AS a technical brewer you would manage the production of beers and lagers, making sure the quality and consistency of the product is of a high standard.
You would oversee the biochemical process of brewing, which involves boiling malted barley with hops and water, and cooling and fermenting it with yeast so the natural sugars turn to alcohol.
Your work is likely to include:
l checking the temperature and quality of beer
l keeping detailed records of the brewing process
l sourcing suppliers
l making sure raw materials meet the right standard
l overseeing technical developments
Your role could also involve developing, testing and producing new beers and managing other brewery workers.
Working with a large brewery, you could be responsible for just one part of the production process, such as fermentation, packaging or quality control. In a small or micro-brewery, you are more likely to be involved in all stages of the brewing process.
You would usually work 40 hours a week. However, this work involves regularly checking the brewing process, so you are likely to work a shift system including evenings, weekends and nights.
You would mainly work in the beer production area overseeing the brewing process. This is a noisy industrial environment and you would need to wear protective clothing, which should be provided.
Salaries for technical brewers can be between £15,000 and £25,000 a year. With experience this could exceed £40,000.
Employees in micro-breweries may earn less.
To start as a trainee brewer you will usually need a degree in a related subject, such as biological science, chemistry, chemical engineering, food science/technology, microbiology or brewing and distilling.
Some employers may accept a relevant BTEC HNC/HND. You can search for courses on the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) website, and for details of entry requirements you should check with colleges and universities individually.
Many employers will also look for evidence of your ability to manage a team. Previous experience in a management role, or degree modules in business management may help show your potential in this area. You may be at an advantage if you also have some experience or knowledge of brewing or distilling. You could contact larger breweries to arrange work experience or to observe their brewing process.
An alternative way into this role may be through a combination of experience as a brewery worker and qualifications offered by the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD).
Their awards include Fundamentals of Brewing and Packaging, and a General Certificate in Brewing. The mix of brewery work and IBD awards could provide the springboard to further qualifications and the opportunity to apply for trainee technical brewer posts. Once you have started with a large brewery, you will usually join a structured graduate training scheme, which may involve travelling to different production sites to gain in-depth knowledge of the company and processes.