Head Brewer

Oakland United Beerworks

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Oakland is and always has been a beer town; a place where hard-working people would gather together to enjoy locally brewed, fresh beer. As the local population grew during the Gold Rush and building of the Transcontinental Railway, Oakland was affectionately referred to as the “Milwaukee of the West” for its numerous neighborhood-based breweries. Oakland United Beerworks is a craft brewery in the heart of Oakland’s waterfront Jack London District and we are proud to continue the great beer brewing tradition in Oakland.

We are a 30bbl brewhouse with a production capacity of 9,000bbls/year. We produce 4 “core” beers that are available year-round along with a rotating selection of seasonal releases and collaborations. We’ve recently opened a spacious new taproom and are looking to expand our portfolio to meet the ever evolving tastes of the craft beer community. We are a company comprised of hard-working, humble, and team-oriented craft beer enthusiasts, dedicated to bringing quality craft beer to the Bay Area.


The Head Brewer will be responsible for the overall productivity, management, and development of the brewhouse in close coordination with ownership and business operations personnel.  


Reporting to the CEO, the Head Brewer oversees and directs all brewing processes including, but not limited to, raw material selection, recipe formulation, production schedules, troubleshooting, equipment maintenance, and finished product quality assurance/quality control procedures. The Head Brewer is responsible for optimization of brewery operations and budgeting and the ongoing development of the department and its staff.

This is a full-time, exempt position.


Lead Brewing Production

  • Oversee all brewing operations at the brewery, including: day-to-day process issues, recipe management, operating policies, procedures, release parameters, and safety policies, in accordance with OSHA requirements.
  • Work with the CEO and Department Heads to create a brew schedule that accommodates customer market demands.
    • Collaboratively design new recipes for seasonal and specialty beers and coordinated test brews that reflect OUB’s commitment to innovating unique, creative beers of the highest quality.
  • Work with the Operations Lead to prepare weekly schedules for brewing, beer transfer, and staffing/timing to meet production needs.
    • Report a 5-day brew schedule to the Operations Lead every Thursday by 12pm for the following brew week- Monday through Sunday.
    • Help revise any brew plans with the Operations Lead if any conflicting issues are found.
    • Report any grain or equipment orders to the General Manager seven days before delivery/pickup for the General Manager to coordinate any necessary personnel help
  • Ensure that deadlines are met to prevent scheduling conflicts in upstream and downstream production.
  • Prepare annual capital projects wish list with estimated costs in the brewing department including operating budgets for both the short and long-term plans.
  • Work with the Operations Lead to oversee budgets, expenditures, usage, receipts and inventory of raw materials, chemicals, and brewing aids.
  • Order brewing materials, brewery chemicals, and related replacement parts to arrive on time and in proper amounts.
  • Maintain detailed records and inventory of raw materials, quality checks, and production schedules in Ekos.
  • Maintain accurate brewing records; provide a monthly summary/production reports.

    Brewhouse Management

  • Enhance, and/or develop and enforce the policies and procedures of the organization, including creating and documenting comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for:
  • Brewing and cellar operations including malt handling, wort production, fermentation, yeast handling, liquid transfer, fining, colloidal stabilization, filtration, carbonation, keg cleaning/coding/filing.
  • Equipment operations, including cleaning and sanitization procedures.
  • Safety protocols.
  • Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA) programs and procedures.
    • Manage and supervise brewing staff:
      • Lead brew-team meetings communicating current objectives, production performance to plan, challenges and successes, troubleshooting, and taking corrective action when necessary.
      • Oversee and develop the brewhouse staff through technical, supervisory, and line assignments in all functions supported by standard job descriptions, performance objectives, and performance assessments.
        • Define these team requirements and performance objectives in conjunction with the Operations Lead.
        • Conduct regular performance evaluations for brewhouse staff.
      • Help with hiring new brewhouse staff members.
      • Development and utilization of comprehensive brewhouse staff training materials and programs.

Quality Assurance

  • Ensure that proper samples of raw materials in addition to in-process and finished beer are collected and analyzed appropriately to ensure a quality finished beer.
  • Approve beer for release based on quantitative and qualitative parameters falling within operating and exception limits.
  • Work with staff to resolve quality issues, elevate significant problems to the CEO, Operations Lead, and Sales Manager to ensure that no contaminated beer is released to the market.
  • Ensure the cleanliness and sterilization of tanks, screens, inflow pipes, production areas, and equipment, using hoses, brushes, scrapers, or chemical solutions.
  • Oversee functionality and maintenance of brewing equipment, CIP equipment, water delivery equipment, and sewer related systems

    Additional Responsibilities

  • Support Oakland United Beerworks’ core values of quality, teamwork, and service to our customers and coworkers.
  • Provide our Bookkeeper with all the necessary data and metrics for filing of Quarterly tax report.
  • Stand in for the Assistant Brewer and Cellar person as needed in their absence; this may require working weekends, holidays and any shift as needed.
  • Represent Oakland United Beerworks in a manner consistent with our reputation for quality, professionalism, and expertise. This includes in the brewery, in the taproom, in third party establishments outside of work hours.
  • Represent Oakland United Beerworks as a brand ambassador at events, festivals, and promotions, as needed.
  • Represent Oakland United Beerworks as a brand ambassador during events in the taproom, as needed.

Required Skills, PHYSICAL ABILITIES, & Experience/EDUCATION

Required Skills

  • Proficient in all modules of Ekos.
  • Great attitude and passion for craft beer required.
  • Ablity to work effectively in a team environment.
  • Ability to work independently with excellent time management abilities.
  • Operating knowledge of all brewing equipment.
  • Technical proficiency performing routine maintenance on equipment and troubleshooting.
  • Understanding of automation including PLCs and instrumentation.
  • Understanding of beer flavor defects and their causes.
  • Understanding of beer chemistry and biology.
  • Excellent organizational and planning skills.
  • Detail oriented.
  • Ability to work under pressure and under strict deadlines.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong personnel management and leadership skills.
  • Thorough understanding of manufacturing COGS/cost accounting and budgeting processes.

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to:
  • Work long periods in front of computer screen.
  • Stand for long periods of time (up to 10 hours per day).
  • Regularly lift, push, or pull up to 170 pounds.
  • Climb ladders and perform job while standing on a ladder up to 25 feet high.
  • occasionally climb stairs and work on tanks over 23 feet high
  • Work in wet, tight, or cramped spaces and/or awkward positions for extended periods of time.
  • Work in an environment with high noise levels.
  • Work with hazardous chemicals.
  • Work on wet, slippery floors.

    Experience and Education

    • Five+ years of professional brewing experience.
    • Proficiency in brewing and fermentation processes along with bottling and kegging operations is required.
    • Bachelor’s Degree and/or Certificate from an accredited brewing science school preferred (technical and/or brewing specific courses preferred).
    • 2–3 years management or supervisor experience preferred.
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