Wednesday 29 July 2015

Guest post: Getting trained for a job in beer

This guest post comes from Ran at the Carling Partnership -- a recruitment company specialising in the brewing industry, not the Danish brewer! It's an overview of some of the training opportunities available world-wide for anyone wanting a job in beer. If you know of any other good ones, do please add a comment.

Beer Industry Courses and Qualifications
Over the past five years, the global beer industry has demonstrated high levels of growth, increasing in size by an average of 3.2% per annum (, 2015). The industry directly employs nearly half a million people world-wide with global revenues reaching an estimated $136 billion USD in 2015.

In recent years, growth in established beer markets like Europe and the United States remains relatively stable, while the levels of growth from emerging economies like China has accelerated. Between 2002 and 2011, the Chinese beer market went from being the same size as the US market, to double the size of the US market (, 2015). In fact, the most popular beer in the world is a Chinese beer! Every day more people in emerging economies are beginning to enjoy beer which is driving the industry forward.

The Growth of Craft Beer
The past 10 years have been a period of great change within the beer industry. Many beer companies have been involved in mergers and acquisitions, creating huge multi-national businesses. The biggest four brewers in the market (AB InBev, SABMiller, Heineken and Carlsberg) now have a combined global market share of more than 50% (, 2015).

At the same time, diversity has increased with new players entering the market and the craft beer movement taking off. In the United States it is estimated that craft beers now make up 11% (22.77 billion USD) of the market share, driving 22% ($19.6 billion USD) of sales growth (Sizemore, 2015). There are now thousands of small-scale craft breweries around the world.

This increase in diversity is good news for people looking to make a career in the industry. There are more employers competing for the best people and more job opportunities in diverse locations. The positive outlook for the global beer industry is a very good sign for people interested in working within the sector.

Job Opportunities in the Beer Industry
Jobs in the beer industry tend to fall into one of four broad categories:
  • Jobs in Beer Production
  • Jobs in Beer Marketing & Sales
  • Jobs in Hospitality
  • Jobs in Beer Distribution and Administration
Jobs in Beer Production
One of the quickest ways to get into the beer industry is by working at an entry-level position for a brewery. Some of the entry-level positions in beer production include:
  • Cellar work — keeping the brewery clean and running well, moving equipment
  • Packaging and distribution — working on the factory line and putting beer onto trucks
  • Basic Maintenance work — replacing worn equipment and installing new equipment
There are often opportunities for people to work their way up from these entry-level positions to more advanced jobs in beer production. If you are working at a smaller brewery, you may find yourself doing all kind of jobs around the place including helping the brewer with manual work.

Other roles at the production level which require more experience and training include:
  • Assistant brewer — making beer to the instructions of the head brewer
  • Head Brewer — the main person responsible for how the beer is being made
  • Brewhouse Operations — keeps the facilities that make the beer running smoothly
  • Packaging Operations — keeps the bottling and packaging processes running smoothly
  • Quality Control Tester — ensures the final product is of a certain quality
For many of these production line roles in a brewery, various kinds of technical skills and experience are necessary. For example, to work in brewhouse operations, you will probably need experience working in factories, ability to maintain machinery, experience with electrical appliances and familiarity with the raw materials that go into making beer.

Some of the more advanced roles in beer production may require a college degree. Working as an operations manager for a large brewery will probably require a business, supply chain management, logistics or engineering degree.

Some of the most reputable courses which can help you get started in beer production include:
  • Central Washington University Craft Beer Certificate (USA)
Jobs in Beer Marketing & Sales
Sales and marketing jobs in the brewing industry can be at the wholesaler, distributor or consumer level. You might be designing advertising campaigns for consumers, marketing your product to liquor shops or getting your brewery’s beer into more bars. Most sales and marketing jobs will require relevant experience with some requiring a college degree.

If you already have sales and marketing experience or a degree, you could also undertake a further education for the beer industry specifically, for example:
Many marketing and sales positions only require sales experience and a general familiarity with beer and the brewing industry. That level of familiarity can be gained by working in a bar, liquor shop or by being a home-brewer.

Jobs in Hospitality
With the increase in craft breweries, there has also been an increase in brewpubs. That is where the brewery has a pub directly attached to it. Brewpubs require hospitality workers with good beer knowledge. There are many jobs available for event managers, tour guides, beer educators and tasting room servers within the beer industry.

All of these roles require experience in the hospitality industry and a good working knowledge of beer. One way to acquire this knowledge is by taking a course. Some of the best beer knowledge course include:
Jobs in Beer Distribution and Administration
Just like any other business organisation, breweries need accountants, warehouse managers, logistics managers, administrators and business managers.

It can be an advantage to add relevant industry knowledge by adding a qualification like:
Information by The Carling Partnership an international recruitment agency in the beer and brewing industry.

Sources,. (2015). Global Beer Manufacturing Market Research | IBISWorld. Retrieved 8 July 2015, from,. (2015). Brewing. Retrieved 8 July 2015, from,. (2015). PR World Beer Market 2012 and Top Brands 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2015, from

Reuters,. (2015). Global beer market to grow by 2 pct in 2015 - Plato. Retrieved 8 July 2015, from

Sizemore, C. (2015). Why Big Beer is Struggling in the Age of Craft Beer. Forbes. Retrieved 8 July 2015, from

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