Michael pfeiffer is the best ihk brewer of the year

Michael pfeiffer is the best ihk brewer of the year

Horst jacob doesn’t care whether he goes to high school, college or university. It does not depend on the school-leaving certificate whether one becomes a good brewer. You should be interested in biology, physics and technology, be hygiene-conscious and have a certain social competence, says the long-serving brewmaster at the kesselring brewery in marktsteft, germany.Prerequisites brought by michael pfeiffer. It was worth it for kesselring to hire wiesentheider as an apprentice: he was awarded last week by the chamber of commerce in wurzburg as the best brewer/painter in his exams.

The 22-year-old has long known that he wanted to become a master brewer. Beer interested him far beyond the taste. Already at the age of 16 or 17 he tried to brew beer at home, michael pfeiffer tells us. "I started with homemade utensils and an electric stove." You don’t just drink the beer, you get to grips with why it tastes the way it does and experiment with it. He still gets a kick out of it: "I still do it two or three times a year."

If you want to become a graduate brewmaster, you either have to do a long internship or an apprenticeship before you start your studies. Michael pfeiffer decided to train, applied for a job at kesselring. The company has been regularly training brewers for decades. Also on 1. Two apprentices started their training in marktsteft on september.

"Brewer and maltster is a rare occupation", says horst jacob. The IHK’s statistics confirm this: seven young people in mainfranken passed their examinations in this profession in 2013 – all of them were successful. In bavaria there were 62 participants (57 passed), in germany 179 (169). By way of comparison, 11685 graduates nationwide took the industrial clerk exam.

Anyone who believes that a brewer must spend his entire life working with beer is mistaken. "If you want to get into the food industry, brewing is the ideal profession", says peter himmel. Brewers also had the best opportunities in the sugar factory, for example, or in the coarse dairy, confirms horst jacob, even well-known winemakers had completed an apprenticeship in brewing. Wherever you deal with food, biological and physical processes take place, hygienic regulations play a major role. "There is cleaned with sour and lye in the same way as with us", jacob draws comparison to other operations.

The brewmaster knows exactly how broad the spectrum is of what brewers have to be able to do, after all, he has been on the review committee for almost 30 years. A brewer must be familiar with the raw materials, be able to analyze and assess them. He also has to know everything about malt, even though almost 99 percent of all breweries no longer have their own malt house. The young people must have comprehensive computer skills and know their way around chemistry. This is important, among other things, to create cleaning schedules. "A brewer has to know what’s happening there – and also what can happen if he doesn’t do something", explains peter himmel.

Hygiene plays a particularly important role in the production of beer. In the meantime, there is also a strong focus on technology. For example, almost 400.000 euros invested in a machine that checks whether the bottles have been thoroughly cleaned and are intact. Eight cameras photograph every bottle, every defect and every contamination leads to exclusion. "Of course, people have to know how to use such machines", emphasizes horst jacob.

How much is automated in a brewery, how time-consuming bottle cleaning is – michael pfeiffer could not have imagined this before he started working at the brewery, either, he says. After completing his apprenticeship, the 22-year-old draws a very positive conclusion: "becoming a brewer is definitely something to recommend, he says. The job is versatile, you learn to work precisely and cleanly. "And people in the industry are very open-minded." So it’s logical that he continues on the path he took after graduating from high school to become a brewmaster. Only now no longer in marktsteft, but in the study in weihenstephan.

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