Company: West Coast Brewing
Title: Lead Brewer
Reports to: Managing Director / Owner
Location: Shizuoka, Japan
Contact: Derrek Buston

West Coast Brewing, one of Japan's most highly rated craft breweries, is searching for an exceptional Lead Brewer to join our brewing team in the wonderful city of Shizuoka. One hour from Tokyo and nestled between the scenic beauty of Mount Fuji and the Pacific Ocean, we're offering more than just a job – we're offering a chance to make your mark on the Japanese craft beer scene. Due to unforeseen demand, we're in the planning stages of a major and much needed expansion. We need someone to help lead that transition into a substantially larger space with a 30bbl fully automated system, all while continuing to manage our original 10bbl setup. We're pleased to offer comprehensive benefits, including housing and transportation, along with a competitive salary.


You will be responsible for the brewing production of a brewery currently producing approximately 3000 BBL per year (with plans to increase volume over the next few years). You will be required to perform a wide variety of tasks that includes beer production, but will also be responsible for assisting with scheduling, quality control and other managerial tasks. Good communication, flexibility and problem solving are of utmost importance.

Critical responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • Overseeing all aspects of the brewing process: brewing, fermentation, cellaring, packaging, lab work, quality assurance.
  • Updating and Maintaining SOPs and assisting with training of brewers.
  • Maintaining a clean work space, continuing our preventative maintenance program and performing on-going maintenance as needed.
  • Crafting innovative beer recipes and keeping up to date with modern brewing techniques.
  • Ensuring consistent quality and flavor profiles of brews.
  • Managing inventory, raw material orders, production schedules, and daily brewing operations.
  • Overseeing the production, blending and packaging of our barrel program (wild ale / sours, imperial stouts)
  • Working with taproom staff to ensure proper beer serving quality and knowledge behind the bar.

Qualities about you

You are someone who is self motivated and leads by example. Although you will be overseeing the team, you will also be required from time to time to participate in all parts of the brewing operations as is required from the schedule. You’re an excellent communicator and easily convey what is expected of your team.

Brewing Knowledge
You’ve worked in the industry long enough to have exposure to a variety of brewing equipment and techniques. Capable of making important decisions regarding the build out of a new facility / upgrading existing equipment. Understand the most critical parts of the brewing process and are keen on optimization.

Work Ethic
Able to multitask, yet still have an eye for details. Can easily juggle tasks but able to prioritize. Be good at planning and forecasting, but able to maintain composure and flexibility when facing the unexpected.

Specific qualifications:
  • A minimum of 5 years of professional brewing experience, with a proven track record in the craft brewing industry.
  • Strong leadership skills to inspire and mentor our dedicated team.
  • Able to lift over 25kg, stand for long periods of time and capable of working in tight spaces.
  • In-depth knowledge of quality control standards and best practices.
  • Adaptability, a commitment to continuous improvement, and effective communication skills.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Excel and Google Suite.

Why you should join

When West Coast brewing opened in 2019 the quality of beer in Japan was significantly lacking when compared with America. By bringing on people with some of the most up to date brewing information we were able to immediately make a name for ourselves and are currently the 2nd highest rated Brewery on Untappd in Japan. Part of our success was due to focusing on IPAs of all types . That being said, we craft a wide variety of styles, always making sure that we have beers on tap that our brewers want to drink. You will have a chance to maintain the prominence of one of Japan’s most sought-after breweries.

Shizuoka offers an excellent balance between city life and the outdoors. The city itself has a population of roughly 750,000 and has a thriving downtown with hundreds of shops and restaurants. If that’s still not enough, it’s less than an hour ride by shinkansen (bullet train) to Tokyo and Nagoya for awesome accessibility. Shizuoka prefecture is also home to some of Japan’s most scenic natural beauty. Mount Fuji is located in Shizuoka, along with the southern tip of the Japanese Alps making for excellent hiking and camping. Shizuoka also features hundreds of kilometers of coastline with excellent spots for surfing and fishing.

The team at West Coast is extremely welcoming and friendly. Many coworkers have created strong friendships and often spend time with one another outside of work. The team is fairly diverse with 4 different nationalities represented. The majority of staff is Japanese, but speaking Japanese is not a requirement as a number of us are bilingual.

  • A competitive salary package that reflects your expertise and dedication.
  • Housing accommodations, with multiple options available.
  • A car will be available for your use (shared company vehicle)
  • International travel paid for by the company to attend collaborations, conferences, harvests etc.
  • Comprehensive healthcare.
  • 3 weeks paid vacation per year.
  • Free food and beer.
  • The chance to make a significant impact on the craft beer industry in Japan.

How to Apply:

If you're ready to take your brewing career to new horizons and be part of the West Coast Brewing team, please send your resume, a cover letter detailing your brewing philosophy, and any relevant brewing portfolio to Use "Lead Brewer Application - Your Name" as the subject line. Looking forward to hearing from you!