New Zealand’s first dedicated Brew School pick up some gongs

by | Jul 27, 2022 | News

Otago Polytechnic’s dedication to beer brewing has been rewarded with Otago Brew School winning four medals at the recent New Zealand Beer Awards 2022.

Otago Polytechnic’s Cromwell campus is New Zealand’s first dedicated Brew School. Students learn through hands-on experience, from crafting beer in a fully commercial and purpose-built brewery, right through to production and selling. The Cromwell Campus-based Otago Brew School entered six categories in the New Zealand Brewers Guild Awards – and won a silver and three bronze medals.

A testament to the expertise within our brewing programme, Otago Brew School’s “Klassenbester” Dunkelweizen won a silver medal and our “Dark Matter” Oatmeal Stout, “Brau-schule” Kolsch and “Hidden Number” Pale Ale claimed bronzes.

“I think the awards highlight the programme, as well as our philosophy of teaching students how to brew beers that are true to style, all within a teaching environment,” says Geoff Collie, Otago Brew School Lecturer.

“The recipes and ingredients are what would usually be expected for each style. We then apply good brewing practice and processes to make the best beer we can. Students are involved as ‘understudies’ to our brewing staff in making these commercial beers,” says Collie.

Otago Brew School beer is available onsite and is also from several bars and restaurants around Otago.”Our students also have the opportunity to brew on a smaller scale and develop their own recipes, a few of which have been produced on a commercial scale. Our Czech Dark lager is an example. It was developed by one of last year’s students and sold locally”, says Collie. See the list of suppliers here. 

Hefeweizen is a very popular beer in Germany, particularly in the summer months, says the Brew School. Hefeweizen means yeasty wheat beer. Hefe is German for yeast and weizen means wheat beer. The yeast used in Hefeweizen play a major part in the flavour profile of the beer, giving banana-clove like flavours and slight bubble-gum like characters. The rich Vienna style malts shine through and give a slight bready flavour as well as adding a depth of colour. Low in bitterness or “malt forward” as we say in the industry. Medium bodied with a dense rich head and quite effervescent. An almost fluffy mouthfeel. Dunkel means dark and Dunkelweizen is a dark version of Hefeweizen and a totally drinkable winter or cool weather beer.

Read more about Otago Polytechnic’s brewing programmes here

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