British Columbia Beverage Technology Access Centre (BC BTAC) supports the Canadian beverage industry’s innovation and growth by providing a comprehensive range of expert analytical, commercial and sensory services and resources.
We work with individuals, companies and organizations within a collaborative framework to exchange knowledge, ideas and resources leading to real-world solutions for the development of domestic beverages, including fermented, brewed, distilled and non-alcoholic products. Our vision is to work with industry toward sustained economic and intellectual growth.
BC BTAC is your one-stop-shop for any and all analytical services. We have traditional wet-lab capabilities as well as state-of-the-art technologies for testing smoke taint, TCA (corkiness), pesticides, herbicides and many other elements that may appear in beverages. We work with PhD Scientists to develop Standard Operating Procedures which make excellent use of our GC-MS (Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry) and GC-FID (Flame Ionization Detection). Our laboratory is VQA-certified by the BC Wine Authority (BCWA) and Certificates of Analysis (COAs) accompany all testing.
BC BTAC works with experienced sensory professionals to assess a wide range of beverages for our clients. From descriptive tasting notes to fault identification to shelf-life testing analysis, we will customize a plan to your unique business needs.
BC BTAC will work with you to address a wide range of business planning needs. From industry intelligence to market research to grant accessibility, we can help your business thrive.
Our centre embraces the mission of Okanagan College to transform lives and communities, recognizing the unique place the beverage industry holds in our province as an economic driver with the potential to create opportunities, embrace entrepreneurship, advance applied research, and encourage innovation. We infuse all of our initiatives with the following core values:
- Applied Research
Research and development
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.
BC BTAC has created an elaborate plan to develop a tangible network between a wide range of businesses within the beverage industry using social media technology. A valuable support to beverage producers, suppliers and industry stakeholders, BC BTAC provides promotional opportunities for existing and potential clients while leveraging combined strengths, experiences and dedication to the mutual benefit of all involved.
Meet the team
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.
Catherine Kubis, Executive Assistant, BC BTAC - On Leave
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.
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, Chair of Chemistry Department, 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.
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.
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.