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Brewmaster vs. Head Brewer - which do you go by

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  • Brewmaster vs. Head Brewer - which do you go by

    I saw a video years ago about a brewer who calls himself the Head Brewer and not Brewmaster because he did not complete the Braumeister course in Germany which is where the term brewmaster comes from. He recomends that brewers shouldn't call themselves a brewmaster unless they undergo the course.

    I remember respecting the view and kept it in mind. I was wondering if anyone else feels the same way.

  • #2
    While I respect the tradition of that course, I don't think that it alone allows the title of "brewmaster." There are many extremely talented brewing veterans that deserve the title and never took the course. I'm not sure what the exact parameters are but I know it can be an abused term. I think head brewer is more than appropriate and shows a humble disposition. I can think of few small breweries (some with rather young proprietors) that call themselves "brewmasters" yet produce less than adequate beers and I must admit I find it arrogant and distasteful. Brewing is a long journey that is always open for expansion, improvement, and education IMO.


    • #3
      Long thread here:
      Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--


      • #4
        Where does the time go...

        Rereading the long post I initiated a couple years ago - not much has changed. I still get "are you a/the brewmaster?" to which I reply, "no, I'm primarily a janitor and the occasional cook" with a wink and a nod. I go on to explain the schooling and experience that typically go along with the title of brewmaster / masterbrewer. Brewers do all the real work anyways...
        What it really boils down to is the beer in their glass. And hopefully the attendant rise in sales. It's easily to sell your beer once - more than that and you've got a customer!


        • #5
          I've always been a little uncomfortable being referred to as the "Brewmaster". I try to correct the person, when I can, that I'll probably be a Brewmaster in ten or twenty more years.
          But for right now, I'm the Head Brewer (keep waiting for "whadda do with the rest of the body?").

          Chief Drain Unplugger
          Glacier Brewing Company

          "who said what now?"


          • #6
            Ive always thought of 'Brewmaster' as job title and 'Master Brewer' as a Carrer designation. I have no problem with the title, or head brewer, seems more of an organizational thing to me. If someone is really interested I give them a quick tour of my background and let them decide for themself.
            That said- I do wish the MBAA would sponsor a certification exam like they have in the UK. Posibly even with lower titles of apprentice and journyman, following the tradesman tradition.
            Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
            "Your results may vary"


            • #7
              use what you like

              I've met Plenty of Weinstephan grads who couldn't brew their way out of a wet paper bag...

              there is no regulating body here in the U.S. Use whatever title you like.

              I've been called Brewmaster, Head Brewer, Lead Brewer, 'That guy in the brewery', none of it really matters. Use what make you happy.

              Oh, and I've had TONs of school related to beer. None of it came with a title.

              ....and when you pay your MBAA dues they give you a cert that says 'Master Brewer' which is legit, since you are a member! hahah
              Larry Horwitz


              • #8
                I agree with others who have stated that "Brewmaster" is an earned title, accompanied by a certificate from a brewing institute, and a significant amount of experience. the old world take on that experience is "apprenticeship" which I believe is still used in Germany and maybe some other European brewing countries. I do think any formal brewing program should qualify. Siebel, UC Davis, etc should count as well as Weihanstephan or New Ulm, IMHO.
                I look at it kind of like the difference between a "practicing engineer" and a "licensed engineer," except the "brewmaster" (licensed engineer equivalent for this discussion) requires hands on experience in addition to the training.

                A Pro-Brewer friend of mine explained his take as follows: When I get to the point where I can handle problems with EVERYTHING in the brewery, from plumbing, to glycol, to 440V electric, at a level like rewiring a pump for each, I am just a Head Brewer, not a Brewmaster.
                -Lyle C. Brown
                Camelot Brewing Co.


                • #9
                  Other terms.

                  On a somewhat lighter note, a couple of terms I have referred to myself by in jest:

                  Chief Yeast Rancher
                  Captain of the Mash (being a retired Navy Captain)
                  Yeast Management Professional
                  -Lyle C. Brown
                  Camelot Brewing Co.


                  • #10
                    I am the humble and obedient slave to my master the beer.

                    Larry is right go with makes you happy.

                    I very often take words, statements to the literal meanings. Its a personal thing. So my natural response right now is that I am not a "master" of the beer yet. I do make the beer so naturally I am the brewer. Well actually me and the other Matt make the beer so i am the co-brewer.


                    • #11
                      Working in a Brewpub, I go with what ever the customer calls me. If they ask me I tell them I am the Brewer.

                      Jim Lieb


                      • #12

                        I saw the title for this thread and I thought it was a grudge match!

                        "Head Brewer vs. at Memorial Arena!"

                        I'll give 3 to 1 on the Head Brewer.



                        • #13
                          Gimme a 20-spot on the Head Brewer!
                          Glacier Brewing Company

                          "who said what now?"


                          • #14
                            I answer to pretty much anything.

                            "Hey asshole!" included.

                            Liam McKenna


                            • #15
                              always "brewer"

                              Great for starting this post - Dave.
                              I am always struck when someone walks into my brewery (or any brewery that I have worked at) and asks me "are you the brewmaster?" I always respond - no, but I brew all of the beer. I'll never truly be a master of the brew.

                              If there is anyone that could ever truly synergize their relationship with saccharomyces - and be 100% certain of recreating the exact beer thrice or more... then they are worthy of the title. I have not met that person... it seems like such a "cocky" title, really. Brewmaster... Master Brewer... does anyone here really feel like a master?