New craft cider short course introduced at the University of Tasmania

A new short course delivered by University College aims to tap into the growing popularity of cider making and help both hobbyists and those already working in the industry refine their product.

The six-week Cider Start-Up course has been developed in partnership with industry, including FermenTasmania, and comprises six online modules and a weekend workshop in Launceston.

Course coordinator Dr Robin Katersky Barnes said the program would cover both the science behind cider making and the business nous required to effectively market your product.

“Everyone loves a good cider and craft cideries are popping up rapidly, but without a good understanding of the science of cider making, businesses might find it hard to solve the tricky challenges they might face,” Dr Katersky Barnes said.

“This course will benefit anyone who is looking to get into the industry, as well as those who perhaps work in sales or marketing roles within the industry and want to gain insight into the science behind cider making.”

After completing the weekly online modules, students will attend a weekend workshop in Launceston combining lab skills at the University of Tasmania, a local cider tasting tour and the opportunity to hear firsthand from industry representatives about their experiences.

Red Brick Road Cider manager Karina Dambergs helped develop the online course content and will be sharing her insight into how to get a consistent product and successfully scale up production at the weekend workshop.

“Cider making is never something that you learn from a book. What you learn [from this course] is all the problem-solving skills and where to get information, and you meet a whole pile of people who can help you with that,” Ms Dambergs said.

“Where studying fermentation science really helps you is if something goes wrong – if your ferment goes sideways or for some reason you’ve had to cold store your
fruit longer and it’s not as fresh as it used to be, that’s where all this information and training really comes in to play.”

FermenTasmania CEO Philippa Dawson added: “One of the things I really like about cider is it goes back to that tradition of Tasmania being the Apple Isle – it touches on an industry that we’ve had for a long time but really helps draw it out.

“One of the other opportunities that the course offers is that people who are making wine or beer could learn to make cider as well, so it offers them other job opportunities. They’re different cycles for when it’s the busy season, so it can really help with employment as well.”

The Cider Start-Up course can be used as an introduction to the University College’s two-year Associate Degree in Applied Science (Fermentation and Separation Science). The short course costs $995 and commences on Friday, 21 June, however online registrations are open until mid-July.

For more information visit the website.

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