Enjoy drinking beer? Ever thought about a career in making it? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, then you may be interested in a career as a Brewmaster. An actual position that has “master” in it. Almost every brewery around the world has a Brewmaster. It’s the person who is ultimately responsible for the quality and production of beer at a brewery. Talk about cool jobs.
Brewmasters must understand and oversee the entire brewing process. The responsibilities of a Brewmaster can vary depending on the size of the brewery but, typically they are responsibile for ordering raw materials, recipe formulation and managing finances. When breweries brew beer, it’s important like anything else, that the product is tested before it hits the market to ensure saleability. The brewmaster is responsible for testing the beer to make sure that the desired taste has been achieved. Again, depending on the size of the brewery, the Brewmaster may also be responsible for managing a staff of employees and making sure overall operations run smoothly.
So what does it take to become a Brewmaster? Well, it’s not something you can generally jump into. It usually takes years of hard work and dedication and a college degree in some cases. Anyone who is considering a career as a Brewmaster must be very well organized, have excellent interpersonal skills, not be afraid to show their creative side and above all have a true affinity for beer.
Experience is is very important for this position and there are several ways that you can get the required experience. There’s not really a universal education for Brewmasters, but there are several schools that offer courses on becoming a Brewmaster. Below are a few of these schools.
- American Brewers Guild
- Institute and Guild of Brewing (IGB)
- Institute for Brewing Studies
- University of California at Davis
- University of Wisconsin
One of the best ways to get experience without going to any of the schools listed above, is by starting as an assistant Brewmaster. Check job boards for these positions (like brewingwork.com) and you could work your way up after a few years.
How much does a Brewmaster make?
According to the the Brewers Association (by way of a great article at philly.com) the salary for an assistant brewer is $25,000 to $35,000 and anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 for a brewmaster. So being a Brewmaster isn’t going to make you rich, but what beats working with beer all day? Also, it may be a great way to gain enough experience to start your own brewery one day.
Below are some books on tasting beers and developing an understanding of all that is involved in beer making.
Beer Tasting Tool Kit: How to Choose and Taste Beer Like a Brewer
Beer, Food, and Flavor: A Guide to Tasting, Pairing, and the Culture of Craft Beer
Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink
You could always start your own home microbrewery as well. In that case here are some starter brewing kits.
Major Breweries (Career Pages):