Keeping things running at Tasmania’s oldest brewery
Nestled at the foot of Tasmania’s iconic Mount Wellington (Kunanyi) is Cascade Brewery in Hobart, Australia’s oldest operating brewery. Named after the cascading waters flowing down from the mountain, the brewery was originally a timber mill (established in 1824), but since 1832 has been producing some of Tasmania’s most popular beers.
We sat down recently to chat to the Cascade’s OCS Site Supervisor, Lee-Anne Rogerson, to hear about the work she does at Cascade.
“I’m the only cleaner on-site at the Brewery where I look after approximately 70 to 80 people across the site. It’s up to me to make sure that everything and everyone is spic and span. I keep them in line,” says Lee-Anne with a grin.
“It’s a magical place to work. No two days are the same and you have to learn to adapt to each environment. I clean the whole site every day – that includes labs, offices, the brewery, and everything in between.
“Time management is key and because it’s a factory, you need to be hyper-aware of your surroundings and of what you’re doing.”
Working in such an old building does have its challenges, says Lee-Anne.
“My feet are too big for one of the staircases, so I have to come down sideways. This is a place where you have to work smart, not hard. You might have to climb two flights of stairs just to clean one floor,” she says.
“You’ll walk a lot of kilometres in one day – it’s a really big site – some days I’ll walk up to 14km, and there is more over the road with the restaurant and cottages,” says Lee-Anne. “There are a lot of crib rooms (lunchrooms, named crib rooms after all the cribbage that was played on lunch breaks over the years), a lot of toilets and huge grounds to cover.”
Lee-Anne explains that the brewery is reasonably self-sufficient, the site has its own water treatment plant and generates its own steam.
“I knew that I had to be super conscious about what chemicals I was using on the site – anything I put down the drains was going to go over to the plant,” says Lee-Anne. “If I put the wrong thing down the drain, I could kill hundreds of thousands of dollars of bugs, I wouldn’t be very popular!
“I disposed of every product we weren’t allowed for safety reasons, and now I’m down to only two or three different chemicals, which have all been approved by the treatment plant.”
The “bugs” Lee-Anne is referring to is the biomass used to treat the wastewater before it’s sent back to Tas Water.
“That’s why it’s important I don’t throw a chemical down the drain that could be harmful to the good biomass – we need to help keep them healthy and alive so they can do their job to treat our water waste,” says Lee-Anne.
Lee-Anne has been looking after the brewery for 10 years, of which OCS has had the contract for the last 6.5 years.
“I love working here and all the people. They’re my work family and I make sure to keep them in line!” she says.