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Old 05-19-2009, 03:53 PM   #1
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Default Thinking of Moving to Oregon for beer. Looking for Advice

We'll i have been kicking around the idea of getting out of Alabama and moving out west and attempting to get a job at one of the many breweries out there. I was considering checkin out the portland area, only because i have a couple of friends out there and it would make it a little easier to move around a few folks i know. I am far from a beer expert and have only been home brewing for 5 months, but this new hobby as turned me on and i want to see what it looks like on a larger scale. So i figured if i could get a job at one of the breweries it would be a good start if not a mandatory task i would have to do to gain a better understanding of what it would take to possibly open my own brewery someday or at least make a living making beer for another brewery.

I was curious if any of you kind folks on this message board had any tips/advice on this crazy idea i have such as:

What breweries in Oregon would be nice to work at?
What kind of pay do the lower totem poll workers get?
What kind of hours would i expect to be working?
Is doing this full time possible?
Just anything that would give me some more info on what to expect/look for when i go out there at the end of July to scout out the place...


I figure nothing in life happens without you getting off you're ass to do it so sitting around talking about is only numbing my cheeks. So any advice at all would be great!!!!!

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Old 05-19-2009, 04:05 PM   #2
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The best advice I can give you is don't do it!

Seriously though...competition is fierce out here and the jobs are limited. Be prepared to make minimum wage, MAYBE a few cents more. Also, be ready to do the grunt work, moving sacks of grain, cleaning and lots of it, etc. I'd look outside of Portland personally but who knows. Start contacting folks now. I had better luck getting yeast slurry from folks than I had trying to get a part time job mopping floors...

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Old 05-19-2009, 04:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohill1981 View Post
We'll i have been kicking around the idea of getting out of Alabama and moving out west and attempting to get a job at one of the many breweries out there. I was considering checkin out the portland area, only because i have a couple of friends out there and it would make it a little easier to move around a few folks i know. I am far from a beer expert and have only been home brewing for 5 months, but this new hobby as turned me on and i want to see what it looks like on a larger scale. So i figured if i could get a job at one of the breweries it would be a good start if not a mandatory task i would have to do to gain a better understanding of what it would take to possibly open my own brewery someday or at least make a living making beer for another brewery.

I was curious if any of you kind folks on this message board had any tips/advice on this crazy idea i have such as:

What breweries in Oregon would be nice to work at?
What kind of pay do the lower totem poll workers get?
What kind of hours would i expect to be working?
Is doing this full time possible?
Just anything that would give me some more info on what to expect/look for when i go out there at the end of July to scout out the place...


I figure nothing in life happens without you getting off you're ass to do it so sitting around talking about is only numbing my cheeks. So any advice at all would be great!!!!!
It's not out of Alabama, but you could move to Mobile or Huntsville and try to score a job at either of the breweries there. It would get you some practical experience in a brewery specific job and make you that much more qualified than some joe off the street when you want to step up. I doubt many breweries out there will consider homebrewing as practical experience even if they respect your passion for it.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:02 PM   #4
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We'll thanks for the info Oregonian, I kind of thought that it would be hard to land a job doing that out there for sure and im sure i have a better chance of landing a job at one in Alabama, but once again it is Alabama and i am pretty burned out on this place. I have a friend out there with a lot of connections so i was hoping she might help me get my foot in the door. So other than portland what town do you feel would give me my best chances of getting work at all?

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Tonight i sleep to the sound of a soothing Airlock bubbling next to my bed

On Deck: Undecided
Fermenting: Noche Buena....
Fermenting:
Secondary..... (Dog Fish Head 60min Clone)
Conditioning: .Akka Lakka Pale Ale ....
Drinking....... Anything!.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:12 PM   #5
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I'd suggest keeping an eye on ProBrewer.com and their classified forum. There was an entry level position in Astoria that was posted last month. 2 or 3 years ago I responded to an add for a brewery near Olympia, WA and got an interview.

Or, if you're up for a challenge just move out here and start knocking on doors. That's basically what I did to get out here. I had enough of the east coast and packed up and left. No job, nothing. Be mindful though that OR has one of the highest if not the highest unemployment rates in the country right now. Finding ANY job out here is tough.

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Old 05-19-2009, 05:17 PM   #6
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It will be definitely be hard , but if you want to be in the brewing industry, there certainly is a lot of it out here. The brewer at one of my local favorites (Lucky Lab NW) started behind the bar, then cleaning kegs, and a few years later he is the head brewer managing 20 or so taps at a time.

Even if you don't get into industry right away, you can probably wiggle your way in somehow, and there is a great homebrew scene out here.

Keep in mind though, that people are constantly moving to Portland while our unemployment rate is going up. There was an article about this in the WSJ yesterday: 'Youth Magnet' Cities Hit Midlife Crisis - WSJ.com

At least there are about 40 breweries you can drown your sorrows in...

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Old 05-19-2009, 05:20 PM   #7
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Try Alaska. You get an incentive/stipend for living there and they have plenty of breweries and brewhouses. I can think of 2 or 3 in Anchorage alone. Beautiful place!

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Old 05-19-2009, 05:23 PM   #8
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I grew up in SW Oregon and absolutely loved it. In fact, SWMBO and I looked at moving back but she changed her mind. We went in March and it was cold and rainy. Yeah, it does that in Oregon I reminded her. Beautiful state and the coast is absolutely gorgeous. Don’t know about the economy though. I’d suggest looking online for the newspapers and the help wanted sections. As I recall the big one was The Oregonian.

Good luck.

Edit: And I would think perfect summers for growing hops!

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Old 05-19-2009, 05:58 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your responses I really appreciate it. I will check out all these links and keep an eye out for a position in a brewery Far away from Alabama

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Tonight i sleep to the sound of a soothing Airlock bubbling next to my bed

On Deck: Undecided
Fermenting: Noche Buena....
Fermenting:
Secondary..... (Dog Fish Head 60min Clone)
Conditioning: .Akka Lakka Pale Ale ....
Drinking....... Anything!.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Thanks everyone for your responses I really appreciate it. I will check out all these links and keep an eye out for a position in a brewery Far away from Alabama
Oh c'mon! It's not that bad down here. I mean sure, homebrewing is illegal, beer over 6%ABV is illegal, beer in containers over 16oz are illegal, the house and senate never pass any bills because of the little loop-holes that remain in the constitution says they can fillibuster anything at anytime even if that topic means the salary of educators......

Ok. You're right. It pretty much sucks down here. But the scenery is nice!
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