View Full Version : Student Brewer - All change here please

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15-12-2010, 21:16
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A little while back I wrote a piece asking how much has changed in 2 years - for me personally, for the pub, for the pub industry and indeed the drinks industry as a whole. I came to the conclusion that actually not a lot has changed.

Well now my personal life has. I'm currently working my 3 months notice at Kilvert's, which will see me finish at the end of February. Then in March, all being well, I start a 3 month brewing diploma with brewlab, up in Sunderland. I suppose I'll have to get a shirt made asking barstaff to take the sparkler off to save me getting a sore throat every time I go out. Then, once that course is finished find a flat in Nottingham and go work for a brewery.

I sent my CV and cover letter over to Castle Rock brewery - the reason I sent it to them is 2-fold, and actually has nothing to do with them winning CBOB this year.

1) They are brewery growing, and as a business grows the people in the business can grow with it. I'd hate to feel like I've got myself into a job where I can't grow and learn more.

2) I didn't think they'd be interested in me for brewing purposes. They have a good team working under the Head Brewer, and I wasn't sure that they'd need someone else on the brewing side. However, they do have a portfolio of 22 pubs which could offer an alternative way of working with the company. Having studied in Nottingham I loved the city, so that was a main attraction for me. The second bit was getting a job I love - in the pub and ale industry.

I've just got back from meeting the team up there and doing a tour of the brewery, seeing their new 40BBL kit in action. It was just an informal chat, get a feel of how they do things up there and what they are looking for, and for them to get a better idea of what I was looking for. I'm happy to say that I should be back up for the SIBA fest in February to talk in more detail with them.

I'm also sending out my CV to a few other companies, mainly near cities as that's quite a big pull for me. I don't know what I'll do if I don't get a job sorted by the end of Brewlab course - probably have another damn good chat with myself and get it together.

I've got to say I couldn't have done all this without the support of one person in particular, who made me realise what I've done and what I'm doing, whilst good, isn't all I've got. I can go further, develop in different ways through new experiences. I want to keep learning - there's so much going on in this industry and I don't believe it's dying. I believe it's finally updating and restructuring. I want to be part of that, to study the details and maybe look at them in a different light. That's why I'm giving up so much - a family business, a family, and friends. And this one person helped me when I most needed it, so thank you.

I love the countryside, and often laugh at the London-based national news. I recently asked on twitter why the fact it's snowing in winter has made the headlines 2 weeks after it started. The response came swiftly - because it's snowing in London. The idea that an underground strike is national news also made me laugh. London has buses, cabs, underground, overground and pavements for those that like to use their legs. That 1 day without 1 form of public transport is worthy news over here where we get a bus every 2 - 3 hours (someone else on twitter asked if this was because of the snow - nope. This is 'public transport' as we know it) and the service stops at 6pm is madness. I'll miss it though. Every day when leaving the house I look over the Beacons and think 'that's beautiful'.

I'll come back - I'll always have family over here and a group of friends that I could well imagine still being friends with in 40 years time. If this weather keeps up it'll also be an affordable snowboarding holiday as well. Sorry for the poor joke - I've decided to try and keep 'personal' bits out of the blog from now on, as the written word can often be misconstrued and I don't want someone to think I've missed them out or aimed something at them when nothing could be further from the truth.

I'll write shortly about some of my highlights from the past four years - I've had some wonderful experiences that I really don't think I would have got anywhere else - possibly similar, but the detail I can still remember them in speaks volumes. And my life ambition still remains the same - a country pub, home-made food, micro-brewery out the back, livestock in the garden and somebody else to do all the boring bits. Well, we can dream, can't we.

In the mean time, you'll have to excuse me from blogging duties. The festive season is upon us, and I've got a lot of strong beer to sell before the VAT increase.


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