Careers and Ed: Brew business - Page 2

Making a profession out of a passion for beer

Calling this part of the country a great place to live, he says, "People love good food and drink here, and we enjoy being part of that local movement."

But what does Larson actually do? Does a master brewer job entail what we think it does? "I work with great people, and it is great fun, but it isn't just a frat party," Larson cautions. "It's not slugging beer all day long."

Actually, it's the variety in his job that makes it interesting for him. "I work on plants, foodstuffs, chemicals, and machines," he says. "There are different tasks to do each day, and because our original brewery is in Austria, I get to travel to Europe and speak German."

And though beer making is an ancient art, Larson says his work is more rooted in technology and the modern age than one might expect — though it also involves plenty of hard labor.

"It's really an industrial operation, and there are a lot of safety considerations," Larson says. "There are chemicals, gases, steam, and fast-moving machinery. It's hot, sweaty, dirty work, and a lot of times you're beat at the end of the day. It's quite physical work and not for everybody."

Larson says brewing's future seems bright. It's a rapidly growing profession, which means there will be more jobs like his in the years ahead. But since "it's a job that's pretty high up on the list," newcomers will need to get in on the ground level, where they can learn more aspects of the business. It also wouldn't hurt to have a strong background in chemistry, biology, and microbiology; to combine a food sciences degree with a fermentation sciences degree from a school such as UC Davis; and to learn to make beer at home.

As far as Larson is concerned, such work is worth the result: in his case, a great job doing something he loves.

"You meet a lot of great people in this business," he says. "And we love that we get to do something that we enjoy and that we can also share with others."*

Trumer Brauerei offers tours Mondays, 4 p.m. Private group tours can be arranged.

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