005 from the Soos family (who awesomely chose that number because it looks like the word SOOS).
In addition to the amount raised to start the fund, Niagara College has committed to contribute $1500 a year to the scholarship fund in memory of Matt.
The Matt Soos Project Brew Memorial Award will now be given to a student in the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program. The top student beer will be selected by faculty, judges, and students at the Niagara College Annual Brewmaster Competition in August and the student who brewed the winning beer will receive $4500.
What follows is Niagara College’s official award statement related to the fund:
Matthew was an ambitious and talented young man. He had an ability to lead, mentor and help people to realize their dreams or seek out adventure. He had a very special bond with family and friends. Quoted from words of a close friend, “Matt was multi-dimensional and had an immense range of talents and hobbies – a Craftsman. True to his dream — a Brew Master”. Matt’s inspiration lives on in friends and family.