Brewer

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Brewery Worker
Tasting Room Staff / Beer Server

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Practical or MechanicalAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 1Skill Level 2
Skill Level 5Skill Level 6

Brewers produce and test beers and similar products, such as cider. They select the type of barley, grain, yeast, hops and any other ingredients that are to be used and add them to the mix at the correct Future Growth Strong times.

Once the ingredients have been mixed, brewers monitor the temperature, pH values and level of fermentation of the brew. Once a beer has fermented the brewer tests it to check the quality and taste of the batch, before it is packaged and distributed.

Some brewers may also be involved in marketing activities, such as designing packaging and hosting promotions of new varieties of beer.

ANZSCO ID: 831112


Knowledge, skills and attributes

ExaminingA brewer needs:

  • a good sense of taste and smell

  • to enjoy scientific activities  - advanced scientific knowledge, particularly in biochemistry

  • a good understanding of chemical, mechanical and electrical engineering

  • strong practical skills

  • good decision making and problem solving skills

  • commercial awareness

  • management and organisational skills to lead a production team.

  • good organisational skills

  • to pay attention to small details

  • good communication skills.

Duties and Tasks

As a brewer, you would:

  • choose and record ingredients accurately

  • oversee all stages of the fermenting and brewing process

  • conduct taste tests to make sure each batch meets required standards

  • maintain strict health and safety requirements

  • oversee safe and effective running of the brewing plant and machinery

  • make sure all equipment is cleaned and maintained correctly

  • keep track of stock of raw materials and ingredients

  • oversee the bottling and labeling process

  • create new ideas and recipes.

Small breweries are often referred to as craft breweries. Craft brewers will often be involved with all stages of the brewing process, including distributing the bottled products. If you work in a large commercial brewery you may manage just one part of the brewing process.

Working conditions

Brewers may work in large manufacturing plants, producing a number of different varieties of beer in large volumes for sale throughout Australia and, in some cases, overseas.

Some brewers may work in smaller, micro or boutique breweries, producing a smaller variety and/or volume of beer, usually for sale in a smaller, local market.

Regardless of the size of the brewery, conditions can range from hot and noisy through to cold and wet. Brewers may sometimes be required to work in enclosed spaces, such as tanks and brewing vessels. They need to have a high level of personal hygiene and may be required to regularly wash their hands and wear protective clothing to avoid contaminating the beer.

In a full-time role, you would work a standard number of hours per week. You may need to work shifts as the brewing process requires 24 hour monitoring. This would include nights and weekends.

You would wear protective and safety equipment. You may work in temperature controlled areas.

Brewers working in larger breweries may sometimes be required to work shifts, which may include working nights and weekends.


Tools and technologies

Brewers use large tanks and vessels to mix and prepare beers - the brew is transferred between vessels using hoses and/or pipes.

Transfering

They also use specially designed equipment to filter and carbonate the beer, and to fill kegs, bottles and cans. They may also operate packaging machinery to box filled bottles and cans, which are then ready to be shipped to retailers and wholesalers.

During the mixing and fermenting processes brewers regularly take samples of the beer mix to test its quality, using laboratory and scientific equipment. Brewers also need to be familiar with computers in order to operate machinery and monitor the progress of each batch.

Education and Training

It may be possible to become a brewer with no formal qualifications, instead learning the necessary skills through practical experience. Experience may be gained working in breweries in other roles, or through significant personal experience in home brewing.

You can improve your employment prospects by completing a science degree at university. Relevant fields of study include chemistry, food science, microbiology, biochemistry or chemical engineering. It is then recommended that you do postgraduate studies specialising in brewing.

While the amount of beer being consumed in Australia is relatively static, there is a growing interest in craft beers brewed by craft breweries or microbreweries. These may offer the best opportunities for employment. Graduates of brewing courses in Australia are held in good stead for opportunities in New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Employment Opportunities

Job opportunities for brewers are expected to be better than the average for all occupations.

While the amount of beer being consumed in Australia is relatively static, there is a growing interest in craft beers brewed by craft breweries or microbreweries. These may offer the best opportunities for employment. Graduates of brewing courses in Australia are held in good stead for opportunities in New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Did You Know?

Hops are predominantly grown in the eastern states, with Australia's largest producers located in Victoria and Tasmania.

However, Hamish Coates is now growing hops on his family's fifth generation dairy and cattle farm in Jindong, Western Australia.

Rural ABC
With audio file


Hamish Coates

The hops will be grown on 12, five-metre high posts that will form a trellis for the long stem, or bine, of the hops to climb over.
(Source: ABC Rural)


Hop Flowers

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