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Success brewing on the rocks

17 March 2017
Raise a glass to Rhys Raymond-Jones for a rocking internship beer

The association between uni students and beer is pretty strong, but the science of crafting beer, large scale production and running a business takes this association to the next level for this Food and Agribusiness student.

Rhys Raymond-Jones at Rocks Brewing company

Rhys Raymond-Jones at Rocks Brewing company. Photo: Jayne Ion

Rhys Raymond-Jones spent his summer immersed in beer, completing his internship with Rocks Brewing Company in Alexandria.

“I was involved in all aspects of the business, from milling the grain, overseeing the chemical processes on the brew deck, analysing microbiological organisms, cleaning and sanitising the fermentation tanks, leading brewery tours, marketing products and caring for the resident cats,” Rhys said.

An internship is an incredibly valuable experience for undergraduate students to get real-world, industry experience and… brew beer.

“It was a tough job, but someone had to look after quality assurance and sample each beer,” Rhys joked.

“It was hot, labour intensive work and I wouldn’t have changed it for anything!”

As a reward for his hard work, and to ensure that Rhys could put all his learning into practice, he was given a special task.  

“I was asked to make my own beer from start to finish and create a brew that would help Rocks diversify their portfolio on the beer menu. This was the greatest project and gave me the chance to replicate the properties of some of my favourite beers.”

And the result?

“A smooth Belgian style beer, not too hoppy with a hint of toffee, fruit cake and banana. I highly recommend it!”

And the secret ingredient?

“Love.” 

Seeing how my studies in microbiology, chemistry, inputs and outputs, economies of scale and value adding can be applied in an actual operational business has been an eye-opening experience.
Rhys Raymond-Jones, Food and Agribusiness student
Rhys Raymond-Jones at Rocks Brewing company

Rhys Raymond-Jones. Photo: Jayne Ion

The beer is called ‘the Young Plump Monk’ and is on tap at Rocks Brewing Company for a limited time.

“My beer is also being sold at the Royal Albert Hotel, Harts Pub and the Lord Raglan Hotel. I found out that the beer is being used to raise funds for a charity, which makes the whole experience even more rewarding,” Rhys said.

“The internship was one of the highlights of my degree so far. Seeing how my studies in microbiology, chemistry, inputs and outputs, economies of scale and value adding can be applied in an actual operational business has been an eye-opening experience and I think this will influence the way I approach my studies and consider the real-world applications and outcomes.”

As part of the Food and Agribusiness degree, all third year students complete a 12-week industry internship. Multinational corporations to boutique breweries are involved in providing internship opportunities to students, and the placement is designed to be beneficial for both the students and the host companies.

The internship program is a valuable link for the students to gain an insight into a business in their area of interest and work on valuable, meaningful, real-life projects. The businesses also benefit from enthusiastic and well-versed students who are keen to put their university learning into practice.

“Five of my fellow students have gained casual or part-time positions with their host organisation which is a great credit to their enthusiasm, hard work and ability to apply knowledge gained throughout their degree,” said Rhys Raymond-Jones.  

The new undergraduate experience available from 2018 will make internships, industry placements and work experience more accessible and aims to improve graduate employability.