Home to many craft cider businesses already, Tasmania will soon produce a new cohort of cider makers taking part in the University of Tasmania's Cider Start Up short course.
Combining the science needed to make cider and the business skills to market and scale the craft business, the six-week course starts on June 21.
This course is aimed at people who want to get into the cider industry, those who need to brush up on the science behind cidermaking and the business side, hobbyists, or others who work in sales but want to understand cider better.
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University College and FermenTasmania came together to produce the Cider Start Up course, which comprises online units followed by a weekend of face-to-face learning at the Newnham campus.
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Course coordinator Dr Robin Katersky Barnes said each weekly online module should take between two and four hours, with all the knowledge coming together for the weekend workshop with industry professionals in August.
"[There] we will work on some lab skills at the university and do a taste.walk.talk tour, doing some local cider tastings. It will also work on the business side of things," Dr Barnes said.
"It's the first course of its kind to mix the science side of cider with the business skills that are required," she said.
Red Brick Road Cider owner Karina Dambergs pitched the idea for the course based on others she had seen in the Northern Hemisphere.
Ms Dambergs has contributed to the short course online content and will be involved during the practical weekend.
"I thought it would be a good idea to try something similar here," she said.
Working in the wine and cider industries has given Ms Dambergs an insight into what people need to understand the science of cider and scale it up from a hobby to a business.
"Because I come out of the wine industry ... I've always had that benefit of having an education in fermentation science. One of the challenges I saw for growing and improving cider was increasing people's knowledge about it," she said.
"A lot of people go into this for the fun side, which is making it and fermenting things, but your core business is to sell this product for a profit."
FermenTasmania chief executive Pip Dawson said Tasmania was well placed to run the Cider Start Up short course because of its historical connections with cider, but also the push to build the Centre of Excellence for Fermentation at Legana.
"It goes back to that tradition that Tasmania is the Apple Isle; it's touching on an industry that we've had for a long time, but really drawing it out," Ms Dawson said.
"I think it's cool, that whole mix of doing the online learning because it fits into people's lifestyles, but then to have the practical hands-on piece where you can have a bit of fun, but also learn off each other."
The Cider Start Up course can also be used as an introduction to the University College's two-year Associate Degree in Science (Fermentation and Separation Science).
Registrations are now open for the Cider Start Up short course, which costs $995.
Visit utas.edu.au for more information.
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