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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Thinking of changing careers.
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:09 AM   #1
Forrest
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Default Thinking of changing careers.

I have been a chef now for several years and have an associats degree in culinary arts. I have hardly even made a dent in my massive student loan yet and I am already thinking about changing careers. Before and while I was went to culinary school, I use to think about food, plate presentations and use to come up with new reciepes in my head all the time. Every spare moment I had, I spent doing this.

When I first joined these forums, I told everyone that my goal was to open up my own brew pub one day and pair my beer with my food. I realized that I would not be able to directly oversee both food and beer production so my original goal was to hire a brewmaster and take care of the food myself.

But lately, I have not been thinking about food at all, even at work while I am cooking and preparing meals.

Like food before, I now think about beer with every spare moment I have. Instead of plate designs, I think about label designs. And instead of creating food receipes, I am creating beer reciepes (I have a lot that I have not even tried yet).

In October I am moving to England very briefy to finish my bachelors degree in Culinary Arts just becasue I am so close to getting it (it will only take me around 10 weeks to get) After I get it, I am seriously thinking about getting out of the culinary buisness and getting in to brewing for a living. I have been thinking about working for some brewing company both here in the states and abroad to get a fell for the large scale production of beer and to learn about operation of some of the large scale equipment. I have been thinking about offering to work for room and board in some of the forign breweries to get around work visas.

My goal right now is to open up my own micorbrewery by the time I am 35 years old. I am almost 25 now so that gives me a little over 10 years to brew and tweek my reciepes.

I am just wondering since I am thinking about getting a job at a brewing company, how much money should I expect to make? Also, do you think that me having two degree's in culinary arts will matter at all when I start looking for a job at a brewery?

If anybody on these forums owns a brewery or brewpud and would be interested, please let me know as I will probably be making the leap begining of 2008.

Any advice, thoughts, or concerns?

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Old 05-08-2007, 06:27 AM   #2
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Nothing wrong with that. That sounds like the exact same path as Alan Sprints (owner of Hair of the Dog brewery). If you're young and don't have a problem starting small (assistant brewer isn't the best paying job FWIU), I'd say: Go for it!

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Old 05-08-2007, 06:44 AM   #3
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I have to admire your ambition, i wish you the best of luck and i'm sure that if you put your mind to it you can do what ever you want in life. besides, life is what you make of it.

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Old 05-08-2007, 07:05 AM   #4
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The reason I decided against it was the back breaking labor. I'm not a wimp, but the sins of the past and 15 years of bartending pretty much took me out of the spent grain shoveling side of it. The manual labor in most small brewing operations is grueling to say the least I hear.


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Old 05-08-2007, 02:50 PM   #5
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Your degree probably won't matter in a large operation, although it might in a moderate sized brewpub. As mentioned, there is a lot of physical labor in small operations and the bigger breweries are so automated, they don't have many employees. Widmer has one brewer per shift and cranks out 1000 plus barrels a day. I do know a couple people who got into the brewery by starting as an assistant chef.

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Old 05-08-2007, 04:19 PM   #6
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I am not too worried about the physical labor part of it. There is a lot of physical labor in the culinary industry also. I know the food network has kind of built being a chef up into being something glamorous and realtivly easy. But there is a lot of cleaning that has to been done in a restaurant and most owners don't want to hire extra people just to clean, (except the dish washers) everybody in the kitchen is expected to do their part and get it cleaned. There are a lot of grease traps, drains, and walkin refrid, to clean every day, apart from cooking. On top of that, it is usually very hot in a commercial kitchen. At least in a brewery it should not be that hot. I had a new brewpub that is about to or already has hopend up in Atlanta who was interested in hiring me but they wanted to hire me for the food part of it.

This new brewpub was in Atlanta and no offence ment for anybody from Atlanta but I lived there for a year and hated every minute of it. Every big city has traffic but I have visited cities twice the size of Atlanta and they did not have anywere a big of a traffic problem that Atlanta has. No way I would ever live there again.

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Old 05-08-2007, 05:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forrest
I am not too worried about the physical labor part of it. There is a lot of physical labor in the culinary industry also. I know the food network has kind of built being a chef up into being something glamorous and realtivly easy. But there is a lot of cleaning that has to been done in a restaurant and most owners don't want to hire extra people just to clean, (except the dish washers) everybody in the kitchen is expected to do their part and get it cleaned. There are a lot of grease traps, drains, and walkin refrid, to clean every day, apart from cooking. On top of that, it is usually very hot in a commercial kitchen. At least in a brewery it should not be that hot. I had a new brewpub that is about to or already has hopend up in Atlanta who was interested in hiring me but they wanted to hire me for the food part of it.

This new brewpub was in Atlanta and no offence ment for anybody from Atlanta but I lived there for a year and hated every minute of it. Every big city has traffic but I have visited cities twice the size of Atlanta and they did not have anywere a big of a traffic problem that Atlanta has. No way I would ever live there again.
Hey what was the name of the brew pub? I live in alpharetta (30mins north fo downtown), I know that a new one called 9 Rivere Brewrey (or something like that) just opened up north of ATL, is that the one youre talkin about?
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Old 05-08-2007, 05:28 PM   #8
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I am not sure what the name of it was. The owner fo the 5 seasons brewpub partnered with a man who used to own a brewpub in Atlanta (which closed) I was in contact with them through someone I know. I think one of thems name was Moreland or something like that but they never told me what they were going to name it.

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Old 05-08-2007, 05:43 PM   #9
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gotcha, I read your intro post and you and me are 2 of a kind. I am a former Johnson and Wales student up in charolette, NC. I was there for a year then decided that food was a hobby and not a career for me. (I still work in high end kitchens right now to pay off college. Anyway, im at Georgia Southern right now majoring in Finanace, brewing beer for frat parties and such. Im going into real estate development, so hopefully after several years that will get me enough money to open up my own brew pub

Just good to know im not the only one here coming from a culinary background!

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Old 05-08-2007, 05:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Criniit
gotcha, I read your intro post and you and me are 2 of a kind. I am a former Johnson and Wales student up in charolette, NC. I was there for a year then decided that food was a hobby and not a career for me. (I still work in high end kitchens right now to pay off college. Anyway, im at Georgia Southern right now majoring in Finanace, brewing beer for frat parties and such. Im going into real estate development, so hopefully after several years that will get me enough money to open up my own brew pub

Just good to know im not the only one here coming from a culinary background!
There is another one here too.... I spent a year at Johnson & Wales in North Miami and then realized that I was loosing my passion for food and cooking and decided to go another route and joined the navy and got into electronics, and have since turned that into a career working as a civilian for the dept of the Navy.

I say follow your heart, if that leads you to a career in brewing then so be it, it may change in a year but you always have the culinary arts to fall beck on. Me on the other hand I am struggling with what i need to do to get out of where I am at right now, I never intended for electronics to be my life but I fallen into that rut and am having ot work toward a new degree so I can change fields.

Cheers
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