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Career Advice Question.

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  • Career Advice Question.

    Forgive me if this is under the wrong section ( first post from a long time lurker).

    Background Info:
    My province has experienced a craft beer boom over the past 8 years. Now home to 50+ craft breweries and brew pubs of various sizes.
    • 2 Regional Sized
    • 4-6 provincial sized with aspirations of becoming regional
    • 5 brewpubs
    • 30+ of between nano to sub 20bbl operations.

    The bulk of of these are owner/brewer and or operate on a skeleton sized crew with many employees doing double duty ( packaging tech is also the taproom bartender, assistant brewer also delivers kegs etc.) and seem reluctant to hire those with previous brewery experience.

    About Me:
    • Ive been in and around this industry for 4 years ( 1.5 as a paid package/ cellar tech who mostly made and filled boxes and 2.5 a part time volunteer brewers assistant and cellar person where I learned a lot but zero brew deck time.
    • Left previous job as I saw no path way off the packaging line and no forward career growth planning.
    • Lots of self study in brewing science and theory but no commercial brewing experience.
    • Lots of experience in cellar and packaging ( love cellar work but 40+ hours of filling boxes is mind numbing but still would help when needed.)
    • No formal brewing education. But hoped that with the right brewery position i could apply for Siebel Condensed or American Brewer's Guild Distance Ed. and learn as I get paid.
    • Struggling to find a place where I can learn and grow eventually into a professional brewer.

    Now here is the question:
    What should be my next step forward? Test new waters in a different market? Attend Brew School ( Siebel or others) ?
    Combination of the two?

    Thanks for reading.

  • #2
    Go for it

    I would suggest you to find a brewery were you can become a professional, however, don't know if you would like to relocate to any mid size brewery preferably, in which you can be able to learn several different brewing tasks as for example; dry hopping, quality controls at the brewhouse and cellar, etc..

    At the moment, Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Lexington is hiring brewers, you may contact them.

    As well, I definitely recommend you attend any brewing school to further your brewing knowledge.



    • #3
      Last edited by beerme; 10-25-2019, 05:00 PM.


      • #4
        Leave your location if you need to. There are lots of opportunities available if you are willing to relocate. Brewing School is great for those who can afford it (both in time and money). It is not the only way forward.

        Choose your interest path (wort production, lab, cellar, packaging) and take a higher level role doing that. If you apply and pursue you will get it. Buy books and read them. Read what you see on the internet and challenge it with your books and experience. Volunteer your available time in those fields. Experiment. Attend conferences and seminars. Network and discuss with colleagues. Get Better.

        Realistically no one is going to pay for your education while you work. Very few. They will expect you to educate and advance your own skills on your own time & dime. They need you to produce full time, no time for future planning or development. It may sound harsh, but the real world often is.


        • #5
          Move to where the work is.

          Send lots of resumes out looking for work. Realize there are 10-20 people applying for same position.
          Take up a trade 1st. Welding, PLC, Electrical. These skills are what the larger and expanding breweries are looking for. But when you are on the bottling line take some time to talk to the other departments, they might have a lead.
          Save some funds then put yourself into a brewing class.
          Plus if you become good at sanitary SS welding you can
          Offer your services to other local breweries.
          I need 4 welding jobs done soon but everyone local is booked for November.
          Good luck in your search


          • #6
            Ask youself the question "What is my goal?"

            Hi Relik,

            I was a commercial brewer for the last decade and now on the vendor side assisting brewers with equipment. For me it was the right decision as I still get to consult, train and get my boots wet but don't have the grind of day to day production. Are there times where I miss it sure but I am very happy doing my job.

            The biggest questions for you are:
            What do you want to do? Stay in the industry working for others? Open an establishment of your own?
            Where do you want to do it? Where you currently reside? Someplace new and full of opportunity?
            What is your game plan to get there? Further education in the classroom? Education by doing at the right brewery (this one is harder to find the right opportunity)

            When I caught the desire to be a professional brewer I went through the ABG program in 2009 with a 5 week internship and found it to be quite valuable. Uprooted and moved and never looked back.

            Just like building a brewery can be started in many ways, there is no one true path here. It sounds like you have a great start and I wish you well moving forward with your decision.


            Don Marcil
            Brewery Design Consultant
            Stout Tanks and Kettles LLC


            • #7
              I hope, it is in the necessary section. As a lot of people are looking for the opportunity to grow and to develop. And your one is here at the right place.