Series: Cellar: “So, you want to work at a brewery?”

Preston Nomad

Read about the perspective of Preston, a Cellar Person at von Trapp to help you on your search and interview process!

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What is your brewery story?

Long story short…I studied science in college, home brewed for a little bit, and after beer-tending and doing tours at brewery in Asheville, I annoyed the brewers there enough to let me come back there and learn almost every aspect of beer production that they could teach me.

What is your role at the brewery?

My role at the brewery is a cellar person, my primary job is to take care of the beer once it leaves the brewhouse which includes, cleaning and sanitizing fermentation vessels, brite tanks, yeast propagation tanks, and any other equipment that touches product. Maintaining a clean cellar and work area is super important as well. Another big part of my job is running the centrifuge when we rack/transfer beer from fermentation to brite tanks to get ready for packaging. Other aspects of being a cellar person are doing all the dry-hops, taking D.O. readings during transfers, and removing yeast/hop material from beer in the fermenters.

What are the top things you would look for in hiring?

Some really important traits to have when working as a cellar person are hard work, willingness to learn, able to work well with other people and a passion to do the best job you can and make the best beer you can.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I really enjoy the end result, drinking a great beer that you have a part in making. Every role is important in the brewery, from brew day to packaging to pouring it into your glass (hopefully properly and in the proper glassware!)

What is the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part is being being really careful and consistent with your cleaning at every part of the process. Another difficult thing is being able to make adjusts very quickly and precisely.

What would you recommend to someone who is hoping to work for a brewery in your field?

If you’re someone who wants to work for a brewery in production, I would highly recommend reading a few books and listening to podcasts, such as the Master Brewers Association (MBAA) and the Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine podcast. I think if you enjoy beer and hang out at your local craft brewery and wonder what goes on in those stainless steel tanks then that’s a great curiosity to push you to learn as much as you can about beer and how to help make super drinkable, fun beverages.

Do you have anything else you would like to add?

Working in the beer industry is definitely a labor of love, it can be dirty, stressful and quite frankly a pain in the ass. That first beer after a long day, that you had a helping hand in, makes it all worth it.