Course studied: BSc (Hons) Environmental Science
Graduating year: 2012
Job: Second Brewer at Flack Manor Brewary
Jack graduated from Bath Spa with a degree in Environmental Science. He is currently working as a brewer at Flack Manor Brewary.
"Don’t underestimate the soft skills you will gain at university; when you’re looking for your first job in your chosen career it will likely be entry level, and those are often the most important skills for these positions."
What have you done since graduating from Bath Spa?
My first job after leaving uni was in marketing and advertising of all things! After completing an internship I was offered a job as an account executive for a London brand engagement agency, working on the Warner Bros account. I also worked with other big brands such as Disney, Sony, Microsoft, Apple, Russian Standard, and Lindt.
Although this was a great experience, and it really helped to boost my communication and project management skills, I wanted to move into a more scientific job. I found out a local brewery needed an assistant brewer, so I contacted them, and apart from a six month trip around the USA with my girlfriend, this is where I have been since.
What is your current job?
In my current role as second brewer at Flack Manor brewery in Romsey (Hampshire – www.flackmanor.co.uk) I am responsible for undertaking almost all the brewing, sample analysis and the cleaning/maintenance of the brewing equipment. Additionally, along with the head brewer I implement and conduct quality control, and assurance procedures. I am encouraged to develop my professional skills, which has led me to apply for an MSc in brewing and distilling at Heriot-Watt, which I hope to start in January.
Typical day in the current job...
Arrive at the brewery around 0645 to mash-in. From there I oversee the rest of the brewing process until the day’s brew, all 3,272 litres of it, has been collected into a holding vessel where it will start to ferment, at around 5 pm. Whilst the brew is ongoing I am taking and analysing samples, colour, pH, attenuation tests, yeast counts and yeast viability, and cleaning equipment ready for use. At the end of the day I usually engage in a bit of QA (i.e. have a beer).
Most favourite part of your current job?
Creating new beers, the week-long anticipation of what the beer will turn out like and trying one for the first time.
… least favourite part?
Cask-racking. This is the dispensing of beer from the fermentation vessel into casks ready for secondary fermentation and sale.
How did your course at Bath Spa help to prepare you for employment?
Firstly, I wouldn’t have got the job without my degree. Other than that, it gave me valuable lab experience which came in especially handy when I was tasked with setting up the lab at the brewery. I also gained a great basis in the foundations of biology, which is critical for understanding fermentations, enzyme reactions in the mashing and malting processes, and many other elements of the brewing process.
Best experience/memory of your time at Bath Spa?
I convinced my friend Tim that we had to ride the same numbered chair lift all day on the board sports ski trip (because our passes had microchips that wouldn’t let us on other ones, of course).
Top tip(s)/advice for current Bath Spa Biologists/Environmental Scientists?
Be pro-active, eMail potential employers prospectively, you are much more likely to stand out if you don’t have to be picked out of a pool of applicants, and it shows that you are keen and resourceful. Network! Simply put; the more people you know the more likely you are to hear of upcoming jobs, and get recommended. Don’t underestimate the soft skills you will gain at university; when you’re looking for your first job in your chosen career it will likely be entry level, and those are often the most important skills for these positions.