The Importance of Continuing Brew Team Education

As technology and techniques change, along with the American consumer palate, so is the need for a brewery to ​continue its brew team’s strive for education.

Continuing to educate a team allows Wormtown to be at the forefront of quality and innovation, explained Wormtown Head Brewer Scott Drake.

The Worcester, Massachusetts brewery encourages its team to attend Brewer’s Association meetings which provide technical lectures multiple times a year.

“We pay the yearly membership fee to the MBAA, which gives our brewers access to the brewing industries technical and scientific journals,” Drake added.

In order to consistently create its beer, Pelican Brewing invests in the intensive continuing education of its brewers at the American Brewers Guild, noted Pelican’s founding Brewmaster Darron Welch.

“We encourage our brewers to think critically about brewery processes and brewing techniques,” he said in a release. “The training and operating procedures in the brewery form the basis of practical experience, and mesh with the coursework and knowledge from the ABG course.

“Together, the practical experience and deeper knowledge of brewing science and engineering equips our staff to be very purposeful in creating beer. It’s a challenging course but it prepares brewers for a long-term career in this industry.”

And because it’s an online course, Welch added that brewers can continue their day-to-day work while completing the course after hours.

“It’s a win/win for all of us,” he said.

Proof Brewing holds periodic training sessions for employees ranging from beer styles to off flavor tastings.

“Annual safety training and new-hire training are important for compliance and cohesion within the team,” said Lead Brewer David Kant-Rauch. “Everyone from management on down should always emphasize continuing education. People forget things over time and there are always new methods and information coming out.

“I am always interested in making sure lower level employees have a basic understanding of why it is they are trained to do something in a particular way. While someone washing kegs doesn’t necessarily need a complex understanding of the chemistry behind oxidation reactions, they do need to understand oxidation off flavors and why it is so important for kegs to be purged with CO2. A brewery team should always be striving to put the best product out and this is helped by increasing knowledge on all levels.”

Drake added that Wormtown wants out of expanding and continuing the education for its brew team is efficiency without sacrificing quality.

“If we can do things quicker and improve quality it’s a win-win for employees and the brewery,” he said. “Continued education helps us learn new techniques and technology to accomplish this.”

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