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HEAD BREWER Lagunitas Brewing Company, Chicago, IL

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  • HEAD BREWER Lagunitas Brewing Company, Chicago, IL

    Head Brewer
    Location: Chicago, IL
    March 31, 2013

    The Lagunitas Brewing Company is seeking a highly qualified Head Brewer for our new, state-of-the-art 600,000 Bbl/year brewery in Chicago, Illinois. In this role you will be responsible for the reliable and on time delivery of the highest quality, in specification beer to our consumers through the effective, efficient, and safe management of raw materials, processes, equipment and staff. In addition you will also project the Lagunitas culture and the Craft Brewers ethos as a whole.


    1. Personify the Lagunitas Culture and Integrate with the Chicago Craft Brewing Scene
    • Develop the culture of the Chicago brewery to mirror that of the parent brewery in Petaluma
    • Project the Lagunitas culture and passion for Craft Brewing both internally and externally to the brewery
    • Build strong relationships within the Chicago Craft Brewing community
    • Champion the Lagunitas brand at Beer Dinners, Beer Festivals, public events, etc.

    2. Monitoring Ingredient Quality and Performance
    • Visual inspection of all grain and hops; consumption of grain required and aroma evaluation of hops prior to use
    • Evaluation of grist grind and achievement of harmony between brewhouse yield and lauter performance
    • Evaluation of isomerization rates by flavor
    • Brewing water tasted daily and free of aroma and chlorine
    • Process water consumption minimized wherever possible
    • Ensure de-aerated water is sterile, and within specification
    • Independent lab evaluation to spot check ingredient conformance to Certificate of Analysis, specifications, etc.

    3. Adherence to Product Specifications and Company SOP’s
    • Ensure adherence to established product specifications
    • Ensure adherence to company SOP’s
    • Ensure proper CIP and sanitary practices to prevent contamination issues
    • Promptly report deviations from product specifications or SOP’s
    • Identify and eliminate issues leading to out of specification product
    • Participate in daily taste panel
    • Meet daily with lab to review adherence to specifications

    4. Responsible for Order Placement of Raw Materials and Subsequent Inventory Tracking
    • Place orders using our MRP system and confirm delivery
    • Personally proof each brewsheet for proper accounting and make sure all units of measurements are standardized and consistent
    • Make sure ingredient lot codes are referenced to a batch number
    • Record and report all inputs and resulting output for each batch
    • Oversee execution of monthly inventory counts and subsequent adjustments
    • Maintain proper amounts of key raw materials and ensure stock rotation

    5. Ensure Existence and Execution of Process Controls
    • Design and implementation of process controls for wort production, cleaning and sanitation, fermentation performance, yeast removal, dry hopping, chilling performance, centrifugation, filtration and carbonation
    • Verify effectiveness of process controls through integrating their measurement with specifications and KPI’s
    • Build and maintain SOP’s that elevate process control and minimize variability between operators
    • Ensure established SOP’s are followed with accountability built in

    6. Track, Report and Achieve Execution of all KPI’s and Progress against Imperatives
    • Report adherence to established KPI’s to the DBO on a monthly basis
    • Propose new KPI’s to measure performance and efficiencies as business grows

    7. Workforce Management
    • Hiring authority for the Brewing Department ensuring the selection of employees who reflect positively of the company ethos at work and off work
    • Source hires from accredited brewing programs
    • Maintain internship programs to help source talent and foster relations with outside Universities and recognized brewing programs
    • Responsible for all scheduling and payroll execution
    • Conduct all in depth annual performance evaluations for Brewing Department personnel
    • Make recommendations to the senior leadership for professional or technical development of personnel
    • Undertake all disciplinary actions for Brewing Department personnel
    • Hold meetings to formally present team evaluation and to identify action items in a forum like atmosphere but also following a set agenda

    8. Assist in Design, Engineering, Troubleshooting and Optimization of all Equipment and Controls
    • In-house design of process piping and equipment
    • Work with vendors to assess full actualization of capital projects
    • Work with programmers to achieve full optimization of control software
    • Leads Continuous Improvement process within the Brewing Department

    9. Asset Care and Safety
    • Work with Maintenance Group to develop a PM schedule (Preventive Maintenance) for all critical brewing equipment
    • Work with Maintenance Group to develop and maintain a critical spare parts inventory for brewing equipment
    • OSHA Compliance and Training of brewing personnel
    • Champion safety in the brewing area and participate in monthly safety meetings

    10. Preserve the Character and Integrity of the Product in the Wake of Expansion & Growth
    • Ensure product consistency across changes in equipment
    • Ensure product consistency through changes in batch sizes
    • Problem Solving at every step of the process

    11. Discuss Technical & Sensory Aspects of Product Mix
    • On Site staff training
    • Beer dinners, promos, media events (TV, radio, print), conferences, meetings, etc.
    • Tailor discussions to either industry or general public (know the audience)
    • Ability to enlighten with discretion, to answer questions without giving away secrets

    12. Maintain Full Operational Capabilities of all Duties required of the Team
    • Can cover any production task in the event of the unforeseen
    • Ability to perform shift work when required


    • A minimum of 7 years of brewing leadership (hot and cold side) in a high volume, 24/7, automated brewing environment.
    • B.Sc. in Food Science or certification from recognized brewing school
    • Very strong technical understanding of the brewing process and brewing quality control points
    • Solid working knowledge of pneumatic systems, industrial electricity, mechanical power, steam generation and distribution, industrial refrigeration and sanitary process piping systems strongly preferred
    • Experience with trouble shooting and programming of automated equipment control platforms (i.e., Allen- Bradley, Siemens PCS7, Rockwell Automation) strongly preferred
    • Capital project management experience
    • Experience with ERP or MRP software
    • Results driven focus
    • Proven leadership experience to include; team building, coaching and motivation, change management, process management, as well as managing vision, impact and influence, etc.
    • Excellent communication skills such as the ability to clearly articulate issues, opportunities and risk when making decisions
    • Strong analytical and organizational skills
    • Ability to respond confidently and responsibly to inquiries or complaints from customers, regulatory agencies, etc.
    • Ability to effectively present information to senior leadership internally or externally

    Other Requirements:
    • Up to 25% travel
    • Ability to lift multiple 55 lb. bags of malt and 44 lb. boxes of hops

    Key Relationships:
    • Reports directly to the VP of Brewing Operations
    • Interacts daily with the Quality, Packaging, and Maintenance Managers

    Interested in applying?
    Please submit resume to
    Reference in subject line: Head Brewer Chicago, IL 33113