What do I need to become a professional brewer?

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grrtt78

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I want to brew beer for a living either as a brewmaster somewhere or open my own brewery one day. I switched my major to food science which means i now have three more years of college and after that i was planning on going to a brew school. Is that all it takes or should I be doing something else?
 

ohiobrewtus

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I'm not in the brewing profession, but here's my take. After you get a 4 year degree in food science, go to the Siebel institute or a similar brewing program. You may need to be willing to work for practically nothing for a couple of years to get your foot in the door.
 

Revvy

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I want to brew beer for a living either as a brewmaster somewhere or open my own brewery one day. I switched my major to food science which means i now have three more years of college and after that i was planning on going to a brew school. Is that all it takes or should I be doing something else?

You're not the guy that just called into NPR's Science Friday asking the same question, are you?
 

Beerrific

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I am not an expert or anything, but I would suggest you go to the closest brewery or brew pub now while you are in school and start volunteering. Having a couple years of experience even just cleaning, etc. may give you a leg up when you go looking for a job. I suspect apprenticeship under a good brewer will go miles in this industry.
 

BierMuncher

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Immerse yourself in the surroundings you want to be a part of.

Get any entry level job at a micro brew. A smaller operation will put you closer to both the brewing side of things and the business side of things.

The micro's around here will mentor the new people who are sincere in their quest to "do beer". Some will even help pay for continuing education.

Even if you start out pushing a broom, I’d bet it isn’t long before the head brewer asks if you’d like to help with certain brewing chores around the shop.
 
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grrtt78

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there was a brewery around here, buckhead brewery, but its gone. there are no breweries at all around tallahassee anymore.
 

EinGutesBier

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Honestly, you don't need a whole lot to become a professional brewer. All you really need is a banker who'll front the money for your enterprise and business plan. As long as you have the equipment, the ingredients and the patience, you can do it.

Here's the rub, though.

Any "idiot" can become a brewer with money on the line (read: not the same as a professional brewer) if they can convince a bank to cough up the money. A professional brewer, in my opinion, is someone who has experience to go with that money, as well as desire, focus and a love of hard work. That's what you need besides money to be a successful brewer. Successful is all that matters in that game because otherwise you'll be closing your doors in half a year.

For those who think you need to go to school to be a brewer. I don't believe that for a second. It might help, but having that extra debt saddling you down when you need every dime for your dream won't help a bit. Some of the best brewers out there are self-taught. The real knowledge of brewing comes from experience and a thirst for learning more about the craft. I've met guys who homebrewed for 10 years and opened shop and did fine...just to make a point.

Long story short, you need a mixture of saavy, business acumen, knowledge of brewing and a deep, deep love of brewing. Having a SWMBO who understands doesn't hurt either. :D
 

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