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Thread: Temporary Brewer service - feasible?

  1. #1
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    Temporary Brewer service - feasible?

    I'm thinking of starting a "temp brewer" service, providing experienced brewers to brewpubs and micros for short-term contract work. I'm thinking of situations where the brewmaster needs a vacation, or is sick, or has left employment suddenly without replacement.

    Initially, I guess I'd be the "temp brewer", as I'm a brewer with six years experience in both brewpubs and microbreweries. I've even had experience in this area, having spent a couple of months helping one brewpub recover from a disastrous hiring mistake (they promoted a dishwasher, gave him four weeks training with their departing brewmaster, and in four months time it seems he never cleaned a tank!!!).

    I'd hope for more serene circumstances, of course!

    What do you think? Is there much of a market for a temp brewer service?

    Cheers, Tim

  2. #2
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    Lightbulb

    Tim,
    This sounds like a great idea, I have also been put in the "clean UP" possition & its not often a pretty job. Your idea could include training for the brewer taking over not just a fill in position.
    If you need some one on this side of the planet to help your new bussines count me in.
    Mike.
    MIKE S

  3. #3
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    Thanks!

    Maybe we could form a co-op or something, offering worldwide services! Hmmmm....

    Cheers, Tim

  4. #4
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    I like your ambition, but I fear your market is just too small. You need to expand your concept a bit. I have a similar operation. My clients are in Asia, and the "clean-up", training, etc... is basically a consulting biz isn't it? I just don't see the temp thing as a viable and profitable venture. Without trying to sound like a cremudgeon, for a concept such as temping to work, you must be available immediately when the need arrises. Do you think you'll be able to drop whatever it is that your doing and get to the client? Unless you are in the very fortunate position of having a huge amount of time and money at your disposal, I think you had better rethink the idea. Good luck to you and please understand I am not trying to be discouraging, but realistic.

    Ted Miller

  5. #5
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    Ted, thanks for the imput! I appreciate it. I guess I'm mostly thinking out loud about this, and figured if it was a good idea, folks around here would know. You bring up two good points, though, level of demand and need for availability.

    Perhaps I ought to pursue a more straightforward consulting gig...

    Cheers, Tim

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up

    My two pence worth.
    I too, like the idea, but a few thoughts. Isn't probrewer.com doing just that? In general, they list Brewers and Brewers can post there C.V.s(resumes) and what they have to offer, while Breweries, Brew pubs can post what they are looking for, along with vendors, consultants, etc..
    Yes, it's not perfect and could use some improvements,(plus other things... your profit) but from what I see, hear and believe, this is what customers and brewers are looking for. Probrewer is trying to be a one stop shopping for all involved and interested in brewing.
    As an industry we need, if not probrewer, some one to assist in centralizing all, or alot of the aspects of brewing. This comes down to choice, for all involved.
    Sorry for rambling and not trying to discourage you, just my thoughts.

  7. #7
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    matt-

    Thanks for your ideas, too!

    An analogy:

    Hiring a brewer, brewers looking for work listings at probrewer.com = "help wanted" ads in a newspaper. Generally long-term employment.

    Temp service (putting qualified available people together with breweries/pubs with sudden or short-term needs) = "yellow pages" ads in phone book. Turned to for instant help.

    I haven't seen many short-term or emergency brewer help wanted posts here, hence my thinking there may be a niche. I am thinking that Ted may be right in that it might be better as one offering from a larger consultant portfolio...

    Cheers, Tim

  8. #8
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    Tim,

    One spin on your idea might be working as a kind of consultant. Rather than replacing a brewer per se, you could provide consulting services to breweries having trouble. For instance, perhaps a pub has two brewers. The headbrewer, who is experienced and has good understanding of the big picture, leaves the pub and only the less experienced former assistance brewer remains. Soon the beer starts to take a turn for the worse. You could come in and diagnose the problems, correct them, provide some temporary services as a brewer, etc. But the most important goal would be to help the management get back on track. This might mean educating the less experienced brewer to equip him to run the brewery properly or might involve helping to hire a new head brewer, etc.

    Of course, the skills involved in doing this properly go beyond just being able to brew beer. Extensive technical and practical knowledge would need to be combined with good people skills. Nonetheless, I think it would be a valuable service and I don't think the above scenario is that uncommon. When the brewing staff is small and the management don't know much about brewing, staffing changes can spell disaster.

    Just an idea.

    Chip

  9. #9
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    There are good ideas coming through, it is basic consultancy & you do need extra skills further than brewing but if you had a service that provided a step by step plan to get the brewery out of trouble in a short time example: consultant go in first does his/her part then the brewer is bought in to do the dirty stuff, if there needs to be repairs then the engineer come in. This may be expensive for the brewery but in the long run it would be a worth while thing to do because you have sorted the mess that left & set them on the right path, thus not needing services like consulting but maybe a temp brewer later on for unfore seen resons.
    The tmp brewer also opens avenues for unemployed brewers or brewers between jobs & lets face it there are alot of brewers in that situation.
    MIKE S

  10. #10
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    Temporary Brewer Service

    I too like the notion of an expanded consultancy but it is founded only on being accepted by the trade as a competent, and in fact, respected brewer. You perhaps would require stronger political skills than brewing skills to survive.
    The range of ownership personalities (including defective personalities) within the industry is stunning. Not paying bills has characterized dozens of breweries that I have seen come and go over the years and many of these pioneers felt completely justified in running their business' into the ground.
    It appeals to me that an independant brewer could offer arms-length audits and short term labour in a wide array of breweries from pubs to regionals. Many operations could benefit from experiences outside their realm and new ideas that are founded in the first principles of brewing and packaging science.
    A fundemental defect in this thinking is trust. Unfortunetly, it is human nature to not want this type of input into your operations. The mistrust extends from owners, through senior managers all the down through part-time employees who think their being passed over for a full-time opportunity.
    What, me skeptical? As a long term brewer and then salesman into the trade, I have seen a significant number of operations and few that follow the same formula.
    If you can nail a significant contract with a chain covering a fair sized region (NE, SW, SE for example), can you then get competitors to accept you?
    Just some thoughts.

  11. #11
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    You guys are all in a dream world.
    If you came into the pub where I work, I'd show you the door.

    Don't weasel with another brewer's job.

  12. #12
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    Case in point.

  13. #13
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    Well....

    Originally posted by Mr.hops
    You guys are all in a dream world.
    If you came into the pub where I work, I'd show you the door.

    Don't weasel with another brewer's job.
    I think it would be more likely that we'd come into the pub that either you just quit, or just fired you!

    Grins, Tim

  14. #14
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    I think Mr. Hops missed the point that all of the above proposals involve pubs that are looking for and in need of a brewer--not those already well staffed

  15. #15
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    Mr. Hops is a bit uneasy about the security of his position me thinks. You had better show somebody the door before you are exposed, hop boy. In all seriousness, I don't think tarmadillo, who started the thread, had even considered cold-calling. That would be terribly futile unless, of course, one cold-called on bitterboy's boss. Tarmadillo clearly had those breweries who needed services and would come to him on his brain. While the topic of "cleaning up" did come into play, I think it was meant as cleaning up a mess that a past brewer had left.

    I was just kidding Mr. Hop but what does "Don't weasel with another brewers job" mean? Is there some pub brewers code that stipulates that a brewer must not "weasel" with anothers job. Even if the brewer is grossly underqualified. Or a nightmare with cleanliness. Or has the people skills of a banana. Or is just plain lazy. Or a drunk. I could go on. Let your work and accomplishments gain you the job security you deserve and you won't have to worry about some guy with an idea taking your job.

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