Author Topic: brewing application etiquette  (Read 3316 times)

Offline Mikey

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2010, 06:18:15 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.  ;)

Well, that’d work out well, because I would have desire to work for anyone that is only interested in my cleaning skills.

Offline majorvices

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2010, 06:25:28 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.  ;)

Well, that’d work out well, because I would have desire to work for anyone that is only interested in my cleaning skills.

I'm just not sure why you don't get it. Cleaning skills are what most pro-brewers are interested in. And if you are going to work at a brewery your are going to start at the bottom - unless you start the business yourself. Its simply not that complex. You clean. Why would a head brewer hire someone who brings him their homebrew, no matter how great it is, for the assistant brewer position, when there are probably 2 or 3 other guys that have been scrubbing floors for several months and who probably know how the place is run?

Regardless, I'm glad you don't want the job because the guy who literally helped me for at least 60 hours or more of free work during construction is the first guy in line for the job - and he knows nothing about brewing. But he has earned the job. Plus, I'm not sure I like your attitude.  :P ;)

I'll excuse myself from the discussion now because I have 40 kegs to clean.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 06:34:41 AM by majorvices »
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2010, 06:29:44 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

You know you can unload them 1 sack at a time.. ;)  Hope the back gets better.  No go find yourself a grunt.
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Offline Mikey

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2010, 06:34:05 AM »
Sorry, I was just expressing my views just as you have. Didn’t realize that I had an “attitude”.  Also, I never even mentioned recipes or about asking anyone to brew them.  That  would certainly be very arrogant in an interview.

Now that I know you are a head brewer, I can see why you might feel strange about hiring anyone with actual brewing knowledge. You obviously want your recipes and skills to shine above all others.  That’s not my management type, but I’ve known many managers like that. FWIW I have no desire to have anything to do with professional brewing. I’m merely basing my views on my management experience in far different areas.

Offline majorvices

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2010, 06:38:45 AM »


Now that I know you are a head brewer, I can see why you might feel strange about hiring anyone with actual brewing knowledge. You obviously want your recipes and skills to shine above all others

You really, really just don't get it. Or you simply refuse to.
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Offline Mikey

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2010, 06:40:02 AM »
I guess not, because I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. However, I do know something about hiring professionals.

However, this is going no where, so I bid farewell.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 06:41:55 AM by mikeybrew »

Offline phillamb168

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2010, 07:01:57 AM »
I'm not sure if there's 100% parallel between the two, but I'd think the standard way of getting an 'in' in restaurants would work for brewing, too: become a stagiere. Basically you work for free, bust your ass doing whatever they'll let you do, and let them understand that you want to learn as much as you can. Once they get to know you, I'd say go ahead and talk up your homebrewing skills. If you don't get a job out of the deal, you'll at least have gained enough hands-on experience that you can open your own brewery.

Re bringing beer to the interview, I'd recommend against it. It's like a first date - keep something in reserve for the next time so they WANT to see you again. In this case, if they seem interested in general, say "I'd like to stop by sometime to get your opinion of my homebrews, if you don't mind." Now you've got a second chance to convince them of your awesomeness, and the guys will appreciate that you value their opinion. If they're not interested, at least you haven't let a 6-pack go skanky.
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Offline denny

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2010, 08:52:03 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.

If you've known anyone who's gotten a job in a brewery, starting at the bottom is usually the way it's done.  99% of the people I know who work in the industry started that way.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2010, 09:07:12 AM »
Unfortunately it's like the school of hard knocks.  You start out at the bottom and work your way up.  It's the way of the world.

This is a memorable movie quote...that I find to be alot like the real world.

"Kung Fu" Pilot (1972)

Master Po: Do you hear the grasshopper that is at your feet?
Young Caine: [looking down and seeing the insect] Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
Master Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?

Master Po: What do you hear?
Caine: I hear the grasshopper.

Master Kan: Quickly as you can, snatch the pebble from my hand.
[Young Caine tries to do so and fails]
Master Kan: When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

 8)
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Offline svejk

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2010, 09:10:08 AM »
While I don't work in the industry, I have had a lot of interactions with commercial brewers over the years (including brewing with one as part of the GABF Pro-Am competition).  I have found that there is a high level of interest in homebrewing among commercial brewers because a good number of them started out homebrewing themselves.  I wouldn't go in with any expectations that a brewer is going to want to brew your recipe, but I think your wife's advice is solid.  Leave a few beers in a cooler in the car, and if the opportunity presents itself, offer to share some homebrew.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2010, 09:14:57 AM »
I guess people just have different images of the type of job they're applying for.  When one of the local brewpubs lost the brewer a few years back (he moved) they put out a call for applications, no professional brewing experience necessary, they would hire homebrewers.  I would certainly expect those applicants with no history to bring samples.

If I was the head brewer and a homebrewer was applying for the assistant brewer position (which is the bottom rung at most of the breweries in my area, if the head brewer is fortunate enough to even have an assistant) I would want to sample their beer and talk to them about their process, see if they could critically evaluate their own beer.  You can tell if someone has at least some clue about sanitization if you taste their beer - if they bring you a sample that is clearly infected you know first, that they screwed up the process somewhere along the way, and second that they don't have a half decent palette if they are sharing this with anyone except as an example of what not to do or asking what went wrong.

Brewing can be taught, so can cleaning so I wouldn't require an applicant be a homebrewer or have experience brewing.  You obviously want a hard worker and someone who takes pride in their work and wants to do the best they can.  It also helps if they like beer and are interested in the process, and those types of people will probably have at least tried to brew at home.  I think there are good reasons for bringing a sample, and if there are a slew of applicants it is something that can set one apart.

And Keith, just because I bring you a sample doesn't mean I expect you to brew it.  Who says I'd even give you the recipe? ;)  It also doesn't mean that I think my beer is better than yours, and if someone came in with that attitude then don't hire them (unless they're right, then maybe you should think about it).  To me it's just about sharing a beer and a love of beer, and if a homebrewer doesn't want to share their beer then it seems to me it probably isn't very good and they're not interested in making it better.

But that's just me.
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Offline maxieboy

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2010, 09:32:00 AM »
  Leave a few beers in a cooler in the car, and if the opportunity presents itself, offer to share some homebrew.

This.

 I worked in a LHBS(that is part of a microbrewery) and was always giving samples of my homebrew to the production manager. When the brewers position was going to open up, he wanted me for the position.. Ultimately, I didn't go for it(changed careers), but those samples absolutely paved the way. My brews showed him that I had a solid grasp on sanitation and the brewing process.
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Offline glitterbug

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2010, 09:37:34 AM »
Its not all glamour and escort girls and dom perignon.

Is it glamour and escort girls and dom perignon beer? ;D
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Offline maxieboy

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2010, 09:52:12 AM »
Its not all glamour and escort girls and dom perignon.

Is it glamour and escort girls and dom perignon beer? ;D

It's glamour and escort girls and dom perignon beer and hard work.  :)
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Offline euge

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Re: brewing application etiquette
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2010, 11:00:55 AM »
Sure bring the beer. But as previously stated it doesn't hurt to state that you have personal brewing experience, but emphasize your excellent work ethic, eagerness to learn and supreme desire to help brew HIS/HER product the way he/she wants it done. Unlikely you'll be teaching them anything new so the home experience aspect is a good, but not a ticket in.

If the opportunity arises share your brew- more as an example that you understand the process. Don't divulge that it was a Cooper's kit... ;)

Most importantly, bring some humility along to back up that bravado. In my field of expertise a somewhat experienced egotistical colleague with just barely a year in got herself sidelined by being too cocky with the management. Recently, when she desperately needed a transfer- she ultimately didn't get the job; her position was filled by a new hire and she now works about 7 hours filling in a hole here or there. I think they expected her to quit...

What does that have to do with getting an entry level job in a brewery? I think many would prefer to train and mold their new hires, whereas "experience" can sometimes bring discord to the workplace depending on personality. So come to the interview ready to work immediately.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman