Get to Know: Brewing Director Erik Coleman

Erik ColemanErik Coleman joined Trocaire as the director of our Brewing, Distilling and Fermentation Science program back in September. Get to know him a little better with the Q&A below!

Recent Media Coverage

He’s teaching craft beer making at Trocaire College: 1/7/20, WKBW Channel 7

New “Trocaire on Tap” program invites the public to get a taste of brewing community: 1/21/20, WIVB Channel 4

Trocaire College offers new brewing program that’s open to the public: 2/4/20, WGRZ Channel 2


Background: I am from Great Valley, just outside of Ellicottville.  I currently live in Williamsville with my wife, Jodi.

Family: In addition to my wife, I have a daughter, Kendyl, who’s in college at Buffalo State. My parents live in Great Valley and I have one sister, who is married and lives in Boston, MA.

Hobbies:  I have a few but have put several them on hold as I am working to build several businesses.  One of my favorite hobbies is to travel with my wife.  While I haven’t had the time recently, I love to ski.  I was a ski instructor for 15 years at Holiday Valley and have also coached racing (skiing) at Holimont. I love to read and spend time with family and friends.

Interesting Fact: It took experiencing a massive heart attack (which the cardiologists determined was due to stress) to cause me to wake up, leave my nearly decade-long career in education and realize my true passion for all things craft beer.


Beer and Brewing

Favorite Beer:  This is a tough one, but I’d have to say Belgians are my favorite style, so probably a Belgian Triple – there are too many favorites to name just one brand!

Entry to the Brewing Industry: My craft beer journey started by helping my father launch the Ellicottville Brewing Club in 1990. I then went on to assist in the opening and/or operating of Ellicottville Brewing Company, Southern Tier Brewing Company and Big Ditch Brewing Company. I’ve been immersed in brewing, sales, marketing, policy creation, training, staffing and ambassadorship.  I now own and operate Beer By Coleman, a craft beer consulting and concierge business. I also am the events co-chair of the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association. Becoming the director of Trocaire’s Brewing program is another exciting opportunity, one I am grateful to take on.

Favorite Thing about Being a Brewing Educator/Advocate:  Everything I do in the craft beer/beverage world that pertains to helping create and grow the most ultimate craft scene we can here in WNY.

Role Breakdown:  I’m working to create a program that is a little broader, that will serve both those in the craft beer/beverage industry and those who are beer aficionados/enthusiasts. We want the program to attract a wide range of people and not just those who want to learn how to become a brewer. We want to help educate people’s palates and understanding of the liquids that are produced. We also want to work with the brewing companies, mead and cider makers and distillers to create workshops and classes that will directly address the real-world challenges they face in their business.