5 reasons to volunteer at a local brewery
Have you ever been to a brewery?
What I have seen is people complaining about the price of craft beer. So before you judge, maybe you should find out what it actually takes to put that bottle out there for you to buy?
I’m not going into detail about the excise warehouse or the legislations and paperwork you must have on point. Not even the ideas or designs or coming up with recipes. I’m talking about the everyday grind that goes into physically making that all adored liquid we call beer. The word craft actually has a meaning to it.
Why is it that anyone who loves (craft) beer should work at a small brewery at least for a day?
1) You’ll find out how it’s made
I don’t mean the textbook or brewery tour style how it’s made. I mean how it’s really made. How much knowledge and physical work it takes to take the first steps towards offering the beer you love.
2) Easy - water, malt, hops & yeast - gets a whole new meaning
Your average beer drinker says it’s easy. Beer is made with water, malt, hops and yeast. What’s the biggie? Once you witness first hand how many different malts there are. (What’s stocked at a small brewery is merely a fraction of varieties to choose from). The different tastes and the multiple roles they play in producing your favorite drink, you’ll start seeing it in a whole new way. And we haven’t even gotten to the hops yet.
3) Exercise much?
Believe me when I say you can skip on paying for that gym membership while working at a brewery. You’ll get plenty of exercise. Malt comes in 25 kg bags. It has to get to the grain mill somehow. A full box of 24 weighs around 13,5 kg. Average bottling and packaging goes through a 1000 liters so you get to squat, lift, twist and turn with that box for at least 140 times. That’s just some of the examples.
4) Hand made
There’s always people involved. Malt gets milled, boil is controlled, spent grain taken out, hops and yeast added, hourly measurements, bottles prepared, etc. When you see how each and every action needs at least 1 person to be there and actually do it, you’ll start seeing the product differently. Once you’ve helped with prepping the bottles or bottling the beers, the next time you see that bottle on a shelf in a store or bar you’ll feel a little proud. You’ll feel part of something. You did this. You played a role in getting that bottle on that exact shelf.
5) You’ll appreciate it more than ever
Once you work at a brewery for a day you’ll see the whole industry differently. You’ll understand how much effort it takes to produce that bottle. And once you see all the hard work and time that needs to be spent in order for you to enjoy that 2 € bottle of awesomeness you’ll quit complaining about the price. Cause when you buy from your local small brewer you’re helping a small business build their dream. You’re helping a few people do what they love, helping to put food on the table. Mostly their not swimming in profits or overpricing the beers. Their probably selling it as cheap as possible to cover the costs of making it as well as the salaries and saving just enough to come up with new and exciting beers to surprise your tastebuds with.
So find your favorite local brewer. Offer to go and help out for a day. You won’t get payed, not in cash anyway, but you’ll get a glimpse of the complete world of beer making that’s hidden behind the surface.