Anybody Know A Pro Brewer In Search of a Job ?

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Anybody Know A Pro Brewer In Search of a Job ?

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Thu Aug 22, 2002 1:01 pm

I have a vacancy at my present brewery in Youngstown, Ohio which needs filled. I need someone with formal training & 1-2 years of experience in a micro or brewpub setting.

If so, have them e-mail a cover letter and resume with references: ericwatson@mesamaltworks.com

Thanks !

Eric
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?

Postby stouts » Thu Aug 22, 2002 10:28 pm

jus curious whats a pro start out at , at whats the best way to become a pro? Jay
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Makin' the Leap....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Fri Aug 23, 2002 1:12 pm

I believe there are many among us who could become professional brewers by traveling different roads. Here is a short list of the "qualities" that are, in my basic opinion, basic requirements:

1. Understand what are normal and expected flavors in beer, let alone specific styles.

2. Understand that a professional brewer is NOT brewing for themselves and their friends preferences, but that of the customers.

3. Possess a good understanding of the science behind the processes so they are able to operate as cost efficiently as possible, have the ability to recognize and adapt techniques on the fly when things aren't going as planned.

4. Know what is important to measure, with what amount of accuracy, at what intervals and why. (goes hand in hand with #4).

5. Have the ability to keep very detailed records.

6. Have the ability to maintain the best possible cleanliness, sanitization and sterilization levels as are economically possible and know how to measure the effectiveness of those efforts.

7. Be able to never accept the status quo... if there are better ways to do things that are cost effective and yield proportionate benefits... do them.

8. Possess the ability to view all facets of the brewery as a business. Then keeping this perspective, evaluate all decisions, expenditures and recommendations from a cost/benefit point of view, not "gee... how nice it would be if..."

9. Maintain professionalism and not disparage other breweries and brewers products or proceedures. Be able to differentiate "bad beer" as meaning infected, skunked, oxidized..etc.., not calling it bad because you don't like it. It may be you are not within the other brewer's target market.

10. Be able to interact with the public at varying levels based on their knowledge.

11. Always be a relentless promoter of craft brewed beer and those who produce it. In the micro & brewpub industry, we are less than 2% of the whole beer picture. We should not view other craft brewers as competitors, but rather foster their efforts along with our own. This realization and practice will only make your corner of the world better.

The above list is far from complete, I just blew these off the top of my head. As you may notice, most of the above topics are ATTITUDES, not core competencies. You can always learn core competencies by reading or pursuing a formal education, but attitudes and behaviors are MUCH harder to change.

If you want to differentiate yourself and therefore increase your chances of securing a brewing position with a greater salary and benefits, here are some suggestions:

1. All-grain homebrew for at least 5 years.

2. Train for and pass the BJCP exam with a high score and become a certified judge. Judge in as many competitions as possible. This participation also can be a great networking tool.

3. Seek out and experience new beers constantly, even among styles that you do not enjoy. Then learn about the processes that are used to create their profiles. This will prepare you well for the moment when your supervisor asks you to produce a beer in style "x". The BJCP experience helps GREATLY in this respect.

4. Put in a lot of volunteer hours at a brewery near you. Ask a ton of questions.

5. Participate as a server, help organize or/and manage beer related events as often as possible.

7. Form, oversee or/and participate in homebrewer clubs and beer afficianado groups.

8. Subscribe to and read as many professional level brewing magazines as possible, including the topics on restaurant and brewpub management.

9. Read and understand technical brewing texts. The best in this respect and required for admission to Siebel and UC Davis are the two volume set: A Textbook of Brewing by Jean De Clerck.

10. If you can understand and apply the basics as outlined in the above text: Enroll in a class room, hands-on program such as offered by UCD and Siebel. Nothing replaces properly illustrated and guided experience. The on-line courses are fine in my opinion, but only if you already have a good bit of professional level, technical experience.

11. Gain experience by holding positions as an assistant brewer, cellarman, bottling line operator..etc... and take in all the facets that exist in the industry.

12. Network like hell!!! Talk with brewers at all levels with an interest in how they accomplish things at their organization. Talk with owners and managers of brewpubs and micros. Ask them what they do and don't like to see in every facet of the business, not just brewers. This will enable you to recognize and talk about issues that are important to your prospective employer from their perspective as well as your own. Talk with and strike up a relationship with the editors of brewspapers... they often are sources for great refferals. Try to get your accomplishments in print in industry magazines... prospective employers really like this.

Now... does this mean you could not succeed as a professional brewer when lacking some of these items... NO !!!!! But, doing these things will certainly increase your chances of success and may spare you some bad experiences along the way.

As far as brewer salarys, it, like other jobs, is dependant upon experience and education level.

1. You can expect as an assistant with little to no experience to gross $15K~$18K with no benefits.

2. A brewer with some experience, but no education can expect to gross $20K~$25K with some benefits, but usually co-paid.

3. A brewer with experience and education can gross $30K~$60K with paid benefits (insurance, vacations) and possibly a 401K plan. The compensation at this level is very dependant on the size of the organization as well. The way to move toward the high end of this scale, and possibly exceed it, is to bring skill sets that can provide value to the organization other than just physical brewing. A business degree, particularly marketing, is one of the most desired. Other examples are a degree in food science or microbiology. The more value you can create for your employer, the more you will be valued as part of the larger whole. This is usually rewarded with enhanced compensation.

I hope that this answered at least some of your question !
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thanks

Postby stouts » Fri Aug 23, 2002 11:19 pm

thanks , that helps alot jay
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HACCP

Postby andytv » Sat Aug 24, 2002 3:35 am

Mesa,

I'm a quality engineer by trade, and often peruse the classifieds just to see whats out there. I notice that Latrobe Brewing (Rolling Rock) often has listings for quality managers. assistants, & techs who require training & experience with HACCP. I looked the acronym up once, and if I remember correctly, it is a quality management standard for the food industry. I don't know how much $$ it would take to become trained in the standard, but I'll bet it would be beneficial to brewers. You know anything about this?

Andy
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HACCP....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Mon Aug 26, 2002 2:57 am

HACCP is like ISO certification, but is specifically applied to the food industry.

The concepts which form the foundation of HACCP were taken from the teachings of world-renowned quality guru, Dr. W.E. Deming. Dr. Deming developed the Total Quality Management approach that emphasises a "total systems" strategy in manufacturing. The total systems approach involves the integrated effort of everyone in an organization to improve the quality and performance of the company at every level.

The Pillsbury Company pioneered the HACCP concept with the U.S. Army and NASA in the 1960s. The challenge was to perfect a "zero defect" program to guarantee safety of foods for astronauts while in space.

HACCP emphasised control of the food process as far upstream in the processing system as possible.

HACCP has become synonymous with food safety. Recognized world-wide, it has become a food safety yardstick acceptable to both industry and government. HACCP provides a systematic and proactive evaluation of foods by determining the risks from biological, chemical and physical hazards.

The National Academy of Science (USA) recommended in 1985 that the HACCP approach be adopted by food processing establishments. Codex Alimentarius (FAO/WHO) created a working group in 1991 to develop international guidelines for HACCP implementation.


The HACCP Approach: Seven Principles


1. Assessment of the hazards
2. Determining Critical Control Points (CCPs) required to control each hazard
3. Establishing critical limits for each CCP
4. Establishing procedures to monitor each CCP
5. Establishing a plan for corrective action should a deviation occur
6. Establishing an effective record-keeping system
7. Establishing procedures for verification that the HACCP system works

Now as far as for brewers....

Of course any quality certification is a resume booster, but in this case, only industrial and possibly regional brewers would be specifically looking for this training in a prospective employee.

Eric
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I would love too,but......

Postby Brewer2001 » Wed Aug 28, 2002 8:32 pm

Eric,

I don't think I can get the family to move back east. They like Seattle (now). You may want to send your requirements to the ABG. We have a job board. I will send you their contact information.

Thank you for the information that you emailed to me. I like to gather as much as I can, always learning. Sorry that I did not respond sooner but I have been very busy.

Thanks,

Tom
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