Otago Polytechnic announces name for new brewing project


Otago Polytechnic has announced the name of its new Central Otago beer brewing facility – Rough Rock Brewing Company.

The name is a nod to the landscape of Central Otago, as well as the view that will be enjoyed by learners enrolled in a unique brewing programme, which begins in February 2019.

“We are looking to strengthen our position in Central Otago, and to do this we need to find niche programmes that can attract students from across the country,” Phil Ker, Chief Executive, Otago Polytechnic, says.

“We are positioning our Central Campus in part as a centre for food and beverage in the heart of New Zealand’s premier tourism region. This opens up opportunities for edu-tourism. We have several ideas in the pipeline, such as matching beer with food created from local produce.”

Otago Polytechnic’s brewing qualifications have been crafted to meet industry needs as well as offer an experience that fits with learners’ lifestyles.

The New Zealand Certificate in Brewing (Level 4),a full-time one-year programme, has been designed for those with a passion for brewing who want to get into the industry, or are seeking to enhance their knowledge and skills. 

Learners can build on those skills via the six-month Level 5 New Zealand Certificate in Brewing, and a one-year New Zealand Diploma in Brewing (Level 6), both of which will suit those in industry. 

The Level 5 and Level 6 programmes will initially be offered via Capable NZ, Otago Polytechnic’s Centre for Assessment of Prior Learning. From 2020, the programmes will comprise a mix of on-site and distance learning.

Jo Brady, Deputy Chief Executive, Otago Polytechnic, is excited by the opportunity:

“The brewery is a ‘flipped’ model – we are establishing a fully commercial brewery that will be sustainable and that will also support our new brewing programmes.

“This will make it distinctly different from a traditional approach, which would have brewing programmes supported with a training brewery.”

The purpose-built brewery is part of a $3 million redevelopment of Otago Polytechnic’s Central Otago Campus Bannockburn site, including a new trades block that will also house carpentry and automotive facilities.

An official opening and open day will be held on December 1. Students will start using the new facilities in early 2019.

Open day details:

  • Trades Facility opening - 10.30am
  • Rough Rock Brewing Company official opening and tours
  • Carpentry House auction - 12.00pm
  • Agricultural equipment display, lambs and Doug the Dog
  • Pitch and putt golf
  • Coffee and refreshments
  • Orchard and vineyard tours
  • Beer and wine tasting
  • e-bike demonstrations and skill/speed tests
  • Outdoor education team-building activities
  • Stonemasonry project tours

Read more about our Brewing programmes