British Columbia (BC) Beverage Technology Access Centre (BTAC) supports the sustainability of BC’s beverage sector via research and innovation services and training opportunities to: 

  • Innovate products to meet consumer demand for on-trend beverages  

  • Foster adoption of the “circular economy” within the beverage sector  

  • Solve technical challenges and identify and remediate issues  

  • Develop highly qualified and skilled personnel (HQSP)  

The BTAC has a record of excellence in supporting beverage sector innovation in the Okanagan and its services are unique in the province 

We assist small and medium sized enterprises with a need to develop and commercialize beverages that are differentiated in the market while maintaining environmentally sustainable production, commitment to EDI and Indigenization practices. 


Research and Development

BTAC R&D addresses five themes in a cyclical beverage development process with sustainability and product differentiation as key drivers.

BC BTAC can pool resources and access a wide range of industry expertise to assist in product development to clients’ unique specifications. Have an idea for a new beverage? We can help to fine-tune the recipe and bring your idea to fruition.  

Technical and Business Services

Lab analysis including chemical and microbiological testing of beverages for safety, smoke taint, pesticides, herbicides, and others. Coming soon, we will launch new lab analysis services including testing for metals in beverages; extended shelf stability; enhanced microbe detection and wastewater/by-product quality analysis.

Pilot-scale canning Coming soon, as the first facility to support test marketing with small canning runs in BC. 

Business services including industry intelligence, market research, sensory evaluation and support to access grant funding. 

Industrial Training

Lab analysis including chemical and microbiological testing of beverages for safety, smoke taint, pesticides, herbicides, and others. Coming soon, we will launch new lab analysis services including testing for metals in beverages; extended shelf stability; enhanced microbe detection and wastewater/by-product quality analysis 

Pilot-scale canning Coming soon, as the first facility to support test marketing with small canning runs in BC. 

Business services including industry intelligence, market research, sensory evaluation and support to access grant funding. 

Student Training

Our mission to ‘transform lives and communities’ is lived out through the relationships and activities of the BTAC, which contributes to the provincial and regional economies, and offers students and researchers experience working with industry partners on real and current challenges. 

Students are trained via: 

  • Experiential learning 
  • Enhanced Technical and Scientific (T&S) training 
  • Mentorship 
  • Showcasing student success 

All students are provided with research onboarding training on topics such as equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice (EDISJ) in research and creating safe working environments, ethics, integrity in scholarly research and intellectual property, and research policies 

BTAC student trainees have access to the OC Careers Hub, for career development and job search resources 

Student Job Opportunities

OKANAGAN COLLEGE – BC Beverage Technology Access Centre

JOB DESCRIPTION – Student Research Assistant


In accordance with Letter of Understanding #3 – Research Projects, and under the general supervision of the Manager of the BC Beverage Technology Access Centre (BCBTAC), and the direct supervision of a College Professor, the Research Assistant assists and supports the supervisor with research-related activities pertaining to the BCBTAC and  research projects in positions funded primarily from research grants, employed to perform work that falls under the jurisdiction of the support staff bargaining unit. Research Assistants will gain real world knowledge working on projects and strategizing to support the scope of a new business.


The Research Assistant will assist the supervisor by performing the following duties:

  1. Assists with research and reviews research methodology and updates knowledge for educational purposes.
  2. Searches literature sources pertaining to the relevant areas of research.
  3. Assists in collecting, recording, compiling, summarizing data, and disseminating information
  4. Participates in research activities related to the subject area being investigated such as events, interviews, reading articles and listening to speakers.
  5. Assists in identifying perspective subjects for research.
  6. Assists in researching information for grants, research grants and research papers.
  7. Performs other duties as assigned


Students must currently be enrolled at Okanagan College or other post-secondary institution in at least their second year of a full-time accredited program.

Knowledge and interest in the lead researcher’s area of expertise is required. Research experience is preferred. Prior work experience is an asset and preference will be given to students with direct research or previous work experience in the following fields:

  • Beverages, including fermented beverages and non-alcoholic
  • Food science including nutritional analysis
  • Consumer and market research


  • Current knowledge in research methodology for educational purposes.
  • Excellent research skills with the ability to synthesize data/information and develop/deliver findings and recommendations.
  • Works effectively both independently and as part of a team
  • Well-developed organizational skills.
  • Detail-oriented.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, internet and database research
  • Attention to detail and excellent time management skills to coordinate research activities
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively and to take direction


  • Collaboration & Collegiality
  • Continuous Learning & Information Seeking
  • Effective Interactive Communication
  • Initiative
  • Integrity & Accountability
  • Student & Service Focus

If you are interested, please send all resumes to bcbtac@okanagan.bc.ca


Women in Beverage World Café 

Gain understanding of the role women play as protagonists in the beverage sector. Explore how women contribute to every aspect of the industry, from production to commercialization.  

March 15,2024 10:00-14:00  

PC113 Centre of Excellence Okanagan College Penticton Campus  


OC Speaker Series: Ben Isaksen. Smoke Tain, Climate Change and the Beverage Industry 

Ben will talk about BC Beverage Technology Access Centre, which is housed at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College, and its  capabilities, smoke taint testing and remediation chemistry as well as the current state of the beverage industry and its changing trends. 

Feb 8,2024 19:00-20:30  



BTAC / TOTA Webinar: Biosphere Sustainable Lifestyle Platform 

Embrace the sustainable future of your business with the Biosphere Sustainable Platform 

Dec 15, 2023 11:00-12:00  




BTAC / TOTA Webinar: Biosphere Commitment Program 

Discover the Biosphere Commitment Program for achieving sustainability success by joining BCBTAC and TOTA in this free webinar. 

Nov 29, 2023 11:00-12:00  




TAC talks 

Latest trends in the beverage industry, including TikTok videos, policy updates and market influences. 


Meet the team

Years of experience

As of 2023, together at the BC BTAC we have:

  • Almost 60 years of experience in laboratory work 
  • 50+ years  of experience in hospitality 
  • 25+ years in project development 
  • 40 years of experience in administration and management 
  • Nearly 40 years of experience in beverage production 


Wesley Peterson, General Manager, BC BTAC

For the past 20 years, Wesley Peterson has been engaged in various capacities across the global travel, tourism and hospitality sectors. His prior experience includes financial positions with both Canadian Airlines and Air Canada as well as executive roles with Expedia Inc.. As Vice President Commercial at Expedia, he managed airline negotiations and other travel portfolios throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa from Expedia’s UK offices in London. In addition to his role with the BC BTAC, Peterson also looks after the Canadian marketing and distribution portfolio of Odin Brewing Company, which he co-owns. The brewery operates multiple locations out of Washington State and brews under license in Vancouver, BC with distribution throughout Western Canada. Peterson holds a Bachelor of Science (Genetics) from the University of British Columbia and an MBA (Finance) from the University of Calgary. Wes leads the Centre to support research, development and innovation for the beverage sector across Canada as part of its joint mandate between Okanagan College and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) in Ottawa.

Wes Peterson headshot

Omar Tamayo, Business Development Advisor, BC BTAC

Omar has recently joined the BC Beverage Technology Access Centre as a Business Development Advisor. He has a proven track record of over 20 years in business consulting and the development of economic and social programs, along with a passion for sustainability. Omar holds a degree in electronic engineering from Mexico and has also completed the OC Sustainable Building Technology program. Additionally, he worked as a research assistant at the BC BTAC. 

In his role as a Business Development Advisor, Omar provides services related to project management and business development. He identifies potential research opportunities, business services, and facilitators, and offers advice on recruitment, selection, supervision, and evaluation of the business services, research, and training provided by the BC BTAC. 

Catherine Kubis, Executive Assistant, BC BTAC

Catherine Kubis joined the BC Beverage Technology Access Centre in 2019 as the Executive Assistant. In 2018, Catherine graduated from the Executive Office Administration program at the College of the North Atlantic in St. John’s, Newfoundland, earning herself the President’s award for her program. While studying, she was an active member on the College’s student council as the Special Events Coordinator in her first year and as President in her second year. She conducted her work term in Kamloops, BC and eventually made her way to the Okanagan to specifically work for Okanagan College, where she continues to enhance her knowledge and skills in the administration and fermented beverage industry. Catherine is a proud and contributing member of the JOHS committee for Okanagan College’s Penticton campus and is excited to continue advocating and learning more about the fermented beverage industry in the beautiful Okanagan Valley. 

Catherine Kubis headshot

Ben Isaksen, Laboratory Technician, BC BTAC

Ben is the most recent addition to the team at BCBTAC but that doesn’t mean he’s a stranger to wine.  He has for the last 20 years been involved in the Okanagan wine industry in varying capacities – from Sommelier for the Steakhouse at Big White to vineyard supervisor/cellar assistant for Osoyoos Larose to Filtration/RO Technician for Cellar Dweller to Lab Technician at Okanagan Wine Lab.  His career began when working at The White Horse on Parson’s Green in London, UK learning to care for the ales in their cellar gaining an affinity for great beer.  He focused on wine when he finished the ISG’s Sommelier Certificate and moved to the Okanagan.  Not long after, he switched gears toward wine science and went back to school for a BSc in Biochemistry from UBCO.  He furthered that with the Online Viticulture and Enology Certificate from UCDavis.  When not at work, you can find Ben playing chef or working in his yard.


Dr. Leonard Lermer, Chemistry Faculty, Okanagan College

Leonard Lermer was involved with the initial application for the BC BTAC and continues to stay on as a researcher. He has been both teaching organic chemistry and involved in many interdisciplinary research projects for more than 20 years. Currently he is also into his second term as the Chair of the Chemistry Department at Okanagan College. After receiving his BSc from the University of Lethbridge, Dr. Lermer obtained his PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry with Dr. Larry Weiler at UBC. He then did postdoctoral work in natural products with botanist, Dr. Neil Towers. Following this, he began teaching organic chemistry at UBC where he began doing research with a biochemistry group, carrying out the solid phase synthesis of modified DNA-based enzymes having sequence specific RNA cleaving activity. His skills in synthetic organic chemistry and instrumentation have contributed to many successful collaborations, colleagues ranging from botanists to neuroscientists. Leonard’s contributions carry on as he focuses his interests toward supporting the local fermented beverage sector with BC BTAC. 

Leonard Lermer headshot

Morgan Martin, Biology faculty, BC BTAC

As a full-time professor at Okanagan College, I am dedicated to excellence in student education. I provide molecular biology, biotechnology, and protein biochemistry expertise to the British Columbia Technology Access Centre (BC BTAC) for research, and I have contributed to the training of Okanagan College students in collaboration with the BC BTAC. I have been involved with the creation and fulfilment of student research projects with the BC BTAC for the past five years 

Janice Acio, Laboratory Technician, BC BTAC

Janice Acio is a Laboratory Technician who uses her knowledge of chemistry and instrumentation to perform analysis on fermented beverages at BC BTAC. Following her BSc in Chemical Engineering from University of Negros Occidental Recoletos, Philippines, Acio worked with well-established beverage companies such as Arterra Wines Canada and Coca Cola Bottlers Inc, to name a few. Her background in chemistry and 20 years of laboratory experience also allowed her to become certified as an Applied Science Technologist-Chemical in BC, where she also studied Environmental Engineering Technology at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). WSET Level-2-certified, Janice realized that winemaking is an exciting example of an applied science, leading her to enroll in the Winemaking Certificate Program at the University of California-Davis Institute. When not working with chemicals, you can find Janice enjoying her favourite Okanagan pastimes such as gardening, paddle-boarding or hitting the KVR trail with her dogs.

Janice Acio headshot

Dr. Sonja Lloyd, Laboratory Technician, BC BTAC

Sonja Lloyd recently joined the BC Beverage Technology Access Centre as Laboratory Technician where she handles all things microbiology. Sonja has worked with microbes in one form or another for the past twenty years. After receiving a BSc in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of British Columbia in 2002, she studied in the United States for several years where she earned a PhD in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology at Washington State University and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. Sonja’s studies focused on bacterial diseases of animals, as well as foodborne and zoonotic diseases. Sonja returned to Canada in 2011, settling in the Okanagan where she worked as a technician in wine chemistry at Bench 1775 Winery and Burrowing Owl Estate Winery. Sonja is excited to combine her passion for microbiology and fermented beverages and foods in her current position with the BC BTAC.

Sonja Lloyd headshot

Savanna Maddock BSc, Laboratory Technician, BC BTAC

Savanna has six years of experience as a microbiologist within the beverage, cannabis, and agricultural industries. Her areas of expertise include microbiology, tissue culture, and horticulture, In addition, she has experience with molecular biology and bioinformatics. Savanna is currently completing her Master’s degree at UBCO in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Microbiology Lab Technician, Savanna Maddock