Is a Degree in Fermentation Science All You Need to Apply for a Job as a Brewer?
Craft brewing is a cottage industry that has seen a massive spike in growth over the past two decades. Many entrepreneurs have built strong, profitable businesses around micro-brewing. Those business owners need able-bodied people with the right experience and credentials to fill out positions within their breweries.
To answer the question straight away, a degree in any field in which a student or job seeker intends to build a career is always a good idea, but most brewers don’t hold degrees in fermentation science. A better course of action is to gain practical experience while still in school, regardless of your primary or degree path.
If, however, your plan is to own your own brewery or be one of those entrepreneurs who build a career around brewing, a strong working knowledge of the craft is essential for success. A degree in fermentation science in that instance is a worthy and wise thing to pursue. So what are employers in this field looking to find in qualified candidates? Let’s have a look at some of the common qualifiers.
#1 – A Desire to Learn
Add to this the ability to learn quickly. The more knowledge an applicant has gone in, the easier it will be to get a job. Brewing beer is an exact science with little margin of error. Don’t approach the task with the attitude that it is somehow easy. It isn’t. Master brewers who are willing to pass on their skills are not always easy to find. Taking on employees or apprentices usually means having to reveal certain trade secrets or proprietary practices that many aren’t willing to reveal.
The best way to secure an entry-level job or apprenticeship is to go into the position with the right motivation and attitude. Approach prospective employers as a person who wants to learn from the best and demonstrate a desire to excel. Most brewers also have a real love for their craft and want to see the art passed on. They look for people who will be responsible for the things they are taught and who demonstrate a sense of loyalty both to the company as well as the craft.
#2 – Enough Time to Devote to the Task
If you are still a student trying to get a job in brewing, make sure that the right balance exists between time for study and time for work. Concentration and attention to detail are essential in both the world of brewing and academics. You are working hard to earn that degree; don’t let a job – any job – stand in the way of that.
If your grades do start to slip or time to complete coursework seems to be too short, there are ways to recalibrate the time spent on it. Working with a tutor to sort out details in a challenging course or enlisting the aid of a term paper or essay helper to get tough written assignments done on time are two examples.
#3 – A Willingness to Work Your Way Up
Entry level jobs in breweries often pay minimum wage or just slightly above and the work is rarely glamorous. Like in any kind of apprenticeship, entry-level brewery employees are often tasked with the most menial job to free up time for the master brewer(s) in the facility to concentrate on crafting a quality product. Only those who express the most serious commitments will ever even be considered for apprenticeships or better-paying jobs as actual brewers.
It might not sound all that glamorous, but the rewards of sticking with it are many. Because this is a profession that requires specialized skills, the pay does increase as you get better at the craft. You could even branch out on your own after a few years, open a brewery, and start teaching others what you’ve learned. After all, someone took the time to guide you. Once you’ve achieved that level of success, why not take the time to pay it forward?
About the Author;
Jennifer Lockman is a graduate from UCLA majoring in Journalism and a blogger. Her expertise includes general education, e-learning, business, writing and lifestyle.