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Old 04-20-2010, 10:15 PM   #1
ddrayne10
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Hello fellow home brewers. First off I would like to state that I am 24 years old and about to graduate from SDSU with a History major. I have no real options for a career right know with out more schooling. I could get my teaching credentials or study my ass off and take the lsat and hope I get accepted into law school. The question I have for everyone is how do I break into the industry of brewing. Living in San Diego there is many different great brewery's around the area, two within a mile of my house (mission brewery, ballast point). I also use to work for Coronado Brewing Company, or CBC if your local, but as a waiter. I have been home brewing for a while and recently have been questioning what career path to work on. I am in no hurry to jump into a 9-5 job and settle down and raise a family but i do want to find something I enjoy. I am planning on taking a chemistry class this summer so I can get some basics explained to me by a teacher and will be able to ask questions. Also I doing this because i have thought about attending UCD extended school of studies for brewing. I know the classes are full for the next year but it is a goal to get in but in the mean time I want to get some biology and chemistry class under my belt. Is there any classes that you can recommend talking prior to taking these courses other that the basic 100 and 130? Also would physics be good to take and if so what type of classes? Would these classes talk about heat transfer or basic needs for brewing on a large scale?

The Main Question I have is how do you feel is the best way of getting a Brewery like green flash, ballast point, or ale smith to take me on as volunteer. I work at nights as a bartender so in May I have all day free except for 8 weeks in june/july tuesday/thursday which i will have one class. I just don't to say hey I like beer and will work for free can i clean the fermenters? I would like to be able to volunteer and would love to start off cleaning or moving grain but i don't want to come off as a amateur(even though i am) and want to have a real chance of spending some time in and around a brewery. My goal would be to find out if this is something I want to pursue as a career and if I don't like it the worst that could happen is a gain some more knowledge. But I would like some tips on how to approach these breweries on getting volunteer work? Do I send a resume? Just tell them what i wrote here? Any ideas would be great.

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Old 04-20-2010, 11:36 PM   #2
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Why not call or better yet drop in and see if they have an apprentice program. Explain that you homebrew and are interested in seeing if a career in brewing is right for you and want to start at the ground level before comitting to grad/brew school etc.

Maybe try and get into the homebrew store as well.

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Old 04-20-2010, 11:40 PM   #3
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Bring a case of your finest homebrew to the guy who does the hiring.

Shameless bribes sometimes work. And if your beer is good, it will speak volumes to your potential value.

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Old 04-22-2010, 04:25 AM   #4
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I do like both ideas, but my beer is kegged so I will have to bottle my next brew. Do you guys have any thoughts about the UCD program or the classes that I should take before I apply and attend the Brew program? Any other ideas on how to ask for volunteering work.

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Old 04-22-2010, 04:46 AM   #5
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Get over to the breweries and talk to someone. Most of the brewers I've met are friendly and willing to teach you a few things. And almost all breweries like cheap labor or volunteers.

Homebrew stores are also a great place to learn about brewing.

You can fill a bottle or growler from the keg and take it with you.

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Old 04-22-2010, 04:47 AM   #6
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I would definitely do what ever you can to get some time on or around a brew house before you pay a bunch of money for a piece of paper.

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Old 04-22-2010, 10:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddrayne10 View Post
I do like both ideas, but my beer is kegged so I will have to bottle my next brew. Do you guys have any thoughts about the UCD program or the classes that I should take before I apply and attend the Brew program? Any other ideas on how to ask for volunteering work.
Note that "volunteering" for a for-profit company is generally illegal (it violates federal wage-and-hour laws). There are some exceptions for unpaid internships, but restrictions are pretty tight. Any sort of menial work like cleaning fermenters (other than once or twice if you're actually being taught how a CIP system works or something, with an employee there supervising/teaching you) is almost certainly not going to fly--that's a job they have to pay at least minimum wage for.

See, for instance, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/business/03intern.html

Quote:
"If you’re a for-profit employer or you want to pursue an internship with a for-profit employer, there aren’t going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance with the law," said Nancy J. Leppink, the acting director of the department’s wage and hour division.

Ms. Leppink said many employers failed to pay even though their internships did not comply with the six federal legal criteria that must be satisfied for internships to be unpaid. Among those criteria are that the internship should be similar to the training given in a vocational school or academic institution, that the intern does not displace regular paid workers and that the employer "derives no immediate advantage" from the intern’s activities - in other words, it’s largely a benevolent contribution to the intern.
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddrayne10 View Post
Hello fellow home brewers. First off I would like to state that I am 24 years old and about to graduate from SDSU with a History major. I have no real options for a career right know with out more schooling. I could get my teaching credentials or study my ass off and take the lsat and hope I get accepted into law school. The question I have for everyone is how do I break into the industry of brewing. Living in San Diego there is many different great brewery's around the area, two within a mile of my house (mission brewery, ballast point). I also use to work for Coronado Brewing Company, or CBC if your local, but as a waiter. I have been home brewing for a while and recently have been questioning what career path to work on. I am in no hurry to jump into a 9-5 job and settle down and raise a family but i do want to find something I enjoy. I am planning on taking a chemistry class this summer so I can get some basics explained to me by a teacher and will be able to ask questions. Also I doing this because i have thought about attending UCD extended school of studies for brewing. I know the classes are full for the next year but it is a goal to get in but in the mean time I want to get some biology and chemistry class under my belt. Is there any classes that you can recommend talking prior to taking these courses other that the basic 100 and 130? Also would physics be good to take and if so what type of classes? Would these classes talk about heat transfer or basic needs for brewing on a large scale?

The Main Question I have is how do you feel is the best way of getting a Brewery like green flash, ballast point, or ale smith to take me on as volunteer. I work at nights as a bartender so in May I have all day free except for 8 weeks in june/july tuesday/thursday which i will have one class. I just don't to say hey I like beer and will work for free can i clean the fermenters? I would like to be able to volunteer and would love to start off cleaning or moving grain but i don't want to come off as a amateur(even though i am) and want to have a real chance of spending some time in and around a brewery. My goal would be to find out if this is something I want to pursue as a career and if I don't like it the worst that could happen is a gain some more knowledge. But I would like some tips on how to approach these breweries on getting volunteer work? Do I send a resume? Just tell them what i wrote here? Any ideas would be great.
My idea: Call them. And Ask.
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumnerH View Post
Note that "volunteering" for a for-profit company is generally illegal (it violates federal wage-and-hour laws). There are some exceptions for unpaid internships, but restrictions are pretty tight. Any sort of menial work like cleaning fermenters (other than once or twice if you're actually being taught how a CIP system works or something, with an employee there supervising/teaching you) is almost certainly not going to fly--that's a job they have to pay at least minimum wage for.

See, for instance, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/business/03intern.html
Some of the small breweries around here have volunteers for bottle filling and putting on labels. It's technically not part of the brewing process, but still a good way to get your foot in the door.
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:29 PM   #10
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A few thoughts:

1. Don't fear your job opportunities. With a history major you can get plenty of jobs. Lots of companies will take you in with a college degree and give you an entry level position. Once you have a foot in the door, your degree in history is pretty much as valuable as the guy you sit next to with a degree in business administration. Once you get some experience, you can move on to a better paying/more interesting/more rewarding position. I have a degree in political science and work heavily in finance -- something I had no experience or education to do.

2. If you want to go into brewing, you'll definitely have to get creative with getting in the door, because you don't have the engineering/chemistry/biology background a brewery would normally want. I think you should consider whether you're trying to work at a brewery just because you feel you are out of options or because you would be passionate about the work. If you would be passionate about it, then I would recommend the Guerrilla series of job hunting books, because they teach non-traditional ways to score good jobs.

3. I'm in law school now, and I can tell you it's a ton of work -- just to get in. If you're considering the LSAT and law school just because it's an option and offers a good income, you'll hate it and you won't perform well. You'll definitely be socking away four years (LSAT, admissions, three years of school, then the bar) for it, so if you're going to put down some more schooling it might as well be something you actually want to do. I.e., if you really want to get into brewing, go get a masters in biochemistry (that's a 2-3 year program) and try to land a couple internships.

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