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Farfensnoker
03-17-2009, 10:48 AM
I just have a couple questions for those who are in the industry and have been thrpugh the process.

How many years did it take you to become a head brewer?( and if you can be specific, 1 year of washing kegs, 2 years as assistant brewer, etc...)

How many hours do you work?( i have read anywhere from a standard 40 to around 100) is that for real?

While you were making your way to the top, did you have to(or still have to) fill in around the restaurant,( waiter/waitress, bartend, janitor, etc..?) on top of your brewery duties.

I will appreciate any insight.
Thanks

beertje46
03-17-2009, 11:04 AM
I just have a couple questions for those who are in the industry and have been thrpugh the process.

How many years did it take you to become a head brewer?( and if you can be specific, 1 year of washing kegs, 2 years as assistant brewer, etc...)

Hired in as brewmaster for a start-up.



How many hours do you work?( i have read anywhere from a standard 40 to around 100) is that for real?

40 - 45 tops, my goal is 40


While you were making your way to the top, did you have to(or still have to) fill in around the restaurant,

No


( waiter/waitress,

Never


bartend, janitor, etc..?) on top of your brewery duties.

Wouldn't even consider...

That fill-in work, unless that is in the job description you except upon hiring, is a rocky-road. Pretty soon management is scheduling one less person because the "brewer" will always do it. I know brewers that have guit their brewing job because of being taken advantage of like this.

Jeff Lockhart
03-17-2009, 02:02 PM
10 years home brewing
5 years maintenance/cellar/keg washer...
Opened my own place so, yes I have to do all that stuff sometimes
60hrs/wk.+

Slainte
Jeff Lockhart
Head Brewer
McClellan's Grill and Brewing Co.
Canon City, CO

Farfensnoker
03-17-2009, 09:46 PM
Thanks for the reply Dave, im guessing that you are the exception to the rule, and John thanks too, youre case is what I was expecting to hear, from what ive read it seemed as though lot of brewery personnel get taken advantage of in one way or another, and in turn seem to wander from brewery to brewery looking for greener pastures, but i guess if you look at it from a owners standpoint you are trying to run a buisness here, good stuff keep it coming this stuff is fascinating to me.

Farfensnoker
03-17-2009, 09:46 PM
Thanks for the reply Dave, im guessing that you are the exception to the rule, and John thanks too, youre case is what I was expecting to hear, from what ive read it seemed as though lot of brewery personnel get taken advantage of in one way or another, and in turn seem to wander from brewery to brewery looking for greener pastures, but i guess if you look at it from a owners standpoint you are trying to run a buisness here, good stuff keep it coming this stuff is fascinating to me.

GlacierBrewing
03-18-2009, 06:12 AM
I just have a couple questions for those who are in the industry and have been thrpugh the process.

How many years did it take you to become a head brewer?( and if you can be specific, 1 year of washing kegs, 2 years as assistant brewer, etc...)

How many hours do you work?( i have read anywhere from a standard 40 to around 100) is that for real?

While you were making your way to the top, did you have to(or still have to) fill in around the restaurant,( waiter/waitress, bartend, janitor, etc..?) on top of your brewery duties.

I will appreciate any insight.
Thanks

Started as a weekend keg washer for a few months, then moved up to a bottling line grunt for better part of a year. Then bottling line supervisor. Head brewer was leaving in a few months so asst brewer became head and (since I was the only one with home brewing experience) I started being trained as asst brewer. The head brewer ran the 50 bbl brewhouse and cellar and I was responsible for the 18bbl brewhouse and cellar. This continued for about a year then the head brewer got fed up and quit. Now I was the sole brewer, promoted to head brewer, brewing six days a week on the 50bbl and occasionally on the 18bbl for specialties. I was responsible for overseeing the cellars, and (since I was the only one who assisted the German tech installing the bottling line) I was responsible for training the packaging staff and troubleshooting the line. I've always felt my rise through the brewery was pretty quick. That was over a decade ago. Now I'm partner in my own place and I'm now responsible for full production, kegging, bottling, inventories, gov't paperwork, graphic design, facility repairs and maintenance, work the tasting room a few days of the week, unclogging the toilets, sweeping and mopping, etc, etc, etc. Oh, and my name is on all the business loans too!
The work hours vary throughout the year from 30-60 per week. I'm not getting rich doing this, but that truly was never why I got into it in the first place.
that's my rambling two cents....
Prost!
Dave

WitsEnd
03-18-2009, 06:57 AM
How many years did it take you to become a head brewer?( and if you can be specific, 1 year of washing kegs, 2 years as assistant brewer, etc...)

How many hours do you work?( i have read anywhere from a standard 40 to around 100) is that for real?
Take in mind that I'm not a professional brewer, but I do see that this is a very small industry. Where you work and who you know will play a big key on how fast you move up in the industry. If you're in an area with a multitude of craft breweries and get yourself out there, you may be able to move around and fill some voids to climb up the ladder more quickly. If there's only a couple breweries in the area, unless you're in at the right time, you could sit stagnant for a while.

I believe work ethic and inititive would also play a key part in moving up. If you feel you deserve a promotion and pay raise only on the basis of your time spent at a brewery, you're probably nuts. If I were a brewery owner, I would promote a new hire with a true passion before a bottling line worker that is there for a paycheck.