Brewer Kaitoroī

Brewers use brewing equipment and processes to convert malted barley or other grains into beer, and control or manage the production and packaging of beer.

Brewers may do some or all of the following:

  • select and check the type of malted barley or grain needed to make a brand of beer
  • add hops, yeast, hot or cold water and other ingredients at the correct times
  • operate computerised machinery that controls the brewing process
  • monitor the temperature, acidity, fermentation and colour of beer throughout the brewing process
  • sterilise and maintain brewing equipment
  • package beer and deliver it locally
  • monitor the costs of production, do stock counts, and order ingredients
  • manage a team of brewery workers.

Physical Requirements

Brewers need to have good hand-eye co-ordination and be reasonably fit and strong, as they may need to lift kegs or other heavy objects.

Brewers must also be comfortable working in confined spaces.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for brewers includes:

  • working in a factory, laboratory, brewery or winery
  • dairy technology, food processing or production work
  • working with machinery.

Personal Qualities

Brewers need to be:

  • able to take the initiative
  • practical and efficient
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • patient and reliable
  • able to work well in a team
  • skilled in communicating with others
  • good at solving problems.

Skills

Brewery workers need to have knowledge of:

  • chemistry, microbiology and biology, to understand the technical and scientific processes that produce beer
  • the raw materials used in brewing (such as yeast and types of malted barley)
  • hygiene and sterilisation methods and food safety regulations
  • brewery machinery and technology
  • quality control methods.

Conditions

Brewers:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may do shift work and weekend work
  • work in laboratories, brew houses, brewpubs or small craft breweries
  • work in conditions that can be hot, cold, noisy or wet
  • may be required to work in enclosed spaces.

Subject Recommendations

A minimum of three years of secondary education is recommended. Useful subjects include maths, biology, chemistry and processing technologies.

Related Courses

Brewers can earn around $44K-$60K per year.

Pay for brewers varies depending on experience and location.

  • New brewers usually earn the minimum wage.
  • Brewers with five years' experience can earn between $44,000 and $60,000.
  • Brewery managers can earn from $60,000 to $120,000.

Source: careers.govt.nz research, 2019.

Brewers may progress to set up their own breweries or become managers of breweries.

Brewers in large brewery companies may specialise in one area of the brewing industry such as production or laboratory work.

Years Of Training

Entry requirements for brewers

There are no specific requirements to become a brewer. However, employers often prefer you to have a qualification such as a: 

  • New Zealand Certificate in Brewing (Levels 4 and 5)
  • New Zealand Diploma in Brewing
  • Bachelor of Science in biochemistry, microbiology or chemical or process engineering.

Brewers at independent breweries are less likely to need a qualification than at large breweries.

To gain further qualifications, such as Master Brewer (MBrew), you must be a member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling to sit the required examinations, and have relevant experience.

Training opportunities for brewery assistants

While working, brewery assistants may gain:

  • New Zealand certificates in food and beverage manufacturing, or in mechanical engineering through Competenz
  • certificates or diplomas in brewing or beer packaging through the Institute of Brewing and Distilling 
Brewer