Hiring a Brewer: 3 Steps To Connect You With The Right Candidate

Hiring a brewer in the current market can be a daunting task. However, there’s nothing stopping you from landing your ideal candidate for the position. To streamline the process and narrow the field to only the best choices for your brewery, follow these four steps.

1. Know what you’re looking for in a brewer

Before you even write your job posting it’s critical to have a clear picture of your ideal candidate. 

Some traits are a given. Brewers should be both creative and scientific, with an eye for detail and a passion for beer.

Those are easy things to say, but what do they look like in practice for your brewery?

What opportunities for creativity will the role offer, and what skills will be needed to turn the creative spark into something tangible? How much knowledge of the science of brewing do they need to know already and how much can you teach? Will they be leading tour groups at the brewery? What experience do they need to back up their passion?

Make a thorough list of the duties essential to the role, as well as any other thoughts you have about who you’re looking for.

(Don’t make the mistake of just thinking about these things. Write them down. This allows you to check in with your colleagues more easily and will clarify your ideas.)

For each point, determine the skills or experience required. From this, you’ll find it much easier to build a portrait of the brewer you need.

2. Use your job listing to attract the ideal candidate

Now that you know who you’re looking for it’s time to find them.

If your goal is to hire the best brewer available for your budget, keep in mind that you may have to convince them just as much as they have to convince you. The experience, temperament, and skills which make for an excellent brewer are in demand. Your job posting is your first chance to convince your ideal candidate that your brewery is the best place for them to be.

Here are a few tips for writing an effective job listing:

  • Look at job listings by other breweries for inspiration on structure and content, but tailor yours to the list you made in step one.
  • Being clear and honest about who you’re looking for is much more attractive than cluttering your post with buzzwords.
  • The right candidate will be interested in your brewery for a reason. Take time to explain what you’re doing and your goals for the future.
  • Including a pre screening question gives you a head start on the interview and allows you to weed out those who don’t follow directions. Good questions are open-ended and specific, like why they’re interested in working with your brewery in particular.
  • Take as many words as you need, but don’t worry about meeting a specific word count: the length of a job posting doesn’t matter.

Your job listing should be as unique as your brewery. Taking time to customize your posting to fit the role will save you stress in the long run.

3. Keep an open mind, but not too open

The hiring process is a balance between the ideal and the real. However, since you know exactly what you’re looking for, it will be much easier for you to know which qualities are more or less important for the role.

Some skills can be learned with training, while others will be required from day one. Prioritize the latter to know which candidates might be a worthwhile investment even if they don’t check every box on your list.

On the other hand, it’s important not to compromise just because you don’t hear from the right candidate immediately.

Alison Green of Ask A Manager makes the excellent point that those applying to a job posting later on can be more qualified than the early birds. Don’t fall into the trap of ignoring later candidates because in your mind you’ve already made the hire.

Ultimately, you should be excited about your choice for a brewer. Someone so integral to the running of your brewery should be an ideal fit or so well-suited to your operation that any training they need is more than worth it for what they’ll offer in return. If you’re on the fence about your choice, ask yourself why and pay attention to the answer.

By knowing who you need and how to find them, it will be much easier to know when you’ve found the right match for your brewery.

By Shay Sinclair