Otago Polytechnic

Over the next few weeks we'll introduce you to some of the key players from our new Rough Rock Brewery. First up is Tom Jones, Brewery Operations Manager (Commission Phase). 

What’s the most exciting thing about our new brewery and brewing programmes?
It's always exciting setting up a new brewery, and this one's a production facility AND a brewing school, like no other in NZ. Qualifications in brewing have been a long time coming, and to have them formally on the NZQA framework is a fantastic achievement. The beer industry in NZ has been asking for them for quite some time.

What kind of equipment will be needed for the brewery, and what kind of scale will we be producing beer on?
Lots of stainless steel! We have a purpose-built, hi-tech 500L brewhouse, and 3 x 1000L fermenters, and 2 other storage tanks, so plenty of brewing days for practice. These will be filled once a month, basically, so lots to taste. There's lots of scope and flexibility with these, plus we'll also have 8 smaller brew-kits and 16 nano-fermenters capable of producing about 40L of finished beers. This is where the really interesting beers could be made, plus we might have the capacity to squeeze in some Brew-Your-Own times in too, where the general public could come and brew on a more manageable scale.

What do you think makes Central Otago a great location for a brewery/brewing programme?
Seriously? It's perfect, in among all those vineyards and inspirational scenery, who wouldn't want to brew there? It's a 40 minute drive from Queenstown airport so easily accessible for travellers, both domestic and international. Plus, if the students want to utilise the local fruits in their beers there's plenty to choose from.

What do you get up to outside of your work commitments?
I'm a huge rugby league fan, following the Vodafone Warriors and the UK scene back home, plus I help keep animals back home, and ride my horse when I get chance.

What is your favourite beer and why?
It's currently a toss-up between Tropical Cyclone Double IPA from McLeods, and Soul Train Peach Tea IPA from Funk Estate. I love beers with plenty of flavour, and hops, and there's so many great hoppy beers in NZ.

Published on 28 August 2018

Orderdate: 28 Aug 2018
Expiry: 31 Dec 2019