THOUGHT PIECE the carling team

Drink Industry Maintenance Manager Job Description


A maintenance manager oversees the installation, repair, and upkeep of infrastructure within a brewery or distillery. The infrastructure they work on usually includes mechanical systems, machines, and buildings.

It is an interesting and varied role that requires strong mechanical and technical knowledge, leadership skills, planning skills, and attention to detail. A maintenance manager must have a strong focus on the continuous improvement of work practices within the facility. They should also be able to develop the skills and knowledge of other staff members.

The maintenance manager will work closely with many departments in the brewery or distillery, ensuring that the facility complies with relevant legislative, safety, and engineering standards. It is an important role that is crucial to the continued operation of any beverage-making facility.

Maintenance Manager Responsibilities

This role has many responsibilities including:

  • Ensuring the facility is a safe working environment
    One of the key responsibilities of the maintenance manager is ensuring that the infrastructure of the facility is well-maintained and safe to use. They must quickly respond to any safety issues and regularly maintain equipment to ensure its continued safe operation.
  • Create programs to encourage worker safety
    The maintenance manager must encourage a culture of work safety within the facility. They must continuously improve work practices — performing risk assessments, applying positive intervention principles, using safety tags appropriately, and acting on near misses.
  • Developing maintenance schedules for the facility
    They will work closely with managers and the maintenance planner to develop comprehensive maintenance schedules. These schedules must work within the financial limitations of the facility, the current projects being run, and production requirements.
  • Managing the personnel who will deliver maintenance services
    The maintenance manager will prioritise the work that needs to be performed and assign staff to perform that work. They must ensure the most important tasks are performed in a timely fashion and that no aspects of the facility’s maintenance requirements are overlooked.
  • Ensuring the maintenance team has the skills required to maintain the facility
    The maintenance manager must develop a comprehensive training program to ensure staff members have the skills necessary for proper maintenance of the facility.
  • Manage cross functional loss reduction teams
    The maintenance manager must direct cross functional teams who will reduce the number of minor stops and machine breakdowns in the facility. They will also discover ways to improve machinery and increase productivity.
  • Develop autonomous maintenance teams
    To reduce the level of administration required within the facility, the maintenance manager will develop autonomous maintenance teams. These teams will independently perform important maintenance without frequent oversight.
  • Ensure the facility complies with the relevant legislative and OH&S standards
    The maintenance manager must work to ensure the facility complies with any food safety standards and occupational health & safety legislation.
  • Provide direct assistance to colleagues with the goal of improving production
    They will work directly with team leaders, production managers, and quality assurance staff to improve product quality and production line efficiency.
  • Foster a work culture that values constant improvement and productivity
    The maintenance manager has a key role to play in creating a work environment that works well and is constantly improving. They must drive initiatives to improve the workplace and enhance productivity.
  • Manage the financial aspects of maintenance
    The maintenance manager must operate within the financial constraints of the business, using capital in the most efficient way possible.


Ideally, a maintenance engineer should have a qualification in engineering or mechanics and formal training in IOSH/NEBOSH. They should also have a qualification relating to the brewing or distilling industry.

Work Experience

A maintenance manager should have the following work experience:

  • 5+ years experience in a maintenance management role
  • Experience maintaining, installing, and repairing industrial equipment
  • Experience handling blueprints, specifications and schematics
  • Experience in a food or drink production facility
  • Experience developing maintenance schedules and managing budgets
  • Team leadership experience

Key Skills

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with rapidly changing priorities
  • Ability to work to a pre-determined budget
  • Attention to detail and problem-solving skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to explain complex problems in a simple way
  • Strong working knowledge of mechanical and engineering principles
  • Working knowledge of the equipment used in the facility
  • A strong working knowledge of the regulatory requirements and safety requirements of beverage production facilities
  • Leadership abilities
  • Planning skills


What does a maintenance manager do in a brewery or distillery?

A maintenance manager is responsible for the oversight of all installation, repair, and maintenance tasks within the facility. This includes managing mechanical systems, machines, and structures, ensuring compliance with safety standards, developing staff skills, and working towards continuous improvement of maintenance practices.

What are the primary responsibilities of a maintenance manager in the beverage production industry?

Key duties include safeguarding a secure work environment, instituting worker safety programs, creating maintenance schedules in line with financial constraints, overseeing maintenance staff, enhancing team skills, leading loss reduction teams, establishing autonomous maintenance groups, and ensuring legislative and OH&S standards compliance.

What educational background is appropriate for a maintenance manager in this field?

A maintenance manager should typically have an engineering or mechanics qualification, along with formal IOSH/NEBOSH training. A qualification specific to brewing or distilling is also beneficial.

What work experience is ideal for someone looking to become a maintenance manager?

The role is suited for individuals with over five years of experience in a similar maintenance managerial role, particularly those with a background in industrial equipment maintenance, blueprint and schematic interpretation, and budget management within a food or drink production setting.

What key skills should a maintenance manager possess?

The position demands excellent communication, the ability to work under pressure, budget management, attention to detail, strong interpersonal skills, comprehensive knowledge of mechanical and engineering principles, familiarity with production equipment, understanding of regulatory and safety standards in the beverage industry, alongside pronounced leadership and planning abilities.