Otago Polytechnic students will be brewing up lager and pale ale at their new facility in Cromwell – which has just been officially named the Rough Rock Brewing Company.

The brewery will form part of a $3million redevelopment of Otago Polytechnic’s Central Otago Campus Bannockburn site, which also includes a trades facility for carpentry and automotive students.

An open day will be held on December 1, and the brewery, which cost about $1million to set up, will open in February.

Otago Polytechnic Central Otago campus head of school Alex Huffadine said students would work with a nano kit, which would allow them to experiment.

The beer would initially only be available to a “brew share” club.

Later, if the polytechnic hit its production targets, its brews might be retailed locally.

The brewery might even become a “destination cellar” and gate sales might be offered.

“At this stage it’s really about getting everything running. It’s still a bit of a work in progress really.”

The commercial component of the brewery was important, as one of the major aims was to make students work-ready.

“We’d certainly like to turn a profit.

“We need to do commercial production because the graduates have to be able to brew in the real world.”

Three different qualifications would be offered through the brewery – the New Zealand certificate in brewing (level 4), the New Zealand certificate in brewing (level 5) and the New Zealand diploma in brewing (level 6).

Mr Huffadine hoped for about 15 students for the first cohort.

Source: The Country

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