Author Topic: brewing application etiquette  (Read 3121 times)

Offline violaleebrews

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brewing application etiquette
« on: September 08, 2010, 06:55:42 PM »
I'm strongly considering applying to a few local commercial breweries and am wondering if there is an etiquette regarding passing along a couple examples of what I'm capable of.  I LOVE sharing my beer with friends and family, but in a professional setting I don't want to be too overbearing.  My wife suggested I bring them and keep them in the car just in case you get to a point where they might be useful.

Any thoughts? 

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2010, 07:58:40 PM »
I don't work for a brewery or anything, but I think bringing them beers is the right thing to do.  You can be unobtrusive about it and keep them in a backpack/shoulder bag or whatever, but if someone came to me looking for a brewing job and brewed at home I would expect to get a sample, and I'd want to talk to you about it while we shared it.  I can't imagine any similar interviewer wouldn't want to have a taste.

Unless of course your beer is crap, then leave it at home. :)
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Offline majorvices

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2010, 04:54:26 AM »
I would handle it totally differently. Rather than bring them some of your beer to show what you can do, go volunteer to clean out the mash tun, mop floors, clean kegs. Ask for a part time job helping the brewers (don't expect much money). Compliment the head brewer on his/her beers. Ask a few questions on what they do during the process to get their beer right. You might mention you are a homebrewer, but don't make a show of trying to get them you beer at first. Then, after you have gotten to know the group a bit ask if they would mind sampling your beer.

Remember that there's already a head brewer there that will be pretty proud (hopefully) of his or her beers, as will most other folks around him. So you don't want to come off "cocky" like you think you are going to walk in and blow them away with your beer. Get to know the people, and especially the brewer(s), and then they will be much more likely to give you both honest feedback and, perhaps, a chance to showcase your skills.

Now, that said, if the brewery is totally or mostly incompetent you might handle it a different way. But you might also be getting in way over your head. While the brewing process is essentially the same the tools pro-brewers use, the sanitation methods and the volumes they handle are quite different. If they have problems with their beer there is a good chance they are just going to turn around and brew your recipe with the same flaws in tact.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 04:59:43 AM by majorvices »
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Offline Mikey

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2010, 05:12:50 AM »
I agree with your wife. Leave some cold beers in the car and if the opportunity presents itself, bring them in.

As for doing manual work to get a job, that’s up to you, but I wouldn’t do it. If I was applying for a management position in my field of expertise, I certainly wouldn’t offer to clean the restrooms, in hopes of getting hired.

Offline dhacker

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2010, 05:21:52 AM »
I agree with Keith on the methodology. Even if your skills DO eclipse those of the people working at the brewery, you have zero chance of employment if you make a point to prove that. .even in an amiable way.

What most people are looking for these days is a reliable, conscientious, butt busting worker who they can count on for whatever they might need. The higher rungs on the ladder will come in time.
Just brew it...

Offline majorvices

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2010, 05:22:00 AM »
I agree with your wife. Leave some cold beers in the car and if the opportunity presents itself, bring them in.

As for doing manual work to get a job, that’s up to you, but I wouldn’t do it. If I was applying for a management position in my field of expertise, I certainly wouldn’t offer to clean the restrooms, in hopes of getting hired.

Field of expertise eh?  :D Seriously - we are talking HOMEBREWING here. No offense meant to anyone here but we may be experts at HOMEBREWING - but few people here know much, if anything, about professional brewing. And if you think you are going to walk in and start designing recipes and manning the control panel while the head brewer goes off to clean kegs (or the restroom) you are seriously fooling yourself.

You have to start somewhere. And, like it or not, cleaning MTs and kegs - and even restrooms - is all part of what a brewer does. You CLEAN! EVERYDAY!
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 05:36:23 AM by majorvices »
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Offline majorvices

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2010, 05:23:26 AM »

What most people are looking for these days is a reliable, conscientious, butt busting worker who they can count on for whatever they might need. The higher rungs on the ladder will come in time.

Absolutely! And that goes for any field. The problem with kids these days coming into the work force is they think they deserve to start with a corner office job.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2010, 05:25:22 AM »

And if you think you are going to walk in and start designing recipes and manning the control panel while the head brewer goes off to clean kegs you are seriously fooling yourself.

You have to start somewhere. And, like it or not, cleaning MTs and kegs - and even restrooms - is all part of what a brewer does. You CLEAN! EVERYDAY!

Thanks for shattering my dream...next thing you're going to tell me is that brewers don't get paid insane amounts of money  ;)
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Offline majorvices

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2010, 05:28:39 AM »
Luckily the women come easy though.  :P
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Offline Mikey

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2010, 05:37:27 AM »
Quote
No offense meant to anyone here but we may be experts at HOMEBREWING - but few people here know much, if anything, about professional brewing.

True, but there's a big difference in brewing, on any level, and doing grunt work. Just because you know how to clean a mashtun, that doesn't mean you know how to brew. There is such a thing as selling yourself short.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 05:40:32 AM by mikeybrew »

Offline majorvices

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2010, 05:41:24 AM »
Quote
No offense meant to anyone here but we may be experts at HOMEBREWING - but few people here know much, if anything, about professional brewing.

True, but there's a big difference in brewing, on any level, and doing grunt work.

Mikey - brewing is grunt work. You obviously have never been in a professional brewery before. The head brewer is running around cleaning kegs, cleaning restrooms, mopping floors, cleaning more kegs, cleaning out the mash tun, cleaning more kegs, cleaning fittings, cleaning fermenters, cleaning more kegs.

Its not all glamour and escort girls and dom perignon.
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Offline dak0415

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2010, 05:48:26 AM »
Quote
No offense meant to anyone here but we may be experts at HOMEBREWING - but few people here know much, if anything, about professional brewing.

True, but there's a big difference in brewing, on any level, and doing grunt work. Just because you know how to clean a mashtun, that doesn't mean you know how to brew. There is such a thing as selling yourself short.

Aw c'mon' mikey, 90%+ of brewing is grunt work on ANY level.  That's why we have 4 fermenters and 8 kegs sitting waiting to be cleaned and sanitized.  Or is that just me?

Keith, just wondering, all this starting a new brewery and all, you still have time to post?  Or is there a cash prize for outposting Denny?
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Offline majorvices

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2010, 05:51:49 AM »
Dave - I haven't been posting much lately but I hurt my back yesterday unloading 4000 lbs of grain and am waiting for the advil to kick in before I go into work. Wish I had some grunt to have helped me unload that.  :P
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Offline Mikey

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2010, 05:52:29 AM »
I’ve been to plenty of professional breweries and spent a lot of time talking to the head brewer of one. Yes, I’ve seen him with a hose in his and brooms, etc. However, if I was hiring someone, I could be fairly certain that he/she could learn to clean. What I want to know is if that person knows something about sanitation, the handling of yeast, etc. Having them present  me with a nice home brew would prove to me that they know something about brewing, other than cleaning mash tuns.

Should he expect to walk into a head brewers position, no and I think don’t any of us would expect that. However, I still think his wife’s advice was spot on. Take some homebrew with you. Even if you don’t get the job or have a chance to give it to them, you have something to drink in the parking lot while you reflect on your interview.

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2010, 05:54:54 AM »
Well, as part-owner of a small brewery, and the head brewer, I will tell you that I am not interested in brewing your recipe. I'm also not really interested in tasting your beer until I see you clean out the MT a few times.  ;)
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