Versions 0.6.1 and 0.7.0 are available at http://www.apache.org/dist/thrift/
and simply use autotools for their build. The build process has support for various languages (Java, C/C++, ruby, etc.) but I'm primarily interested in Java. You may or may not need to specify JAVA_HOME to get the build process to find the JDK (which should be 1.6.x). Otherwise, it should just be a standard configure, make, make install. Not sure if there are packages that make this easier but those would be fine too, provided we can get parallel versions installed to support multiple branches of the build.
Let me know if I can help. Thanks again!