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Job Description of a Brewmaster

Brewmasters require little to no formal education. Learn about the experience, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

As a brewmaster, you'll prepare the recipes, make the beer, and sample it until you attain perfection. Since this is a largely mechanical job, you must have experience working in a brewery, especially if you want to reach a higher position.

Essential Information

Brewmasters are responsible for many duties related to making beer, including selecting ingredients, creating unique beer recipes, preparing beer mixtures and overseeing fermenting processes. Although there are no formal education requirements for becoming a brewmaster, because of the high level of supervision, brewmasters have years of experience working in breweries and an expertise in beer-making.

Required Education None mandatory; courses at a beer school are optional; strong interest in beer-making is needed to gain entry-level employment with a brewery and many years of professional experience are held by most brewmasters
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) -1.3% for all separating, filtering, clarifying, precipitating and still machine setters, operators, and tenders*
Mean Salary (2015) $41,210 for all separating, filtering, clarifying, precipitating and still machine setters, operators, and tenders in beverage manufacturing*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Duties

Brewmasters may work in settings such as microbreweries, where they may personally brew and ferment the beer, clean the tanks and even manage finances. In larger commercial brewing establishments, brewmasters often oversee a team of workers who handle the day-to-day tasks of brewing beer while maintaining quality standards, managing inventory and tasting the final result.

Selecting the Ingredients

Making beer involves several chemical processes. First, ingredients are selected for use in the beer. Brewmasters are very specific about what ingredients they use because the final product's taste, color and even texture are dependent upon these various items. The brewmaster often experiments with distinctive materials to make a unique beer.

Crafting the Recipe

The second major duty of a brewmaster is to create a recipe in which to combine the approved ingredients. Generally, the carbohydrate ingredients are crushed into finer particulates and then placed into hot water to seep the flavors out, creating an intermediate product called the wort. A creative brewmaster may make changes in this procedure such as lengthening the seeping time to help further distinguish the final product. The amount of hops added is another contributing factor brewmasters use to make unique flavored beer.

Overseeing Fermentation

The most important step is the fermentation process which involves adding the yeast into the wort and allowing it to attack the sugars. The amount of yeast used is carefully monitored by brewmasters throughout the fermentation process. After a period of several days, the yeast converts the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The fermented beer is cloudy with leftover yeast and is frequently filtered before being stored. Depending on brewmaster, pasteurization or filtration is used to accomplish this endeavor.

The qualification every brewmaster must possess is a keen sense of taste and smell, in addition to a lot of experience making beer. No formal education is required, but there are schools that teach courses in brewery, which may potentially increase chances of employment.

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