In the UK the brewing and distilling sectors support thousands of jobs in production and engineering.
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. The same process to extract sugars from malted barley is used in distilling, but the sugar solution is fermented without the addition of hops and without boiling. After fermentation the beer is matured and then packaged in a range of containers including casks, kegs, bottles and cans.While draught cask beer is much favoured by traditional ale consumers 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.
In distilling, after fermentation the product is distilled and then stored and matured in oak barrels.
To brew and distil 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, distillers and
engineers are essential. The brewing and distilling production sectors provide a huge range of opportunities across a wide range of skills and competences.
Brewers and distillers have a number of routes to commence and develop a career. A solid background in Science, Technical and Engineering secondary education is required. There are now apprentice opportunities as well as openings for those wanting to join after A-levels and also for those intending to enter after taking a relevant degree.
The sectors require a mix of employees with skills covering botany, bio chemistry, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, IT and other disciplines. There are also many more general career opportunities in the brewing and distilling business, where technical experience can be of real value. These will be found in distribution, sales and marketing, and IT.
Brewing and distilling are 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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