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Thread: Practical Work Experience

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Practical Work Experience

    I am a new person to the industry. In general how willing are brewpubs/breweries in accepting people who want to volunteer their time to gain practical experience in their establishment? Are there insurance/liability concerns and are there ways to deal with this? What is the best way to approach an establishment?

    Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    It is unlawfull to allow anyone to work for free in a for profit organization in the USA. Volunteering is for non profit organization. And since workers comp and unemplyment insurance premiums are based on an employees pay you would not be covered by their insurance, which any good business person would refuse to allow!
    TRy to get an entry level position at a low wage. Minimum wage is like not getting paid. Maybe some will give you a try for that!
    Doug A Moller
    The Moller Brew House

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Duluth, MN

    A differnt opinion

    I got my start by working for free on the weekends and days off. It turned into a paid assistant's job, but that was 99% when I started vollenterring.
    Now I have wannabees from time to time come in a help out but none on a regular basis, though even infrequent experince could be good for a reference.
    That said, look at working as a brewer thread. I was working at a beer store so this was a jump up for me....
    Brewmaster, Fitger's Brewhouse
    "Your results may vary"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Mesquite, Texas
    damoller is right, it isn't a good idea for legal or insurance reasons for a brewery to have free help. However, it isn't uncommon for a small outfit to do things that bend the rules. Not smart, but not uncommon!

    I agree that a minimum wage entry level part-time job makes a lot more sense, for you (professional experience on your resume) and the brewery (won't cost them much, they're covered legally).

    I had a six-month gap between my first brewing job and my second, and I worked for minimum wage on the bottling line of a fairly good-sized micro for a couple of months (and waited tables a night, gotta pay the bills!). It was good on my resume, and showed that I was serious about working in breweries. And, if a brewing job had opened up at that brewery, I was first in line for it....

    Cheers, Tim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    My experience echos Travis'. I've been an assistant brewer for about a year now. The pay sucks and the work is unglamorous at best.

    However, the free beer is nice, the hours are pretty flexable and it beats being bored in an office somewhere. So, for now, it works for me.

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