Want to work for us? Here’s what you can expect…


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In our recent post announcing this year’s BrewDog Graduate Scheme we also drew your attention to a very special role that we currently have vacancies for – that of Senior Brewer. These guys not only know beer inside out, it is their unquenchable passion. If you have the required experience and are of similar mind – if you too live, sleep and breathe craft beer – we would welcome your application to join our brewhouse team and help create the beers we put our heart and soul into each and every single day.

Saying that, we thought it might be an idea to let you know what the role entails – not by posting a dull job spec on the blog – but by having two of our current Senior Brewers, Ciaran and Russell, describe it instead! So, to start with, here’s their take on exactly what being a Senior Brewer at BrewDog actually means, and how they ended up as part of our amazing brewteam at our Ellon HQ.

Ciaran came to BrewDog following several years spent offshore as an engineer on the North Sea rigs – which has to be among the toughest of workplaces (and not just because no beer is allowed there). It gave him all-important skills though, in problem-solving, welding and just dealing with large amounts of machinery that never sleeps. But eventually, wanting a change, he visited the Edinburgh institution renowned for launching the careers of many a brewer…

“Knowing nothing about beer except that I liked it, I took a chance and visited Heriot-Watt University. I was hooked immediately and enrolled that that day on the MSc. Brewing and Distilling program. Because of my engineering background I underwent some intensive modules in physical chemistry and microbiology, which were a fascinating insight into a world I had no knowledge of before. Engineering can only be very Yes/No or True/False. I loved the variability and uncertainty involved in microbiology and yeast cytology. I graduated in Aug 2011 and never looked back!”

Brewing is all about that point Ciaran makes – controlling uncertainty. Allowing your creative flare and ingenuity to come to the fore through experience, whilst ensuring everything runs like clockwork. Militant organisational skills, the efficiency of a Volkswagen factory, more predictive planning powers than Mystic Meg and the mightiest desire to brew incredible beer, time after time. What would Ciaran say are the requirements to thrive in this role at BrewDog?

“Senior Brewers need to be total brewing geeks, effective managers and have excellent problem solving ability. As a shift team lead, my main focus is team development, individual training and planning; I have to be a pro in all areas of the brew house and be able to solve any problem. The learning curve has been steep but access to info is freely available and development is encouraged. This is also made easy by having a great team of experts to call on to solve issues!”

Russell started working at BrewDog after making it through a week-long brewing trial at the Dystopian Puppet Hobby Centre, also known as our original Fraserburgh brewhouse. Four years later, he has worked his way up to Senior Brewer – showing another of the traits that we are after for this role – dedication. But then we moved to our new facility in Ellon, and Russell had to rely on another of those traits; Adaptability.

“This was like learning everything from scratch. Brand new shiny brew house, separation technology, automated CIP operations – and above all lots and lots of stainless steel pipework to navigate and hoses to throw about! Add to this the new lab techniques incorporating yeast analysis, wort analysis, hygienic standards etc. – the job became much more analytical than physical (bar the malt sacks, hoses and casks). There’s also a lot of involvement with training junior team members and helping them develop their skills”

That mention of training is also important, as our Senior Brewers are there to pass on what they know, and what they have learned, to other members of the brewteam (and people who write blog posts…*waves from behind CMS*). But the simple matter is that no two days are the same. We asked Russell to bullet-point his main responsibilities – and this is what he came up with, in terms of what would constitute a ‘typical’ day for a BrewDog Senior Brewer…

  • Briefing the full team of Assistant Brewers, Junior Brewers on brewing tasks for the day;
  • Obsessive recording and analysis of all brewing and cellaring op;
  • Co-ordination between brewhouse, cellar, filtration and packaging to ensure everything runs like clockwork;
  • Being the “go-to” guy on the floor for troubleshooting and firefighting (not literally…hopefully);
  • Connecting the dots between the ground crew and senior teams;
  • Organising a smorgasbord of global hop contracts and ensuring we’ve got at least a metric fuck ton of each in stock every day of the week;
  • Sharing is caring; teaching junior team members and learning from peers is part and parcel of everyone’s progression;
  • Lab work, analysing samples and actioning decisions based on findings;
  • Taste analysis of beer in process (the tough bit…);
  • Managing a maze of barrelled beers and nurturing them to maturity.

The second-last of those bullet points is something that is not often considered – but it is absolutely vital. QA is a hugely important part of the brewing process, and our brewers are the guardians of how the final beer turns out. Being able to objectively sample a beer and determine if it’s worthy of BrewDog is a popular job, but also one that everyone involved takes very seriously! Our taste panels are now an integral part of our business. Brewing is no longer merely a physical endeavour, it requires analytical thought and observation, too.

The other key element that working for BrewDog requires might seem self-evident, but you have to really, really, really REALLY love beer. If the thought of putting together a brand new recipe makes you get out of bed (at whatever hour is required) that little bit quicker, then we wanna hear from you. Whether you have a passion for Trappist Ales, if German rauchbiers rock your world, or if you’re hooked on West Coast hop bombs, you’ll fit right in. BrewDog, over and above everything else, is a company of people who truly love beer.

Ciaran and Russell fit that bill, and took to working at BrewDog really quickly – both have become integral to our operations here. If you’d like the chance to follow in their footsteps, the vacancy information for the Senior Brewer/Brewing Shift Manager position can be found here. If you have the experience, desire and passion for great craft beer, we would love for you to join us. We’ll leave it to Russell to have the final word as to why…

“Above all, the best part of working here is the influence that everybody, regardless of job title, has on the process. Responsibility is given willingly and the opportunity to progress and promote yourself is boundless. Anybody who likes to be in control of their personal progression and development and who likes to put their own stamp on their job will find BrewDog the perfect environment to do that – and, it must be said, in the most diverse work force I have known.”

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Comments (6)

BrewDog Rich 16.06.2015 @ 3:30pm
Gary - We have a current vacancy for a Utility Maintenance Technician, if that's your ballpark? >
Gary 16.06.2015 @ 3:20pm
If you ever need a maintenance engineer, let me know.
I do have a beard!
Jeff 16.06.2015 @ 1:43pm
Definitely applying for that, I've worked in engineering for ten years and really really really REALLY love beer
BrewDog Rich 16.06.2015 @ 12:41pm
Ricky - beard optional. Well, politely encouraged, maybe ;)
Max_9 16.06.2015 @ 12:40pm
What I would give to join in on just one brew of Punk, let alone work there. Need to raise my homebrew game!
Ricky 16.06.2015 @ 12:39pm
...and you need a beard? ;)