Head Brewer

Position

Head Brewer

Reports to Owners & Director of Brewery Operations

About KRBC:

Kern River Brewing Company was established in Kernville in 2005. Currently operating two adjacent brewpubs with 7 bbl and 20 bbl brewhouses. Kernville is located at the southern edge of Sequoia National forest and is known as a place of adventure, offering a wide variety of outdoor activities. On any given day, the outdoor enthusiast enjoys activities ranging from the excitement of whitewater rafting, kayaking, downhill skiing, horseback riding, windsurfing, water-skiing, mountain biking and climbing. If a more relaxing day is preferred, people can enjoy fishing, hiking, camping, sailing, antiquing, and bird watching or simply kicking back at the brewery and taking in the spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Job Description:

KRBC is looking for an inspiring, encouraging and instructional leader to oversee our hardworking team of brew, cellar and packaging staff. The Head Brewer will be responsible for our 7 bbl pub system as well as the 20 bbl production system and will work collaboratively with the Board of Directors and Brewery Manager. Of utmost importance in this role is the ability to continue to brew our award-winning beers by focusing on attention to detail, effective leadership, and efficiently steering the brewery in a changing market.

This position reports to KRBC’s Board of Directors: Eric Giddens (Brewmaster) and Rebecca Giddens.

Location: Kernville, California is a small mountain town located on the Kern River and gateway to the Southern Sierras (one of the best backyards an outdoor enthusiast could ask for).

Duties and Responsibilities:

Team Management

  • Provide direction, development, evaluation, coaching, and leadership to the brewery team.
  • Foster an environment of continuous improvement in the following areas: team member performance, beer consistency and quality, production processes, and departmental strategy and goals.
  • Organize and motivate the brewery staff with high quality, high productivity and high morale as the priorities.
  • Communicate clear objectives and troubleshoot problems during weekly production meetings. Facilitate and direct brew team meetings.
  • Establish and maintain a collaborative, partnering, team-oriented work environment both within brewing and with all other departments.
  • Ensure team members have the tools, knowledge, and equipment required to do their jobs.
  • Organize and perform Brewery Employee Evaluations a minimum of 2 times/year. Develop improvement plans to eliminate gaps in knowledge and maximize job satisfaction.
  • Determine skill sets and experience required for each brewery role to keep the department fully staffed and trained. Evaluate staffing requirements periodically to align roles to personnel.
  • Match staffing needs to variable production demand. Maximize cross-training and work assignments when possible to diversify the team.
  • Hold production team accountable to company management standards.
  • Understand, comply and implement all existing HR policies. Report all potential HR issues to the board.

Brewing Operations

  • Possess exceptional ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects within deadlines.
  • Develop, improve and follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) and efficient workflows. Ensure standard, consistent and sound brewing procedures and practices are used for all tasks through formalized SOP training, certification and equipment logs.
  • Ensure that core and new beers match flavor goals. Create and implement a corrective action plan in case of variation. Identify brewing process and beer quality issues and develop systematic cause and effect approach to solutions. Quickly respond to system issues that impact product quality and/or quantity.
  • Maintain brew sheets and monitor fermentation. Evaluate wort and beer quality on a daily basis. Implement changes to improve processes, recipes, flavor and consistency.
  • Manage yeast and other brewing ingredients in support of the brew plan.
  • Ensure that all equipment and systems are functioning properly to ensure the quality of the beer.
  • Work closely with the Maintenance Manager to ensure an adequate, documented inventory of parts to ensure optimized reliability/uptime and lowest cost. Proactively engage to ensure preventative maintenance is scheduled and completed.
  • Maintain organization and cleanliness of brewing facility, loading dock, storage and surrounding areas.
  • Reduce operating costs whenever possible without compromising quality, safety or efficiency. Conduct return on investment analyses when required in support of continuous improvement initiatives.
  • Ensure responsible use of brewing resources by reducing process loss throughout the brewing, fermenting and finishing operations.
  • Seek out opportunities for new products, ingredients, brewing techniques, technical developments and processes. Assist the Brewery Manager with inventory management and production schedule, annual ingredient requirements and best terms, supply and quality assurance to support production demands. Evaluate and monitor finished beer and raw materials involved in brewing (inventory management).

Technical Capabilities

  • Produce beer to Kern River Brewing Company standards. This includes brewing existing KRBC recipes and developing and brewing new recipes to meet market demands and trends.
  • Knowledgeable in the entire brewing process from milling, brewing, fermenting and packaging to serving.
  • Competently execute beer transfers and carbonation, yeast management (to include forecasting, cell counting and viability), dry-hopping and other cellar fermentation procedures.
  • Cleaning (CIP) all brewery vessels including brewhouse, fermenters, brite and serving tanks. Cleaning kegs, plate heat exchangers and brew hoses and fittings, and all the equipment necessary to maintain a sanitary brewing environment.
  • Ability to manage an effective Quality Assurance (QA) program.
  • Package on a 6-head Meheen bottling line and 12-head Palmer canning line. Troubleshoot equipment problems within the brewhouse (must possess a fundamental knowledge of plumbing and machinery mechanics/maintenance of brewery equipment)
  • Knowledge of and experience with the proper handling of chemicals required for sanitization and cleaning of equipment.
  • Manage brewery waste including spent grain, yeast, trub, and wastewater. Manage brewery wastewater MBBR system.

Safety Leadership

  • Ensure all brewing, cellar, and packaging operations are completed in a safe and efficient manner and meet OSHA standards. Proactively drive and partner with others to ensure a safe work environment and ‘safety first’ culture that embraces safe habits, understanding of workplace risks, regulatory compliance and continuous improvement of safety performance.
  • Understand and practice all internal company safety standards.
  • Identify potential hazards in the brewery and recommend solutions to prevent reoccurrence.
  • Conduct accident and incident investigations, determine probable causes and make recommendations for corrective action as needed.
  • Perform regular safety inspections and maintain accurate records of such audits.

Requirements

  • At least 5 years brewing experience in a production brewery, or equivalent combination of brewing and brewery specific education.
  • At least 2 years proven track record in management at a brewery or food production facility.
  • Detailed knowledge of the brewing process and industrial utility systems including glycol chiller and boiler operation, CO2 and compressed air, liquid pumps, grain handling and industrial control units.
  • Proven experience with process control and troubleshooting techniques.
  • Ability to recognize off-flavors in beer, determine causes and develop/implement corrective actions.
  • Safely operate forklift, pallet jacks, and other machinery – current forklift certification will be required.
  • Online Brewers Association Safety Course – certificates required within 30 days of hire.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Willingness and ability to uphold a strict level of confidentiality.
  • Ability to efficiently and effectively use Google Docs, Sheets, Drive, Calendar, Mail and Slides as well as Ekos within 30 days of hire.
  • Ability to learn new software, programs or systems that KRBC may implement.
  • Proficiency in collaboration and delegation of duties.
  • Friendly and professional demeanor.
  • Self-motivated, professional and capable of:
    • managing workload
    • prioritizing tasks/needs
    • handling matters expeditiously and proactively
    • follow-through on projects to successful completion.
  • Demonstrate leadership to maintain credibility, trust and support of coworkers.
  • Shared company ethics and values.
  • Monitor current technological advances and trends.
  • This position may require occasional travel to other breweries, events and taproom locations. Occasional travel is outside the local area and overnight stays may be required.
  • Pre-employment background check and drug screening.

KRBC Ambassador

  • Support beer dinners, beer events, festivals, promotional/charitable events and sales visits as required and requested.
  • Conduct brewery tours when necessary.
  • Represent the company in a positive manner both on and off premise, on and off duty. Be an everyday ambassador for KRBC.

Physical Demands

  • Able to stand, walk, bend, kneel, stoop, crouch, crawl and climb for long periods of time (8-10hrs/day)
  • Able to frequently lift or move 55 lbs.
  • Able to climb ladders safely.
  • Able to work in wet, tight or cramped spaces.
  • Able to work with hazardous chemicals.
  • Able to work in awkward positions for extended periods of time.
  • Able to wear required Personal Protective Equipment (respirators, ear plugs, boots, etc).
  • Vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.

Work Enviroment

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently exposed to:
    • high noise levels (wearing ear protection)
    • handling of hazardous materials, hot and cold fluids
    • pressurized vessels and transfer lines
    • fumes and airborne particles
    • moving mechanical parts
    • variable temperature levels, wet slippery floors, wet clothing
    • carbon dioxide, broken glass
    • a variety of extreme outside weather conditions

Position and Expected Hours of Work

  • This is a full-time position. A typical work week would be Monday-Friday 45-50 hours. Schedule may vary due to brewing and packaging needs. Occasional evenings, weekend work and long hours may be required as job duties demand.

Employee Pay/Benefits

  • Competitive Compensation
  • Health Insurance
  • Dental and Vision offered
  • Vacation
  • Food and brew allowance
  • Food and Merch discounts

How to Apply

If you are interested in the position Head Brewer of KRBC, please send a cover letter and resume to info@kernriverbrewing.com.

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