A brewmaster works to produce the best quality beer and must also consider the marketability of the beer as well. They are skilled at the entire brew process and are business savvy at the same time. Though they perform hands-on work brewing beer, they also supervise other brewers on staff and provide mentorship to less experienced brewers. Many brewmasters are also collaborative and would work with their team to create a new beer recipe and may even collaborate with another brewery, winery, or distillery to create a unique beer.
How to Become a Brewmaster
Many brewmasters start out as a homebrewer where they gain experience with the beer-making process, ingredients needed, sanitization, and judging their final product. Some homebrewers realize they have such a passion to brew beer that they start their journey to become a professional brewmaster. Though it is not a requirement to have a formal education, there is a lot of science to brewing beer so there are brewmaster certifications, bachelor’s, and master’s programs offered by organizations and universities.
When researching programs, it can be very helpful to look for a program that would offer you an internship so that you can show on-the-job experience to a future brewery. Many brewery’s that distribute their beer on a professional level hire those with this type of education and do like to see experience. You can also check out the Beer Association’s interview (link opens in a new tab) with head brewer Charlie Hoxmeier at Gilded Goat Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado. Charlie explains how he went from a public health scientist to a brewer.
Job Description of a Brewmaster
A brewmaster is responsible to test and create new beer recipes to produce a marketable beer for a brewery. This means, they are highly knowledgable in every aspect of the brewing process and systematically work to improve the beer’s taste during each step of the process. Since beer takes some time to ferment, it is also vital they follow strict sanitization processes so that bacteria does not infiltrate and grow into the final product.
A brewmaster would also mentor and supervise other brewers at a facility and provide the quality control necessary to ensure a good product is being delivered. This would also include ensuring quality ingredients are purchased and stocked. They are also business savvy. Since they know the work and ingredients that go into each beer produced at their brewery, they may also recommend price points for a beer to ensure a profit is made.
In addition to supervising staff and working with others at their facilities, they may also interact with vendors and even the public. For instance, they may educate beer sales representatives on their product, give brewery tours to the public, and work with suppliers. Most importantly though, a master brewer should have a true passion for brewing beer.
Free Teacher and Student Resources
Wageningen University and Research offers a free The Science of Beer course on EdX.org (link opens in a new tab) with the option to pay a small fee receive a verified certificate upon completion of the course.
By taking this course, you’ll learn:
- Identify the steps involved in the supply chain of beer.
- Explain the effect of each step in beer production.
- Design a production process for different beer styles.
- Describe the characteristics and cultivation of the main raw materials.
- Name the main historical events related to beer.
- Explain how marketers try to influence consumer behavior.
- Describe the pathway of beer through the human body.
- Look at the health effects related to beer consumption.