On this blog, we always try to answer the questions we often hear. Of all the questions we get, one of the most common is “How do I get a job at a brewery?” We thought it would be a good idea to address this question in a series of posts on the blog.
The two most common areas of business we are asked about are brewing and sales. So, in this article, we’ll cover the skills and characteristics of
a great brewer and some tips on how to land a job in the craft beer brewing industry, and next we’ll cover how to land a job in the craft beer sales industry.
First, before we get into the entry-level brewing team, I’ll outline my thoughts on what it takes to be an exemplary brewer, then I’ll discuss what I think are some useful ways to get into craft beer brewing, and summarize the profiles and comments of some of our team members.
There are some golden truths here – cleanliness, sanitation, the ability to follow processes, a thorough understanding of each stage of the brewing process (and their importance in the brewing lifecycle), and an understanding of flavors and ingredients and how they work.
Understanding the science behind brewing will give you the skills to become a fully competent brewer, but the “next level” of brewing requires an crafts understanding and inherent acceptance of the creative process behind brewing uniquely good beer.
To get to the top of the brewing tree, you need to understand how flavors work together. While technical knowledge is a solid foundation for brewing success, there are many variables in the brewing process, and great brewers understand how they work and what they are trying to create.
Once you get your foot in the door, those who crafts kick it open tend to channel that creativity into producing top-notch beer. But how do you get your foot in the door in the first place?
In most positions at Black Hops, we recruit people from outside the company who are the best fit for the job/person, or we develop people from within the company who are excelling in other areas of the business and are looking for a career change.
When it comes to any role at Black Hops, the right personality crafts type is the bottom line lock. When we choose to bring people in from outside the company,
making sure they are a good fit for the Black Hops culture is non-negotiable. Being passionate about beer and being the face of the beer brand are inherent traits in all of our employees.
At Black Hops, our entry-level assistant brewers and brewers work in the brewery and assist in the packaging and crafts production areas to help ensure that all beers leaving the brewery are of the highest quality.
Over the last decade, as craft beer has become more popular in Australia, the job of a brewer has become coveted and seen as somewhat glamorous. But from a production perspective,
it’s a tough job. Brewing is a complex and multi-faceted process (including milling, wort production,
yeast handling, CIP, monitoring fermentation and dry-hopping) that also involves operating and monitoring electronic and computerized brewing systems.
Our brewers also spend time on the packaging line and supporting the cellar team. Brewers work throughout the day and our brewing team can assure you that this role is physically crafts and mentally demanding, especially during our peak production periods.
We look for basic competencies in our junior assistant brewers and brewers, such as good communication skills, the ability to work independently and as part of a tight-knit team, and troubleshooting and crafts problem-solving skills.
If you are applying for a job in dark hop brewing, we place a high priority on those with a formal brewing education. For entry-level brewing positions,
a Level 3 Certificate in Food Processing/Brewing (TAFE) is worth the investment. If you have not yet entered the craft beer industry,
you may consider entering the bargaining table with this matter behind you, or you may be working towards this goal while gaining your industry experience in another area of the brewery, such as working in a restaurant or canning line.
While industry experience is an obvious gateway, don’t despair if crafts you don’t have a great deal of experience in the brewery.
Our team is the perfect mix of seasoned industry professionals and professionals who are still in the learning phase of the brewing process.
We like to think that our brewery is new to the industry is learning some of the best in the industry. Production manager Ian Watson, brewery heads Satoshi ‘Toshi’ Tamura,
Gareth ‘Gaz’ Spencer and crafts Mick Guy, and senior brewers Bill Foley and Rick Bennie) are all experienced winemakers with years of winemaking experience and solid winemaking records.