For the past 20 years, Peter Aldred has seen hundreds of students pass through his door.
As Associate Professor of Brewing at Federation University’s Mount Helen campus, he reshaped the renowned brewing course into something accessible all over the country.
“I reformatted the course so instead of being block mode where students would have to come here for six weeks to do their lectures it became more of a distance education program,” he said.
“Now it's a lot more of an online course where I can do my lectures to people all over Australia.”
Prof. Aldred’s first foray into brewing came when he began experimenting with home brewing at the age of 18, to mixed results.
“When some longnecks exploded and covered mum’s new car in shards of glass and un-fermented beer, I figured I should learn a bit more about the science of beer,” he laughed.
After getting his Phd in biochemistry Peter took up work with Carlton United Breweries researching yeast.
He would eventually leave CUB and return to medicine before taking up his position at the university in 1998.
Looking at the expansion of the brewing industry in Australia, Prof. Aldred believes like other food and drinks, businesses are going down two distinct paths.
“I think it's fascinating because it's not just beer, we can look at coffee and bread for instance, it seems like food is going in two district directions.
“There's a big shift towards producing large quantities at economical prices and then there's the other way where you've got your more not necessarily traditional methods, but handcrafted, small batch methods of producing food and drinks.”
He believes having so many of these small batch craft brews is fantastic for choice, but not necessarily for everyone.
“I love lager beers because they are perfectly suited for our climate. I don't think I want to be drinking an imperial stout on a 29 degree day. I want a clean refreshing lager, but the ability to choose is fantastic.”
The Ballarat Beer Festival will be held on Saturday January 19 and will showcase the best of craft brewing and the city’s ongoing love affair with all things amber.
Details at Ballarat Beer Festival