Research & Development Scientist

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

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In alignment with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (SNBCO) values, the R&D Scientist position pursues excellence in all technical aspects of Research and Development. This position requires scientific integrity as a moral foundation while successfully incorporating complex theoretical and practical principles in biochemistry, metabolomics, molecular biology, and spectrometry as a primary function.  Performing advanced experimental design, statistical data analysis, producing internal and external scientific reports, participating in internal and external collaborations, and presenting results comprise the essential components of the position.


  • Responsible for profiling, innovating, and addressing bacterial or fungal propagation and fermentation processes in nano, pilot, production, and barrel scale; discovering and screening of bacterial or fungal strains for new product development on the bench, nano, barrel, and pilot scale. This position requires strong analytical skills and strong collaboration skills both inside and outside of the organization.

Research & Development:

  • Developing methodology for understanding biological flavor development and microbial interaction with raw materials.  Implementing a scientific approach to project work, plant trials and technical services to other departments in support of company goals and objectives. Multi-stage New Product Development design and testing.
  • Focusing on improving product quality, consistency and physical/flavor stability, as well as process capability and efficiency in collaboration with Quality, Sensory and Brewing. 
  • Originating, planning, organizing, prioritizing, executing and coordinating research projects and experiments from bench scale to plant scale in support of continuous improvement and internal customer service.
  • Responding quickly to brewery concerns and identifying, troubleshooting and solving brewery problems
  • Documenting, organizing, analyzing, summarizing, and presenting research data and other results, conclusions and recommendations.
  • Applying statistical principles such as Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA), and Design of Experiments (DOE) to the analysis of experimental data.
  • Proposing, establishing, and justifying new procedures or modifications to existing procedures and specifications based on sound experimental results.
  • Following-up with management to implement change as warranted by project results, conclusions and recommendations.
  • Continual learning and increasing knowledge and skills through literature searches, peers, professional organizations such as ASBC and MBAA, associated industries and job experience.
  • Responsible for inventory, ordering and stocking R&D lab supplies while keeping supply costs within budget.
  • Lead work of student interns working within the department as needed.
  • Lead work of R&D technicians and technical brewers as needed.
  • Successfully manage or lead multiple R&D and production projects.

Fermentation Scientist:

  • Act as Subject Matter Export on Yeast and Fermentation  
  • Applying biology, biochemistry, microbiology, chemistry and brewing science to experimental studies and continued improvements in the areas of yeast varieties and their identification, yeast characteristics and capabilities, yeast physiology and health, yeast propagation, yeast handling and nutrition, and fermentation performance.
  • Sampling and monitoring of brewing fermentations and evaluation of factors that affect them.
  • Handling of yeast and yeast slurries.
  • Ownership of specialty yeast propagation for nanobrewery and small batch beer production.
  • Provide brewery expertise on wort composition, fermentability and yeast health.
  • Improving R&D laboratory capability for conducting more advanced yeast and fermentation studies.  
  • Investigating the practical implementation of advanced methods in fermentation science
  • Investigation, identification, characterization and evaluation of new and existing yeast strains, as well as other microorganisms to produce beers with enhanced flavors and improve product quality.
  • Demonstrating interest in learning new skills and continually increasing knowledge of fermentation science and brewing technology.
  • Participate in and contribute to microbial risk management exercises for new and existing products.
  • Improving the knowledge and understanding of others in fermentation science.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education & Experience

  • Bachelor or master’s degree and minimum of 5 years of proven industry work experience or Ph.D. in Food Science, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Materials Science, or any science degree related to brewing, brewing raw materials and/or analytical instrumentation
  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of the brewing process, microbial physiology, and metabolism of yeast
  • Brewing experience, a plus

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills with the ability to work autonomously with focus and determination.
  • Team player with the ability to collaborate within the organization and outside of the organization
  • Ability to analyze problems, identify solutions, and implement procedures for solutions.
  • Excellent communication and solid inter-personal influencing skills.
  • Ability to create strong informational presentations and provide solid data-based recommendations.
  • Ability to represent SNBC at the industry level with the highest level of integrity and professionalism
  • Laboratory experience including but not limited to microscopy, Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS), Liquid Chromatography (LC), Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES), Spectroscopy (UV-VIS).
  • Advanced user of Microsoft Office suite of programs (i.e. Word, Excel, and Outlook) and statistical analysis software.
  • Good Laboratory Practices with a proven record of safe work.


  • Occasional required travel, such as to the Mills River brewery, or travel for personal development, primarily for American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC)or Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA)meetings.  Up to 5%


Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to wet or humid conditions (non-weather); work near moving mechanical parts; outdoor weather conditions; extreme cold (non-weather); extreme heat (non-weather) and risk of electrical shock. The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet but may occasionally be moderate or require hearing protection.  

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The employee must be able to lift up to 15 pounds without assistance, and maneuver 15 pounds safely and with proper body mechanics. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to sit and use hands to finger, handle, or feel. The employee is frequently required to reach with hands and arms and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. 

Additional REQUIREMENTS to consider before applying?

  • Selected candidates will be required to pass a post-offer, pre-employment background check.
  • You must be at least 21 years of age to work for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

** This position will remain open until filled; online applications will be reviewed weekly **
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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