High school opens its own brewery for teenage students
Redcliffe State High School is the first school in Australia its own brewery.
The school, north of Brisbane, officially opened the 3 Eagles Brewing today - it will allow the school to offer a Certificate III in Food Production: Micro brewing.
Redcliffe State High School has been working on the project for exactly one year.
Teacher David Christie said 36 students applied for the class with 22 Year 10 students signed up to start the two year course as Year 11 students next year.
"The course will not only support the craft beer growth industry it will also focus on skills such as front of house, RSA, safety and a responsible alcohol program for students," Mr Christie said.
Custom built in Victoria, the brewery set up is of professional grade but purposely built on a smaller scale to fit into the school's kitchen.
"I promised myself one year ago today that I would have this project up and running by the end of the year. It's been a huge effort but we did it with a day up our sleeve," Mr Christie said.
"A lot of staff had to upskill at home at a cost to them, brewing beer, and we've all put on at least 10kg I think."
Mr Christie said a lot of past students had even tried to re-enrol after hearing the news. Fellow teacher Phil Morrison said it was a bit of a double edged sword to be offered the opportunity to teach brewery to students.
"It's exciting to teach something new but also we're a bit wary because we're bringing alcohol into the school and trying to predict what that will look like," he said.
Students will not be able to taste their alcohol creations - but staff members have already put their hands up to be the official taste testers.
The initiative is funded through the State Government's VET in Schools (VETiS) program which fully subsidises the training for students who take it up.
State Labor MP for Redcliffe Yvette D'Ath said a school based brewery was a first for Australia and an exciting new pathway for students.
"What's exciting about it is we need schools to keep innovating around what they can offer as far as pathways," she said.
"We know micro brewing and craft brewery are really growing across the state and this country and so there is great opportunity for career paths in this area.
"It's great that the teachers are also embracing this idea. Yes, it comes with some nervousness but it's not just about brewing alcohol, the students are learning a process and this very much links in with STEM but in a new and exciting way."
Students will also learn to brew soft drinks with their first project focused on creating a healthy soft drink.