Dream work experience on offer

Students from New Zealand’s newest brewing course will soon have access to an exclusive work experience opportunity: to put their palates to the test as associate judges at one of the country’s largest beer and cider awards.

The new scholarship for select students from Otago Polytechnic’s Central Otago based brewing certificate programme was announced today at the New World Beer & Cider Awards judging in Wellington. The offer will see up to two students each year given a place at the New World Beer & Cider Awards judging tables, including covering the costs of their travel and accommodation, so they can learn the ropes of beer judging from some of the country’s most respected experts.

The awards programme already includes the unique opportunity for New World team members to act as associate judges, upskilling their beer and cider knowledge to share with customers and staff.

Chair of Judges for the awards, Michael Donaldson, said he expected the scholarship slots to be extremely sought-after, and not just because the ‘work experience ’involves tasting between 40 and 50 beers per day.

“Many of our senior judges have worked in the industry for years before moving into judging, so getting the chance to do this early on in your training is pretty special. Our collaborative approach to beer judging also makes for a great learning environment for up-and-coming talent and we are all really pleased to be able to give a little back to the industry in this way.”

He said while judging is always fun, it’s also fast-paced and carries the responsibility of critiquing products that brewers have put their hearts and souls into.

“Judges have to have the sensory skills as well as a way with words to capture what they experience with each entry. While their scores do not count towards the final results, they are a critical part of the table, contributing to the discussion and keeping notes.”

The New Zealand Certificate in Brewing (Level 4) welcomed its first intake of students in February this year. The 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.