I brewed beer professionaly for about 7 years. Four at Crane River and 3.5 at Misty’s steakhouse and Brewery.
I was an active homebrewer when I first started working for Crane River. I made friends with the brewer and eventually got to assist a bit in the brewery. It was awesome. Brewing a batch of beer on a scale of 9 barrels (279 gallons) on proequipment is pretty easy. It does involve some manual labor, it is a dusty, sticky, smelly, and hot environment, but there is lots of just sit back and let it do its thing time. I was going to college and often would get my study on while brewing. Towards the end I would bring in my laptop and play games or watch movies.
Grinding 300 – 400 pounds of grain started it off. It was amazingly dusty. I wore a respirator and swimming goggles. Brewers lung is not fun. Mix the grain with temp controlled water and let it sit for 2 hours. Then rinse the sugar off the grain and boil the wort. Another 90 minutes of kicking it. Cool and move the wort to the fermenter, which took about an hour as well. A brew day took 9 hours.
The pride I felt inside my glass cage sweating like crazy peering out and seeing folks enjoying a product I made was awesome. Spraying the glass with wter when kids came up to the glass. Inviting interested folk who looked into the brewery for a look around. All of it was fun. Cleaning beer tanks out is not fun. being a brewer is mostly just cleaning with a scrubby. The manway was a 20 x 16 inch hole I had to climb through with a spelunker lightm gloves, boots, and buckets of cleaner. The tanks were not tall enough to stand up in so I squatted and scrubbed. Rinsing it out while inside it was a bit tricky.
I was able to make my own hours which ruled. Sometimes brewing late into the evening and watching the sun come up. I was going to classes and working other jobs as well, so I had to squeeze in brewing time whenever I could. Prob only about 20 hours a week on average. And free beer was a major benefit.
I loved home brewing and then I turned it into a job. It kinda wore on me after a while. The love and passion for brewing slipped away. I spent over a year trying to get out of it. Lucky for me George took over for me and he kicks butt. I still love good beer, I love trying new beers, I love beer, just not making thousands of gallons of it.