In San Diego, new breweries are opening left and right, with a rumor of nearly 100 to be opened by the end of the year.
In 2011, the last year with complete data, the economic impact of the industry within San Diego County was $299.5 million (in wages contracts and capital expenses), according to a study performed by Vince Vasquez, a senior policy analyst at National University. The study also found that the brewing industry’s sales for that year added up to $680.8 million.
These establishments employed a total of 1,630 people in 2011, and since then 33 more licenses have been issued for new craft breweries in the county, making that current number even higher.
As the industry expands, Ballast Point brewer and co-founder Yuseff Cherney says the job market is there and he himself expanded his brewery by adding 30-40 employees just this year.
But being passionate about high quality beer comes standard in this industry and more tangible experience might be needed to land the job. Lost Abbey brewer Tomme Arthur says that before the market got so competitive, many brewers got started by successfully brewing their own beer at home. “Now that the business of beer is getting so big, a lot of people are looking to schools and technical proficiencies,” Arthur says.
“A lot of us in the brewing industry today looking at the current boom of new entrants are both excited and maybe just a little bit cautious,” says Stone Brewing founder Greg Koch. “We’re hoping that the new entrants into the brewing industry are as careful and methodical as they should be when introducing their beers and about their beer quality and the beer stability.”
This summer UC San Diego Extension will begin offering a Brewing Certificate designed to teach students everything they need to know about engineering, chemistry, microbiology, physics, and business in respect to the brewing process and industry. As lead instructor, Cherney is assembling a team of local brewers and professionals to pass on their knowledge so that graduating “brewers [will] be able to go into the workforce and have some credentials and have some knowledge of the industry,” Cherney says. “Now that there are so many breweries and so many positions in San Diego, it will help people to have that degree behind them.”
Hear leading local brewers, like Cherney and Koch, discuss the prospects of available jobs in the brewing industry and the prospects of the industry itself, in "Is Beer in Your Career?" a panel discussion partially celebrating San Diego History center's new exhibit Bottled and Kegged: San Diego's Craft Brew Culture.
Want more from inside the brewing industry? Watch this video featuring Koch.
Don't forget to check out more tips on hot new careers from The Career Channel.