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Posted: 10 June 2011
This week the brewery has seemed to be quiet with very few people around. One of the reasons for this is the start of the exam season. We have a number of brewers, team leaders, and laboratory staff who are extending their education by studying for formal brewing qualifications. These exams range from the equivalent of an NVQ right up to a masters degree. This is all in addition to the experience and training they receive actually doing their daily jobs.
For the candidates this means all the studying to put their practical experience into a form that can be written down whilst hopefully picking up lots of new ideas and knowledge to implement in the future and to challenge the way we do things now.
For the rest of us this has been a period where things we take for granted have been questioned and the grey matter has been exercised.
The continuing interest in brewing developments by the staff is essential as we take on new technologies and advances, be these energy saving equipment like the PDX wort boilers we installed a few years back or cutting edge hop research into new varieties and a greater understanding of the hop chemistry and how it relates to flavour, bitterness, aroma, head retention and beer stability.
There is still so much to learn and it is great to know that the next generation of brewers are eager and willing so that they we can continue the process.
So as their exams draw to a close I am sure that a few practical flavour tests will be undertaken before we toast their success when the results are out.
Stewart Tricker - Senior Brewer