In the UK, 25 million pints daily of ales, lagers, stouts and other drinks are produced across the country and consumed in public houses, clubs, hotels and private homes.
The brewing process is a bio-chemical one, in which malted barley and other cereals are mixed with water, the extract boiled with hops, cooled and fermented with yeast. During the fermentation process sugars form alcohol and carbon dioxide. Finings may be added to sediment the yeast solids and to leave the beer in a clear, sparkling condition as happens with draught beer. The beer can also be centrifued to remove the yeast. it is transferred to traditional casks where the fermentation continues, or it is processed in the Brewery for bottling, canning or putting into metal kegs.
While draught beer is much favoured by real ale drinkers it has a relatively short life and needs close attention in the pub cellar. In contrast beer packaged into bottles, cans and kegs is very stable and can be stored for some time with no ill effects.
To brew on the scale required and to maintain the consistent high quality demanded in the thousands of pubs, bars, clubs and retail outlets, the talents of skilled brewers and engineers are essential. Britain has some of the world's most discerning drinkers and to them the pint must be exactly right.
It is worth remembering that pubs, restaurants and hotel complexes are at the forefront of the leisure industry, providing entertainment for millions of Britons, as well as earning large sums from overseas visitors.
Graduates joining the industry will be placed in the challenging position of brewing beer for this market. If successful, they will be able to derive satisfaction from managing people and controlling a complex technological process.
There are also many more general career opportunities in the brewing business, where technicial experience can be of real value. These will be found in distribution, sales and marketing and IT.
Brewing is practised around the world and it is worth remembering that similar career opportunities can frequently be found for those prepared to work overseas. Similarly the distilling industry offers careers in a parallel discipline.
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