How To Get A Brewery Job – Are you looking for a job in the craft beer industry? Breweries and taprooms across the country are hiring head brewers, sales associates, tasting room staff, servers, brand managers, delivery drivers, packaging assistants and more.
As you consider transitioning or advancing your career in craft beer, it’s essential to understand where the industry has been and where it’s going.
How To Get A Brewery Job
COVID-19 has disproportionately affected small and independent breweries. Like their restaurant counterparts, taprooms and brewpubs generate most of their revenue by selling their products directly to consumers, said Bert Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association, an industry trade organization.
Steps To Becoming A Master Brewer
“These types of breweries make up 76 percent of the brewing industry, which is one reason why small and independent brewer retail sales are expected to decline by 22 percent in 2020,” says Watson. “These impacts likely affect available jobs, and like many industries, craft breweries are still experiencing labor shortages as a result of the pandemic.”
He said retail dollar sales of craft beer fell 22 percent to $22.2 billion and now account for just under 24 percent of the $94 billion U.S. beer market.
“The primary reason for the larger dollar sales decline was a shift in beer volume from bars and restaurants to packaged sales,” Watson added. “With the return of on-premise spending, the Brewers Association is optimistic retail dollar sales will return.”
The industry was remarkably nimble as it navigated the pandemic. Adapting to the unprecedented situation means breweries are turning to online ordering, curbside pick-up, canning draft beer, even filling growlers and selling at the drive-thru.
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Even in the challenging year 2020, the craft brewing industry contributes $62.1 billion to the U.S. economy and provides more than 400,000 jobs, including 140,000 directly at breweries.
“The industry is relatively healthy considering what we’ve done. We’re definitely seeing a lot of creative ways to do business, which has been a major silver lining during the pandemic,” said Michelle R. Forster, executive director of the Wyoming Craft Brewers Guild and Distillers Guild during a recent UVM Upskills Vermont webinar. “Breweries operated in a way that was deeply inspiring. Consumers benefited from innovation; businesses benefited, and of course, industry benefited.”
With more than 8,848 breweries nationwide and 85 percent of adults of legal drinking age living within 10 miles of a brewery, the craft beer industry is still going strong.
According to IBISWorld, the craft beer industry is projected to grow at a slower pace from 2021-2026 as the sector normalizes and consumers seek out new and different alcoholic beverage varieties such as hard seltzer and hard kombucha.
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Saturation is expected to slow any potential revenue growth to more realistic levels over the next five years. Nevertheless, IBISWorld reports that craft beer is in high demand from consumers.
If you’re interested in a career in craft beer, Forster says he recommends searching industry-specific sites like BrewBound.com and ProBrewer.com.
Finding a job at a brewery can be challenging. If you have little or no experience, be prepared to start with an entry-level position.
Forster recommends connecting with breweries and taprooms before you actively seek employment. Those connections will go further than emailing a cover letter and resume, Forster says.
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“Nothing compares to connecting with a brewery,” says Forster. “It takes a long time to sling resumes and cover letters and get attention from those things. But if you’re serious about transitioning into the beer industry, you have to make connections.” It’s so good that sometimes you just want to give up your monotonous, everyday routine, go to the mountains, grow a beard worthy of lumber and make your own. Liquid courage itself in peace and tranquility.
What if I told you that there are more practical ways to pursue a career in brewing?
There are more than 30 professional brewing schools, courses, and university-affiliated brewing programs in the United States that offer courses and degrees in brewing.
Yes, you are wearing it correctly. You can go to school to learn how to brew beer and then you can get paid real money to do it. You’re probably wondering why no one told you this before.
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But, how possible to become a brewmaster? And how do you become the person who oversees the entire process of making a brewery?
We’ve created a 5 step process to get you there. We’ll explain each step in more depth below. To get started, the very basic steps are as follows:
Any brewmaster will tell you that the first step to becoming a master brewer is to research yourself and set up your own home brewing project.
This is a process that you can undertake entirely on your own, but your friends are likely to be interested in it. Both at-home starter kits and beginner’s guides are easily accessible here.
Brickfield Brewing, Grantsburg, Wi
Get started now. I mean, do I really need to convince you to make your own high-quality brewski in the comfort of your home?
While you are starting to learn the basics, you may also want to take some educational courses.
General chemistry, physics, microbiology, and engineering courses at your local community college will suffice and help a lot later.
This step is all about getting your name out there, networking, and gaining more experience in the world of beer and brewing.
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You will initially make 67 batches of swamp water. Don’t worry, stay tuned. Your processes and skills will improve, and you will eventually be able to consistently produce liquid gold.
Enter your homebrew in local competitions, attend brewing conferences to gain different perspectives and learn new things about the craft, and work in beer-related positions.
Other possibilities include becoming a local beer judge, being a steward, joining homebrew clubs, and writing articles for local homebrew newsletters.
You start networking, meeting different people involved in the trade and talking to experienced brewers at conferences and competitions. So, where do you go now if you still haven’t found a brewery to take you on as an assistant brewer or brewmaster.
Hacienda Beer Co.
Attending a professional brewing school or university affiliated brewing program will only help you achieve your dream faster. There are over 30 schools/programs here in the US. A comprehensive list can be found here.
Step 4. Put that degree to use Don’t just get your foot in the door, get your boot through it
Start this fourth step by visiting your favorite pub, neighborhood pub and any pub you can think of.
When visiting these pubs, talk to the owners (and brewers) and ask about job openings. You can also find jobs online on various job websites and forums. Continue your research and exploration as in step one.
Urban Growler Brewing For Growth In St. Paul — Urban Growler® Brewing Company
Standing during this step is very important. You want pub and brewery owners to remember you. Be unique when introducing yourself.
The key to stand out. Some people brought their own homebrews to interviews and used their resumes as their bottle labels. Get creative like this.
If you have to start at a lower level than you want, that’s fine, just breathe. Remember that you’re surrounded by delicious beer and no longer working in a 24/7 call center.
Once you get your foot in the door and you secure a job at a brewery, you’re on the right track. The next step is to put your ear to the floor and move forward. You need to be aware of open positions and you need to exploit these opportunities.
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Once you work at a brew pub, brewery or microbrewery, you’ll have the chance to show what you’re capable of. Show interest in becoming a head brewer. Become the brewmaster’s assistant, learn from him and wait patiently.
Your skills as a brewer will be vastly improved from when you started making distilled water in your mom’s basement.
They’ll say, “Hey, we’ve heard really good things about your brewing knowledge and skills. We’ve seen that you’ve been an assistant brewer for Red Oak for the past three years and we’d like to put you in charge of our entire brewery. We’d like to have you in Asheville, NC.” Very interested in hiring Snake Jake’s Brewery as Head Brewmaster in .
And boom, just like you did it. You are a brewmaster tasked with overseeing the entire brewing process at Snake Jake’s Brewery in the stunning hills of Asheville, NC.
Brewing & Distilling Degree
Follow what makes you happy. Whether you want to brew beer for the rest of your day or open your own coffee shop in the Himalayas, set a plan and stick with it.
Before you know it, you’ll be the ultimate brewmaster, with every brewery in the country following your expertise and guidance. The beverage industry, whether you want to start your own microbrewery, distillery or cidery. this
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