How to Become a Brewmaster: 4 Canadian Beer Schools for Education and Brewing
A career as a brewmaster sounds like a beer-lovers dream, but what actually are the qualifications in becoming a brewmaster and how does one get into the brewing industry?
By The Beer Community on Aug. 20, 2019
Have you always dreamed of working in the craft beer industry and even working your way up to become a brewmaster? The brewmaster is in charge of pretty much everything when it comes to the brewing process in a brewery. If this is something that sparks your interest, here’s how to do it.
“If you’re the kind of person who believes you should learn at least one thing per day, then brewing is for you.” — Jamey Adams, brewmaster at Arches Brewing
What is a Brewmaster?
The brewmaster at a brewery is often considered “top of the totem pole”. Brewmasters specialize in managing the brewing department and oversee daily tasks in the brewery.
Interested in working in a brewery?
Click here to learn more about jobs the beer industry and learn how much money you can make working in a brewery.
Tips on How to Become a Master Brewer:
Drink lots of beer.
This may seem like an easy task but drinking as much beer in as many different styles as you can find, is a really great way to expand your knowledge about beer. Take notes when trying new beers and look into its ingredients to figure out what makes the brew taste like it does. Another great way to get your beer-drinking quota in? Attend tasting events or throw your own beer tasting party!
Look for internships or volunteer opportunities at local breweries.
A great way to get your foot into the brewing industry is to apply for internships or volunteer at your local brewery. This is a perfect way to learn more about the brewing process and to meet people already involved in the beer industry.
Start brewing your own beer at home.
Homebrewing is a great way to learn more about beer and the brewing process. Bringing your home-brewed beer to a professional brewer to critique can prove your interest in the craft, build relationships with other brewers, and most importantly, get your name out there. If you’ve brewed a beer you think is amazing, enter into a local brewing contest!
Get a brewing education.
Many brewers today have some sort of education related to the brewing industry. There are many brewing programs that will look great on a resume when applying to a brewery. An education in chemistry, microbiology, and engineering can also help you trying to get into the brewing industry.
Do you need a degree to be a brewmaster?
While you don’t always need a degree to become a brewmaster, it’s usually the case. Most brewmasters start out in smaller positions at a brewery to gain experience, take courses and go to school, and then work their way up to become a brewmaster. Brewmasters are often certified cicerones aswell. Becoming a certified cicerone proves you know what you’re talking about when it comes to beer.
A certificate or degree from a valid school is often needed when applying for jobs in the beer industry. Going to school to learn more about beer and the brewing process will give you the hands-on experience that most breweries are looking for when hiring.
Beer School: Brewing Education Programs in Canada
You may have thought you learned all you need to know about beer by checking out the JustBeer University, but there are actually college programs dedicated to the brewing process and lots of other beer industry-related education programs.
Olds College – Brewmaster & Brewery Operations Management (Alberta)
The demand for locally produced brews in Alberta has led to establishing the Olds College Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program, and the Olds College Brewery and Brewery Retail Store. The Brewmaster program is a great opportunity to gain new knowledge of and connect with the craft beer industry. Olds College’s program targets a diverse range of enthusiasts and professionals who see this as a valuable career opportunity in a vibrant and continually growing industry.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University – Brewing & Brewery Operations (British Columbia)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) Brewing and Brewery Operations program is the only brewing diploma of its kind in BCand the first brewing program in Canada to be recognized by the Master Brewers Association for offering a high standard of brewing education. The students will study the science side of beer production and the business side of brewing and selling craft beer.
Niagara College Canada – Brewmaster & Brewery Operations Management (Ontario)
Are you looking to tap into brewery operations management and want to become a certified brewmaster? As a graduate of Canada’s first Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program, students are ready to be at the forefront of the ever-expanding brewery, microbrewery and brewpub industries.
Malt Academy (Manitoba)
The Malt Academy is a unique training institute located in Winnipeg, Canada that offers a variety of programming related to the malting barley and malt industries. The institute’s flagship 1-week intensive course in malt processing offers students theoretical and practical, hands-on experience. The Academy also offers a 3-day program focused on the Canadian malting barley value chain including breeding and varietal development, production, handling, malt processing and brewing. There are also short courses available on brewing, beer styles and beer tasting.
Beer Industry School and Programs in the United States:
America offers some of the best brewing schools and courses. Check out the Brewers Association website for a comprehensive list of education programs related to beer.
“The craft brewing industry is, more than anything, a lifestyle. It is not just a job, and it is not a typical career path. It is physically demanding work with long hours and typically lower compensation. But, if you’re up for the challenge, the tradeoff for seeing past these barriers is that you are doing it because you love it and ultimately it makes you happy to be doing something you are passionate about. It is not for everyone, but if and when you find out it is your calling, you will know that it is undoubtedly worth it.” — Dustin Hazer, owner and brewmaster at Helio Basin Brewing Company
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