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Old 03-29-2006, 03:29 PM   #1
Feb 2006
Posts: 27

Does anyone know how to get started in the brewing industry? I looked for work in my area as a brewer's assistant, with no success. I want to learn about brewing and the industry.
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Old 03-29-2006, 03:56 PM   #2
Ivan Lendl
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Feb 2006
Wimbledon Finals
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start at the bottom...a friend of mine started off in the bottling room at pyramid in berkley, and a year later he was wearing a lab coat and looking at yeast with a 'scope all day.

or you could go to college and major in fermentation science, i think oregon state has a program as well as some other schools.
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Old 03-29-2006, 04:05 PM   #3
Beer, not rocket science
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Feb 2006
Corrales, New Mexico
Posts: 4,574
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Thoughts from an old fart brewmaster:

Where do you live, what experience do you have and what financial obligations are you under?

Unfortunately the brewing business is not financially strong. Most brewers make just enough and most breweries are stretched pretty thin. Also, there are not a lot of opportunities, seeing how it is generally a brewer who starts or is an original partner in a brewery operation. Some areas have more opportunities, given a greater number of breweries, but still it is hard to get your foot in the door.

Possible tracks are volunteering to do grunt work. No pay, but you get in the door so others possibilities might come about. This gives you hands on experience so when you try for a paid position you have something on the old resume. Another whole avenue is education. Go to school at Siebel in Chicago, or UC Davis. Go to England as a brewery slave, go to Germany.

The bottom line in all of this is brewery work is hard work. I know only a few Gentleman Brewers, most have sore backs, sticky hair, and are really sick of hoppy, malty beers. I wouldn't trade my years as a brewmaster for anything. I loved it, but it was hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and people very freely tell you how much your beer sucks.

Then again, you go to the Great American Beer Festival and you are part of the inner world. If you win a medal there you feel like a God.

Move ahead with your eyes open, but remember, when you become a pro it is no longer a hobby, it is a job. It took almost 3 years for me to get back to the kettle after I left my brewery, but in the end, I still love it!
Before I learned to brew I was poor, sober and lonely. Now I am just poor.

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Old 03-29-2006, 04:19 PM   #4
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Oct 2005
Sunny Southern Vermont
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I agree with the "Ice Man" you are better off starting at the bottom and working your way up. The practical experience that you would gain could help you make the decision if brewing is really for you. I imagine once you do go PRO you may eventually want to attend the Siebel institute or UC Davis, which are probably the two premier schools in the country for brewing science.

to get started try these classifieds.

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Old 03-29-2006, 04:36 PM   #5
Lounge Lizard
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Nov 2005
Posts: 548
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To add to what has already been said, there was an article in BYO magazine back in December or so, that covered this topic. I don't know if it is online or not.

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Old 03-29-2006, 05:11 PM   #6
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Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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Or you can move to Oregon, join the Brew Crew, win a few awards, get your ale done up as a Collaborator (and get a spiffy leather jacket). At that point, you can start looking for a brewery job. Unfortunately, most brewery jobs are in the bottling and distribution areas.
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

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Old 03-29-2006, 06:01 PM   #7
Jan 2006
Taos, New Mexico
Posts: 25

This may not sound as sexy, but if you are willing to relocate, there are opportunities at some of the larger "chain" breweries (Hops, Gordon Bierch, etc). Otherwise, move to Colorado or Portland....throw a rock and you will hit a brewery.

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Old 03-30-2006, 09:00 AM   #8
Will work for beer
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Jan 2005
Knob Noster, Missouri
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Keep in mind too it isn't as glamorous as it sounds. I help out in a brewery a few times a week and it is TOUGH work. Yeah, you get to sample all day long and it is neat being around it, but it has loads of heavy lifting, cleaning, repetitive work. Parts of it can also be dangerous. You'll get wet. I had an IPA shower the other day that wasn't very fun.
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Old 03-30-2006, 03:26 PM   #9
I use secondaries. :p
Walker's Avatar
Sep 2005
Cary, NC
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Originally Posted by Dude
I had an IPA shower the other day that wasn't very fun.
what? no jokes about a golden shower?

you folks have got to step up your game!

Ground Fault Brewing Co.

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Old 03-30-2006, 04:18 PM   #10
El Pistolero
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May 2005
Houston, Baja Oklahoma
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Originally Posted by Imperial Walker
what? no jokes about a golden shower?

you folks have got to step up your game!
He already used it in another thread...catch up.
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