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Want to Work at a Brewery? Here’s How

Once upon a time, people landed jobs in the brewing industry simply by asking. Many breweries were looking to hire pretty much anyone who was eager, energetic and willing to wash kegs, clean stuff, and learn the rest. That’s changed. It’s not so easy to land a job at a brewery these days, but the Craft Brewing Academy at Skagit Valley College, a new program that begins this spring, wants to help you start a career in the craft beer industry.

Increasingly, breweries are looking to hire people with education and/or experience specific to the brewing industry. Breweries are looking, but it’s not easy to find qualified individuals. Today I am happy to welcome the Skagit Valley College Craft Brewing Academy as a new blog sponsor. This six-month program was designed by brewery professionals to prepare students for jobs in the brewing industry. The program starts this spring. Check out the website for details: www.skagit.edu/craftbrew.

The goal of the Craft Brewing Academy’s six-month program is to help feed qualified employees to Washington’s ever-expanding craft beer industry. This is the first brewing program offered among the state’s community and technical colleges.

Some local brewers have been involved in putting this program together to insure that graduates have the skills and knowledge the industry needs. Instructors include Bob Rock of Skagit Valley Malting and Brewing, Alan Rhoades of Anacortes Brewing, Tony Savoy of Flyers Brewery, and Bryan Krueger of Boundary Bay Brewery. They helped Skagit Valley College officials choose brewing equipment and also helped design the curriculum.

The Craft Beer and Spirits Trade Academy is unique in Washington State. The program provides an overview of the craft brewery/distillery business – from farm to glass. The certificate program is structured to help students learn brew science theory through hands-on experience in the brew laboratory and at local breweries/distilleries. The program includes industry professionals in the classroom, industry tours and several internship experiences at local breweries/distilleries.

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Certificate options include

  • Craft Brew and Spirits Trade
  • Craft Brewing/Distilling Fundamentals Micro-Certificate
  • Craft Brewery/Distillery Operations Micro-Certificate

Graduates of the Craft Beer program will be able to:

  • Show competency in understanding the history of alcohol fer­mentation and the brewing of beer and distilled spirits, and how this history relates to the legacy and future of brewing/distilling.
    Demonstrate the ability to utilize brew/distilling house facilities and brewing/distilling equipment.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the microbiology and biochemistry concepts of fermentation pertaining to the brewing of beer and distilled spirits.
  • Analyze and demonstrate the steps in the brewing process – grain handling, malting, yeast and fermentation processes, raw materials and wort production, beer production, quality control, packaging processes, flavor production, and control.
  • Demonstrate foundational knowledge of general physics, fluid dynamics and engineering concepts pertaining to the equipment used in the brewing of beer and distilled spirits.
  • Identify classic and craft-brew beer styles and describe produc­tion of each.
  • Analyze and evaluate business concepts of the brewing industry and the day-to-day activities involved with the operation of a sol­vent brewing/distilling facility.
  • Demonstrate the ability to design and brew a beer that meets gen­erally acceptable standards.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of sustainability practices for raw materi­als, water, energy, processing and brewery waste.