THOUGHT PIECE the carling team
Craft Brewer Job Description
The term “craft brewer” was often used to describe a beer maker who was in charge of a small-scale brewing operation that used traditional brewing methods. Typically, craft brewers did not use mechanised production lines like larger breweries. With the increase in popularity of craft beer over the past few years, the term is now used to describe any brewer that works in a brewery producing original and flavoursome beers.
A craft brewer is a very knowledgeable beer maker who is deeply involved in the creation of new beers. Craft brewers have a deep understanding of the entire brewing process, are passionate about beer-making and are very creative. They enjoy experimenting with different flavours and are interested in making unique beers that customers will enjoy.
Craft Brewer Job Responsibilities
The craft brewer has a very significant role at a craft brewery. They can be involved in many aspects of the beer making process including product development, sourcing of raw materials, brewing beer, shipping beer, meeting customers, and marketing beer. Their key responsibilities are:
- Product development
They will work in conjunction with management, brewery owners and the marketing team to develop interesting and unique beers that consumers will enjoy. This will involve creating recipes and brewing small batches for testing. The beers must be designed to not only taste great, but to satisfy consumer demand in the market.
- Sourcing raw materials and dealing with suppliers
The craft brewer is responsible for sourcing high quality raw materials required for the brewing process. They must determine if the raw materials are of sufficient quality for the beer being produced. The brewer will also ensure they are being stock piled correctly and that there is sufficient inventory available for the current beer production rate.
- Brewhouse operations
The key responsibility of the craft brewer is to oversee the brewing process. They will ensure the brew recipe is being followed accordingly and accurately and the beer is stored correctly. They often direct other staff to ensure brewhouse operations are being performed adequately.
- Equipment maintenance and purchasing
They must maintain equipment within the brewery and make decisions about equipment purchases. They must also create a maintenance schedule which works well with production requirements.
- Quality control
The craft brewer must assess the quality of the brew throughout the brewing process. They will be responsible for both scientific and taste-testing of the brew.
- Production record keeping
Detailed records must be kept, with the goal of improving beer quality and production processes.
- Managing cellaring of beer
They must ensure that different beers are correctly stored.
- Maintain safety and hygiene standards throughout the brewery
The craft brewer must ensure that work is performed in a safe manner and strict hygiene standards are maintained.
- Represent the company at trade events and liaise with customers
Typically, a craft brewer will have a fair amount of interaction with customers and members of the public at beer tastings and trade shows. Ideally, they should be great communicators who can promote the beers being produced and the brewery itself.
- Managing key production requirements and setting KPIs
They may be responsible for setting production goals and identifying key performance indicators at the brewery.
- Manage bottling and delivery processes
The craft brewer may have some involvement with the bottling facilities and delivery schedules for the finished product.
There will be budgets for beer production, marketing, product development, staffing and purchasing equipment. The craft brewer will have to deal with these budgets and report to management.
- Brewery improvements
The craft brewer must create a plan for improving the brewing and setting up goals for improving the productivity, hygiene and safety of the brewery.
Craft Brewer Education
While some craft brewers develop into the role by working their way up from junior positions at a brewery, most craft brewers have an IBD/Brewing qualification. Other qualifications that can beneficial to a craft brewer include:
- Chemistry or Chemical Engineering degree
- Marketing degree
- Microbiology degree
- Food science or food technology degree
Craft Brewer Work Experience
A craft brewer needs to have a minimum of 2years’ experience working as a brewer and procuring raw materials for the brewing process. Ideally they will also have experience with:
- Brewery equipment maintenance
- Managing staff
- Developing new beers
- Record keeping
- Quality control
- Project management
Key Skills of the Craft Brewer
Some of the key skills that a craft brewer should possess include:
- High level written and verbal communication skills
- Leadership skills, managerial skills and the ability to motivate staff
- A passion for beer making and developing new beers
- Very high level brewing skills
- Physically fit and able to lift weights of up to 30 kilograms
- Personable and able to communicate well with customers
- Problem solving skills
- Some mechanical knowledge and familiarity with brewing components
- Innovative, creative and motivated to create some new and delicious beers
- Quality assurance skills and drive for continual improvement
Looking for a Craft Brewer role? View our latest roles in the beer and brewing industry.
What is the role of a craft brewer?
The role of a craft brewer encompasses being highly involved in the creation of new and unique beers, overseeing various stages of the brewing process, and maintaining a hands-on approach to brewing. They focus on producing original, flavourful beers and often engage in all aspects from product development to customer interaction.
How does a craft brewer contribute to product development?
A craft brewer collaborates with management, brewery owners, and marketing teams to develop innovative beers that appeal to consumer tastes. They create recipes, brew test batches, and aim to craft beers that are not only enjoyable but also meet market demand.
What kind of educational background is typical for a craft brewer?
A craft brewer typically has a formal brewing qualification like those offered by the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD). Degrees in chemistry, chemical engineering, microbiology, food science, or marketing can also be beneficial.
What experience is necessary for someone to be effective as a craft brewer?
Effective craft brewers usually have at least 2 years of experience in brewing and sourcing raw materials. Additional experience in brewery equipment maintenance, budgeting, staff management, beer development, record-keeping, quality control, and project management is highly valuable.
What skills are essential for a craft brewer?
Essential skills for a craft brewer include strong communication, leadership and managerial abilities, a passion for brewing and beer innovation, comprehensive brewing knowledge, physical fitness, customer service aptitude, problem-solving, mechanical knowledge, creativity, and a dedication to quality and continual improvement.