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

Amy Todd

Read about the perspective of Amy Todd of Bia Diagnostics to help you on your search and interview process!

Learn more about Bia Diagnostics 

Open Brewery Job Positions 

What is your brewing story?

After attending the American Brewers Guild in 2009 I started working in the lab at Magic Hat. I took a brief beer hiatus and worked at Ben and Jerry’s for a few years but decided I missed working in the beer industry. In 2016 I founded Zymology Labs, a 3rd party beer testing lab which I sold to Bia Diagnostics in 2022 and who I now work for. I also spent some time working in the lab at Zero Gravity.

What is your role?

Laboratory scientist

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

Someone who likes to problem solve and pays close attention to details.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I like the variety; no day is exactly the same as the last. I love learning about new beers and new testing methods. There’s always something new to learn. My co-workers keep things fun too.

What is the hardest part of your job?

Convincing brewers to be proactive about quality, don’t wait until you have a problem to start a quality program! 

How have you seen your role grow?

Whenever there’s a slow day for beer testing in the lab, I wander around to the other departments at Bia (food allergen and cannabis testing) and see if anyone needs help. I added protein and carb testing options last year along with all the other beer tests I do. Over the years I’ve presented at conferences and on webinars. I also recorded a podcast called Check Your Beer with lab manager Julie Smith from Lawson’s.

What is a typical day like for you?

FedEx and UPS come between 10 and 11 and I open boxes to see what testing needs to be done for the day! Most tests I can get done either the same or next day. I might help process samples for another department or go out and visit with a brewery or collect samples. Once I’m done running samples I’ll send out results!

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

Once you get some experience at any level in a brewery that usually opens you up to more opportunities for other roles you might be more interested either in your own brewery or another one. At Magic Hat I started in fermentation and once a job opened in the lab I moved over there. If you can find a place where everyone moves around to different positions you can get a better sense of what you like doing – or you might like a little of everything! 

If your brewery doesn’t have a quality program and you want to get one started, come up with a solid plan of how you will get started, how much it’ll cost, how much time it’ll take, and why it’s important to you and present it to your manager. Don’t be afraid to start small. I don’t update my old Zymology labs website much anymore but there are still some resources on there for getting started in quality (

Do you have anything else you would like to add?

Vermont is a great place to live and work and I’m so happy to be a part of our brewing community.