The Brewing Industry is growing
The brewing industry continues to grow at a rapid pace! Dozens of new breweries have opened in the UK this year and analysts are predicting strong growth over the next decade. There are now more than 1,700 breweries in the United Kingdom — a figure that is increasing at a rate of about ten a month.
Julie Carling of brewing search and selection company The Carling Partnership, comments ‘If you are interested in a career in the brewing industry, now is the perfect time to get started. The substantial growth experienced by the industry has led to a high demand for junior brewers. Employers are looking for eager brewers with the right combination of qualifications and experience.’
This article will help you land your first job in the brewing industry by providing some insight into what employers are looking for in a junior brewer.
What is expected of a junior brewer?
A junior brewer works closely with the senior brewers to produce, package and deliver beer. Their key responsibilities include:
Brewing beer under the close supervision of senior brewers
Ensuring the brewery remains clean and safe to work in
Performing packaging activities including bottling, keg and cask filling, and canning
Preparing beer for distribution by palletising and wrapping it
Performing quality assurance tests
Managing the cellar
The qualities that most breweries want in their junior brewers include:
A strong focus on safety
A very strong focus on producing beer of exceptional quality
Very motivated and passionate about beer making
The ability to self-manage their workload and work autonomously
Hard working and flexible with excellent attention to detail
Methodical and logical
An understanding of the science of brewing
A passion for the product and interest in NPD
What qualifications and experience are employers looking for?
Employers are usually looking for candidates with a right combination of qualifications and experience. They want people who are familiar with the technical aspects of brewing and have real experience in a brewery. Here is some more information about the qualifications and experience that employers usually look for.
Junior Brewer Qualifications
There are many different brewing qualifications available, ranging from certificates through to postgraduate university degrees. The qualifications listed below specifically focus on brewing and packaging beer, making them perfect for a junior brewer.
Alternatively, a degree in chemistry, microbiology, engineering or food science can also be a good way into the brewing industry. Some of the best qualifications available include:
Brew School -- Commercial Brewing Course (Certificate) This is a 5-day course that covers all of the theoretical concepts of brewing. The course prepares students for the Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD) recognised examination. Brew School also offers courses in craft brewing, advanced brewing and setting up a microbrewery.
Heriot Watt University — Brewing and Distilling (MSc. BSc. Diploma and Certificate)
Heriot Watt University offers a range of brewing and distilling courses, from short certificates available via distance learning, through to post-graduate diplomas.
Nottingham University – MSc in Brewing Science
This part-time distance learning programme has been developed for individuals working in the brewing industry, providing a key pathway for continuing professional development.
The Institute of Brewing and Distilling Courses The Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD) is the world’s leading professional body for people working in brewing and distilling. Employers often prefer candidates who have qualifications recognised by this organisation. The IBD offer a range of qualifications from a Certificate in Brewing through to the Master Brewer qualification.
Brewlab Diploma in British Brewing Technology
Brewlab offers a range of courses including the certificate in practical brewing, diploma in British brewing technology and the certificate in craft brew quality.
Other qualifications that are perfect for anyone seeking to enter the brewing industry include:
UC Davis professional brewers certificate / Masters brewing program / Diploma in Brewing (USA)
Siebel Institute of Technology & World Brewing Academy
American Brewers Guild Intensive Brewing Science & Engineering (USA)
Central Washington University Craft Beer Certificate (USA)
Old College Brewmaster & Brewery Operations Management (Canada)
VLB Berlin Certified Brewmaster Course (Germany)
Doemens Academy Brewing and Beverage Technologist (Germany)
Edith Cowan University Graduate Diploma of Brewing (Australia)
Junior Brewer Experience
While having the appropriate qualifications is useful for landing a junior brewer position, many employers have a preference for workers who also have some practical experience. In fact, many workers only make it into the junior brewer position after spending years working as an intern or an entry level brewing operator.
Working as an Operator gives a person excellent knowledge of the brewing process, working conditions and the types of tasks that need to be performed. That experience is invaluable in the eyes of an employer. In many cases, employers will see any kind of food production or manufacturing experience as a substantial benefit. It shows that you know how to safely work on a production floor. From starting as an Operator you can move to more formal training and qualification and develop your career in the industry.
There has never been a better time to start working in the brewing industry. There are plenty of opportunities for motivated brewers to enter the industry and make their mark!