Author Topic: Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?  (Read 1443 times)

Offline jeeyeop

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Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?
« on: November 01, 2015, 03:32:05 AM »
Recently, I decided to quit my job as a consultant on the East Coast and travel to the West in search of a job I could actually enjoy. I was wondering if there were any recommended paths to follow to (websites, clubs, etc) to find a job in commercial brewing. I do plan on still reading the various available literature and homebrewing to develop my skills, but I figure if I could find a job in a commercial setting as well it could only enhance my skillset further. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Offline Stevie

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Re: Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2015, 03:34:04 AM »
Not to be a jerk, but be prepared for long hours and low wages. Nonetheless, good luck.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2015, 03:51:16 AM »
If I owned a brewery id be looking for someone who can run a flight of stairs with a 55 sack on one shoulder then weld a stainless sanitary fitting. Id want a person who can find joy cleaning kegs and thought creating recipes was boring.

Offline yso191

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Re: Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2015, 03:57:25 AM »
Not to be a jerk, but be prepared for long hours and low wages. Nonetheless, good luck.

This.  Its a supply and demand thing.  Lots of people would enjoy brewing for a career - too many it seems.  If you've been a consultant there is no way the pay would be in the ballpark.  That is unless you own the brewery and it is 30+ bbl.  That is an economy of scale thing.

There is money in the peripheral segments.  There are some decently paying jobs in the hop industry for example.

I hope to start a small commercial brewery when I retire.  That way I don't have to worry about income, and can do it out of love for brewing.  And then hire a young guy to do the hard work ;-)
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Offline toby

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Re: Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2015, 03:46:08 PM »
Work your way up from the bottom.  Unless you have a degree in brewing from Siebel or UC Davis (or professional experience), you're going to need to start off at the keg washing level for little to no money.  Even the head brewers at most commercial breweries don't make much money.  Look on the probrewer.com classifieds for opportunities in your area.

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Re: Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2015, 04:39:27 PM »
Work your way up from the bottom.  Unless you have a degree in brewing from Siebel or UC Davis (or professional experience), you're going to need to start off at the keg washing level for little to no money.  Even the head brewers at most commercial breweries don't make much money.  Look on the probrewer.com classifieds for opportunities in your area.

I think the value of those degress is overrated.  I know a lot of commercial brewers and I can count on one hand those that have degrees.
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Offline toby

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Re: Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2015, 06:41:23 PM »
I think the value of those degress is overrated.  I know a lot of commercial brewers and I can count on one hand those that have degrees.

I don't disagree at all.  I'm just saying that getting a job as a brewer with no experience at the commercial level and no degree is going to be that much harder (and with the commensurate lower pay grade).  It's like having a college degree in the business world.  It's more an indication of dedication and work ethic than an indicator of qualification.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2015, 07:23:38 PM »
I think the value of those degress is overrated.  I know a lot of commercial brewers and I can count on one hand those that have degrees.

I don't disagree at all.  I'm just saying that getting a job as a brewer with no experience at the commercial level and no degree is going to be that much harder (and with the commensurate lower pay grade).  It's like having a college degree in the business world.  It's more an indication of dedication and work ethic than an indicator of qualification.
That being the case, I'd hire a guy who did 4 years in the Seals over 4 years at Davis.

Offline jeeyeop

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Re: Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2015, 12:42:43 AM »
Definitely appreciate all the responses! I kind of already anticipated the type of work/pay I'd start out with (probably half of what my job out of college was). My NYU degree in nutrition might help a little, or not. I'm mainly just wondering how one finds that job at preferably a craft brewery (I feel like I'd get to learn how to operate a variety of machinery quicker at a smaller brewery). I just want to find work I can enjoy doing, and hopefully make a decent living out of it one day too.

Would just going door to door to breweries be the best route? I'll be moving to San Diego soon and there's a bunch there!again thanks for all the quick responses!

Offline narvin

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Re: Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2015, 11:58:20 AM »
I think the value of those degress is overrated.  I know a lot of commercial brewers and I can count on one hand those that have degrees.

I don't disagree at all.  I'm just saying that getting a job as a brewer with no experience at the commercial level and no degree is going to be that much harder (and with the commensurate lower pay grade).  It's like having a college degree in the business world.  It's more an indication of dedication and work ethic than an indicator of qualification.
That being the case, I'd hire a guy who did 4 years in the Seals over 4 years at Davis.

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Offline goldnoggin

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Re: Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2015, 05:52:14 AM »
Most breweries hire part time packaging people for around $10/hour. It isn't uncommon for people new to the industry to have two jobs, one at the brewery and another that consistently gives you a paycheck (in a totally different industry). Asking the brewers questions and shadowing them (while not on the clock) is a great way to learn (if they will let you).

For me, I started part time for $10/hour on a manual canning line. I was lucky enough to get hired full time after about a year (still at $10/hour). As I learned more, I made more. I also had to switch breweries, as the smaller ones tend to make advancement based on other people leaving. 6+ years later I am the head brewer at a small brewery.

One of my bosses once told me, "Brewing requires people to be smart, hard working and poor. If you are smart, you can get an office job that pays better. If you are a hard worker, you can get a construction job that pays more. If you still want to be a brewer, pick up that mop and clean the floor. If you come back tomorrow, maybe I'll show you how we wash kegs."

Offline jeeyeop

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Re: Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2015, 05:52:57 AM »
Yeah, been emailing a bunch of breweries in the SoCal area and most are fully staffed from the ones I've heard back from so far. I wouldn't put canning beneath me, but if at all possible I'd like to start from a position where I'll definitely learn. That being said, I may have to start from the canning line at this rate. I'll give it a few more days or so!

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2015, 02:40:02 PM »

If I owned a brewery id be looking for someone who can run a flight of stairs with a 55 sack on one shoulder then weld a stainless sanitary fitting. Id want a person who can find joy cleaning kegs and thought creating recipes was boring.

No need to know welding.

Reliable, dependable, trustworthy and mechanically inclined.

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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2015, 04:22:26 PM »
The market is so saturated for people wanting low paying brewing jobs on the hopes of becoming a pro brewer that many breweries take in free labor under the guise of internships (until the Department of Labor decides to go on a rampage). It's hard to even pick up minimum wage when so many people are begging to do the work for free. If you can find paying work it will likely be at minimum wage. So be prepared to enjoy a job where you do manual labor at minimum wage waiting around to pick up a higher position.

There are jobs in the beer industry that are not paths to brewing that might be better suited to your existing skill set like sales, distribution or management. These jobs are probably a lot of what you left.

Probrewer.com has job classifieds. I believe the Brewers Association does as well.
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Offline jeeyeop

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Re: Sooo, any recommended ways to find a career in brewing?
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2015, 04:37:37 AM »
That's a disappointing reality I didn't wanna hear about  :( 

Still, I think I'd rather go that route then stick with what I was doing. I do appreciate the reply though, the classifieds in on ProBrewer.com seem a little promising. Thanks!