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Brewer / Brewery Technologist
Brewers, or brewery technologists, use science and brewing equipment to convert malted barley or other grains into beer.

Brewers select and check the type of malted barley or grain needed to make a brand of beer. They add hops, yeast, hot or cold water and other ingredients at the correct times and monitor the temperature and pH values (acidity or alkalinity of a solution) throughout the brewing process

Brewers check the rate of fermentation (yeast breaking down sugar into alcohol) and check and adjust the temperature of the beer at various stages of production. They take test samples of beer as it matures in conditioning tanks and check the quality of the beer before and after filtration and once it is packaged.

They also have administrative tasks, such as monitoring the costs of production; managing a team of brewery workers; liaising with suppliers, customers and other brewers; and ensuring the delivery of beer.

In large brewery companies brewers may also specialize in one area of the brewing industry such as packaging and production, laboratory work or sales and marketing.

Brewers must have good technical and scientific skills, and they must be able to analyse samples. They should have good organizational and communication skills, and they should be skilled in making calculations. Basic mechanical skills are also useful, particularly for brewers working in small breweries.

Brewers need to know about: beer production methods; hygiene and sterilization methods; brewery machinery and technology; chemistry, microbiology, biology and maths; the raw materials used in brewing (such as yeast and types of malted barley); and methods of quality control. They also need to know about relevant legislation and regulations, and in large plants some knowledge of industrial law is useful.

Brewers work in laboratories or brew houses, in 'brew-pubs' and small craft breweries. They may also travel overseas for training, and to visit other plants if they work for large organizations.

Satisfying Aspects
- obtaining the required taste from your brew
- producing a particularly popular brand
- the possibility of brewing a brand that brings you fame and recognition

Demanding aspects
- getting the right texture, aroma and taste for your brew is tedious and can be frustrating
- working long hours on occasion
- having to wait until the brew is finally matured

- practical, efficient and observant
- aptitude for science
- strong and fit in order to lift kegs or other heavy objects
- self motivated, dedicated and persistent
- patient and meticulous and able to handle disappointments
- managerial skills
- good hand-eye coordination
- comfortable working in confined spaces

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Life Sciences

Brewers and maltsters are essentially practical chemists, biochemists or microbiologists who have obtained a suitable degree or diploma.

Most breweries place strong emphasis on in-service training after the candidate has obtained the required degree or diploma. During this period, the learner brewer undergoes basic training as well as training on the finer points of brewing. Training is also given regarding the fermentation process, engineering services, management skills, how to taste beer professionally as well as what happens to beer once it is canned, bottled or kegged.

Degree: BSc in Food Science - eg US, Biochemistry or Microbiology - all universities,

Diploma: N.Dip in Food Technology, Food Science - DUT, CPUT, TUT, UJ, Applied Science - CPUT.

National Certificate in Science (majoring in food science)

Brewers aged between 18 and 21 years old can gain this training through a modern learnership. Brewers may also travel overseas to complete specialized courses.

- breweries, large and small
- self-employment, with the necessary experience and capital, can set up own brewery

South African Breweries
P O Box 782178
Sandton, 2146
65 Park Lane
Tel: (011) 881-8111

Institute of Brewing and Distilling - Africa Section
P O Box 27
Caledon, 7270
Tel: 082 921-7971