Why did you choose to work in the brewing industry?
From a young age I was fascinated by natural history and biology, and I have since been told by my parents, it was obvious that I would follow them in studying science at university. During my time at Oxford Brookes University studying Cell and Molecular Biology my interest in the brewing industry grew. I had been greatly influenced during my later school years by my father, who is the Technical Director for the BBPA, and had a strong desire to follow him into the drinks industry, though from a more academic side. I was fortunate to study under Professor Katherine Smart and be mentored by her through my under graduate dissertation . Under Katherine's advice and guidance, I went on to complete an MSc in Brewing and Distilling at Heriot Watt University. Amongst my teachers were Professor Graham Stewart, Brian Eaton and Professor Geoff Palmer. Their standing within the industry was clear and I began to realise that this was a sector where I may also have the opportunity to work hard and achieve my goals.
After graduating from university, I decided that it was a better fit for me to join a large organisation to further develop my skills. I joined Scottish and Newcastle in January 2003 at their Technical Centre in Edinburgh as an analytical chemist. I went on to gain experience in microbiology and sensory analysis though roles within the Central Laboratory and Fountain Brewery. In January 2004 I moved into the role of Continuous Improvement Technician at the John Smiths Brewery in Tadcaster. With encouragement from my line manager, I developed the sensory function on site and became the Site Flavour Coordinator. In April 2007 I returned to Edinburgh to become more engaged in the quality function from a head office perspective.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
There are many positive aspects to my role within S&N UK, and very few negatives in working for a major brewing company. I interact with individuals from most departments within the Company on a daily basis. I have been involved with projects within marketing, finance and innovation & new product development. Everyday brings a new and different challenge. My work takes me all around the country, interacting with breweries of different sizes. I have also been fortunate enough to explore some of my own personal interests through my work. Beer and food matching and public speaking are two areas that I have found particularly interesting.
Kind Regards, Rachel Long