Author Topic: Becoming a professional Brewer  (Read 1239 times)

Offline brewerbrown

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Becoming a professional Brewer
« on: August 15, 2011, 04:02:36 PM »
I was curious if anyone could tell me the best possible way to become a professional brewer at an already functioning brewery? The topics seem to be about how to start your own brewery, and I was wondering how one goes about getting into the brewing industry?  I have been home brewing for about a year now, and I am enrolled in the Brewers Guild Program in 2013 (waiting list is huge) in the mean time I am taking a trig, pre-calc and possibly a bio-chem class in preparation and my prior education is a BA in journalism from Ohio State  I guess I am wondering if I should be doing something else? Also, what does a brewers resume look like if he/she never been a professional brewer before?  As always thanks for the help...I love the AHA forum..

Offline maxieboy

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Re: Becoming a professional Brewer
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2011, 06:21:02 PM »
Real talk? Put your degree to work. Research the brewing biz in your spare time and see if it's for you... JMO...
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Becoming a professional Brewer
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2011, 07:35:25 PM »
Most people will tell you to find work, even if it's volunteer work, at a brewery. 
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
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Offline punatic

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Re: Becoming a professional Brewer
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2011, 07:52:36 PM »
I'm not sure how trigonometry will help you with brewing, but it was my favorite math in college.

Find a brewey, ask if you can help them with the grunt work, show up early, stay late, work hard, show an interest in what they're doing, have a positive attitude, and you should be successful.  Make yourself as indispensable as possible. 

Did I mention work hard?
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Becoming a professional Brewer
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2011, 11:50:03 PM »
If you don't get more responses it is probably because people generally agree with what is above - I know I do.  Go volunteer and get some experience, even if it is pouring beers in the tasting room.  When they are short handed they are going to call someone they know.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline majorvices

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Re: Becoming a professional Brewer
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2011, 04:35:15 AM »
A local brewery near me hired on a part time college student 20-30 hours a week. AFAIK he is the only one who makes a pay check (min. wage - expect that). He started by volunteering, just like was mentioned above.
Keith Y.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Becoming a professional Brewer
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2011, 05:07:13 AM »
Everything I've read says it's just like getting a position at a top restaurant - you can spend $$$ on an education (CIA or Siebel, same thing really) or you can bust your ass and work for free for the hope that somebody will take you on "full-time." Of course you could also go the "make a small fortune from brewing by starting with a large fortune" route...
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Offline bonjour

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Re: Becoming a professional Brewer
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2011, 06:11:19 AM »
Volunteer.  Help.  Ask questions.  Learn what they do and why.  Do it ALL.  Get well connected with homebrewers as well.  Learn more about beer.  Develop your beer sensory and evaluation skills.

See if you can teach homebrewing  ata brewery.

That will help you if and when you decide to do it on your own.
Fred Bonjour
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AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



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Offline nateo

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Re: Becoming a professional Brewer
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2011, 07:31:25 AM »
If you want to do something really sobering, go to the probrewer.com forums, and look in the "work wanted" section. You will find hundreds of people with degrees in brewing science or related fields, with internships at good breweries, who can't find work.

Getting in on the ground floor somewhere is good advice, but as was mentioned earlier, you may be the only getting paid, and minimum wage at that. So unless the brewery you're at really takes off and becomes really successful, I wouldn't plan on making a future there.

I'm someone who isn't in the industry, so take this with a sack of salt, but I'd say the best way to get into the business would be to get a business degree, or at least take enough classes and get enough experience in business to be able to start and run your own brewery, and then hire a kid who went to school for brewing for minimum wage to work as your brewer.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline brewerbrown

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Re: Becoming a professional Brewer
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2011, 08:07:04 AM »
Thanks for all the advice....I will be on the hunt for a brewery that let me volunteer

Offline denny

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Re: Becoming a professional Brewer
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2011, 08:28:43 AM »
Here's the story of a guy who just lucked into a job at Rogue...

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=102594&start=45

This part is especially meaningful...

"I have been keeping my head down, mouth shut and worked until my arms felt like they were going to fall off, so I have become first in line for when new openings come.  I hope if you're applying to breweries you're not naive enough to think that brewers spend their day smelling hops and stirring mash tuns. Our brewers operate fork lifts more than they weigh ingredients, and clean/sanitize stuff that smells bad more than anything else. All in all, it's a factory. One that makes cool stuff, but still a factory."
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Offline brewerbrown

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Re: Becoming a professional Brewer
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2011, 08:45:11 AM »
That is a great story...I am well aware that it takes a lot of hard work and that is not the most glamorous career, I know some guys that brew for the Pizza Ports' in San Diego and they have made me aware of this as well.  As far as the pro-brewer job boards being pretty depressing, well most job boards in any career field are bad now a days...so i am prepared for that as well...but keep the info coming

Offline nateo

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Re: Becoming a professional Brewer
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2011, 08:52:04 AM »
I guess my point is that for anyone in any field, there are hundreds of people smarter than you and more qualified than you who are looking for the same job. How anyone gets a job doing anything on their own merits seems like a miracle to me. I've found nepotism and cronyism to be the most effective ways to get jobs.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Becoming a professional Brewer
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2011, 09:57:49 AM »
I guess my point is that for anyone in any field, there are hundreds of people smarter than you and more qualified than you who are looking for the same job. How anyone gets a job doing anything on their own merits seems like a miracle to me. I've found nepotism and cronyism to be the most effective ways to get jobs.

while it can seem a little like multiple personality disorder I have found that it is important to keep this in mind but also to hold tight to the idea that there is NO ONE smarter, more qualified or better for the position you are going for than YOU. if you don't believe that someone would be crazy not to hire you than why would they think that.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline brewerbrown

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Re: Becoming a professional Brewer
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2011, 09:07:15 AM »
Just wanted to thank everybody for the advice once again and if any one has any more advice...feel free to send me a message