International Women's Day 2024

Jayne Hewitt, Quality Manager for Ossett Brewery in West Yorkshire and Secretary of the IBD's Great Northern Section, on her continuing journey with the IBD

I rather fell into brewing after studying applied Biology in Leicester, being the first job I was offered! A role as assistant QC Technician at Everards Brewery gave me a great start into what has turned out to be a life-long career in the industry. After a year or so, an opportunity arose at the Tetley’s brewery in Leeds, even further from home and moving away from friends I had made in Leicester, but the move turned out well and I have settled in God’s own country. My 17 years at the Tetley’s site saw many changes to my role and the company ownership. I studied for the AME (now Diploma) in the days when you had to take all 3 papers at once, and happily passed first time. A lab role later turned to Technical Brewer and gave me a much broader understanding of the whole brewing and packaging process. This business wide role also helped greatly in completing my Master Brewer qualification before I left what was by then Carlsberg.  

Afte a few years career break with my young family I looked to get back to work, and had opportunities to work briefly with Cask Marque, and then the Beer Academy as well as acting as a consultant for a start up craft brewery in West Yorkshire. I maintained my IBD membership throughout all this time and attended events when time allowed. It was at one of these I was approached to take over the role of secretary for the IBD Great Northern Section, a role I am still doing some 8 years later! This has been a great opportunity for me to meet so many people in the industry and visit some great breweries, distilleries, maltings and packaging facilities. By helping to organise technical and social events it allows other members and guests to share in the world of brewing. For the last 6 years I have also been part of the IBD Examiners team, and work on Diploma Brewing paper 1. This has really ensured I have kept my learning up to date! These roles with the IBD complement my other job working as Quality Manager for Ossett Brewery in West Yorkshire.  

The IBD has been a constant during my working life and has given me different opportunities at different stages of my career.  The role of women in brewing has changed and is reflected more widely in society, but long gone are the days when the only roles women had in a brewery was in the lab or the offices!