Zoe Clack – Technical Brewer at Heineken

“With guidance from my HIT Training Consultant Sam Monaghan, I became an immediate asset to the business by improving my skillset and knowledge.”

Why an apprenticeship?

I was working as a Tours Manager in the brewing industry but had always been interested in the production side of things. In the summer of 2018, I was working at a Greene King event where I met their head brewer Ross O’Hara and we began talking all things beer. That Autumn I went to work for a craft brewery in The Netherlands and in March 2020 (just as COVID started), Ross got in touch to say that he was looking for an apprentice brewer and asked if I’d be interested. Whilst I loved being a Tours Manager, this opportunity seemed too good to be true so I applied, got the job, and I was back in the UK in November 2020 – just as were heading into Lockdown 2.0!

I knew a Level 4 Brewing apprenticeship was my big chance to immerse myself in the world of brewing, and Greene King, one of Britain’s leading brewers, would be a fantastic place to learn. With guidance from my HIT Training Consultant Sam Monaghan, I became an immediate asset to the business by improving my skillset and knowledge, and within a short amount of time on my apprenticeship, I was quickly assisting with a project to design and brew new recipes, which was so exciting.

Zoe Clack – Technical Brewer at Heineken

Former Tours Manager Zoe Clack took advantage of her Level 4 Brewing apprenticeship to make an exciting career change.

Benefitting my business

Not only did the apprenticeship allow me to learn how to brew, but it also taught me great problem-solving skills which are very useful in the manufacturing world. The brewing process is relatively straightforward, however things can go wrong quickly, so it’s crucial to be able to think on your feet. In the pursuit of gaining more responsibility and making life easier for our team, I was given the task of helping to look after the operations of the craft brewing plant at Greene King.

Through the learning in my apprenticeship, I was able to brew and monitor the fermentation of our beers, keep a detailed cellar tracker, including how to keep our stock up-to-date, and maintain high standards of cleanliness. Working in production while undertaking an apprenticeship gave me the flexibility to on my practical brewing skills, as well as develop my technical knowledge. These skills helped me to create a new portfolio of craft beers for Greene King – launched just as I completed the apprenticeship!

Together with the invaluable communication and teamwork skills I learned during my apprenticeship, I have also built a fantastic network of contacts within the brewing industry and this, without a doubt, has contributed to more career progression opportunities.

The HIT Training difference

I’ve now started a new job with different responsibilities, and still use my HIT apprenticeship brewing knowledge and problem-solving skills every day. Starting at a new brewery has allowed me to learn the ins and outs of a different set up and systems, and I’ve been able to adapt more quickly as a result of my apprenticeship. Whereas at Greene King, I was helping to design and brew new recipes, I’m now part of a technical team helping to ensure that our products are brewed to the best quality.

I’d highly recommend the Brewer Apprenticeship to anyone interested in brewing. While it’s a very male dominated industry, it’s also incredibly friendly and collaborative, and I hope more females join the industry. My personal career goal is to run my own craft brewery and become head brewer one day – and that would never have been possible without Greene King and the invaluable training I received through HIT Training.

Three Blind Mice – HIT Small to Medium Employer of the Year

Sodexo staff are hungry for success

Peter Szucs – Chef at Lillian Faithful Homes

Sign up to news, events and great resources