September 1, 2016
Decision time is here. After months of head scratching and binge watching Netflix, it’s time to decide on a career to start your adult life. Looking around, you spot a couple of courses online that pique your interest. Then you find it… Brewer. “Could this be real life?” you wonder. Brewing beer for a living sounds like quite possibly the coolest job in the world. A dream come true. But before you dive headfirst into that beautiful golden pool of beer, let me show you what you’re in for.
First things first: If you’re interested in becoming a brewer you must have a passion for beer. Tough requirement, huh? One way to dip your toes into the lager before going all the way in is to become a home brewer. This is a good way to find out if you like brewing enough to pursue it. Home brewing will also give you experience working with and evaluating beer.
Understanding where ingredients come from, how they affect your brew, and what you enjoy about beer is all extremely important. Creating your own homebrew will give you hands-on experience and a deeper understanding of the process before embarking on formal schooling.
So you start making your own beer, find your way around the equipment, and are ready to become Canada’s Next Brewer. Now what? Now it’s time to hit the books. Although the importance of gaining experience and getting your hands dirty can never be overstated, you will need more than just home brewing experience in order to work as a brewer at an actual brewery. If you’re ready for the next step and want to stay in the Great White North, it’s time to pack your bags and head to Niagara College.
Niagara College offers one of the only brewing programs in Canada with the recent addition of their Brewer & Brewery Operations Management Program. If you’re looking for a more international experience in your beer studies, there are plenty of opportunities across the border and the pond.
After years of studying, working hard, and keeping your eye on the prize, you will graduate and finally feel ready to lead the world into a new era of brewing. All you’ll need is a job. The rapidly growing beer industry is very competitive. Since 2010, the number of licensed Canadian breweries has more than doubled from 310 to 644. This means that more and more opportunities are opening up every day to get involved in the beer world.
Map of breweries via Ontario Beverage Network
Getting hired as a brewer will not happen over night. Time and time again, you will hear that the only way to become a master of the craft is through perseverance and practice. Brewing is an art, not so different from painting or molding clay. Brewing is about knowing your tools and understanding exactly how they work. Ultimately, this art must become second nature. Being a brewer is much more than having a cool job; being a brewer is a way of life.
For more information visit the following websites:
By: Josh McKnight
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