Say Hi to Nikola
We chat to our new brewery manager...
Breweries don’t manage themselves by magic, even at BrewDog, which is why we’ve spent the last few months searching high and low for the perfect candidate to bring some structure to the ‘parlour of chaos’.
Step up Nikola – our new brewery manager who, after rising from the ranks of passionate home brewer and a chance meeting with James and Martin, is now set to orchestrate the planning, production and packaging of countless gallons of BrewDog from the raw materials to finished product, every day.
Due to start with BrewDog this coming week, we caught up with Nikola on the eve of his new job to find out whether he knew what he was letting himself in for…
“Working at BrewDog is going to be a refreshing change to the approach to brewing I’m used to. I first got interested in craft beer production when I started dabbling in home brewing and eventually found myself working as a supervisor for a large multinational brewery where everything was fully automated and mass produced; a staggering 4 million hl per year to be exact.
“Since the BrewDog way of brewing is 100% manual, I expect it’s going to take a bit of time adjusting to the hands on aspect rather than pressing a big red button and letting a machine do the hard work. Ultimately though, I think BrewDog’s focus on the bigger picture combined with the passion of brewing every batch as if it were small makes for an excellent balance.”
Nikola’s move from a mainstream brewery to craft isn’t just a symptom of wanting to take the mechanical aspect out of making beer but also a burning passion for a healthier approach to beer that he’s held for some time:
“I’ve always seen beer as more than just a beverage for refreshment. Good beer offers up a whole magnitude of opportunities like food pairing where discovering the perfect combination of taste and contrast can be a huge challenge but one that is extremely rewarding and especially enjoyable. Only craft beer can produce such a beer to make people think differently about their food in a way they never had before.”
Luckily for Nikola this passion for craft beer shouldn’t make working at Scotland’s most innovative brewery much of a chore and aside from sampling test batches of future beers or indulging in a round of beer golf with Martin, what sort of tasks does Nikola foresee filling up the rest of his day?
“As a newcomer to the BrewDog brewery, I’m going to presume how my days are going to run but I think, in general, it’s going to be a heady mix of brewing, planning, tasting, meeting, some more brewing, deliveries, maybe a bit more tasting, driving the BrewDog-mobile and then some more brewing. All in all, a pretty cool number.”
So aside from plenty of brewing, tasting and chaos-causing, what are Nikola’s top three tips for managing a brewery…just for the record?
“Managing a brewery is a dream job for anyone who is genuinely passionate about beer or just enjoys the process of brewing. At the end of the day though, you can’t approach it as if you’re having a knees up with your mates which is why there’s got to be a bassline of basic operations protocol that underlines the madness.
“For me, the top three areas for ensuring a brewery runs smoothly are 1. Immaculate hygiene of all equipment and premises. 2. Consistent focus of everyone on board so you’re all working towards the same goal. And finally, 3. Perfect communication which is usually a precursor to consistent focus as you’ve got to communicate what you’re goals are, whether it’s brewing an awesome beer or taking over the world, in one way or another!”
Want to say hi to Nikola? Drop him an email at Nikola@brewdog.com