Brewery Interview With Rachel Green From Brampton Brewery

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InnSpire magazine spoke to Rachel Green, Brewer at Brampton Brewery about working in the beer industry. Top photo: Brampton Brewery ales at The Rutland from a recent tap takeover (23 Stephenson Place, Chesterfield S40 1XL). 

HOW DID YOU START A CAREER IN BREWING?

I first became interested in the brewing process during my Chemical Engineering degree when learning about yeast metabolism. Then followed a year or so working and learning about cask ale in one of Brampton Brewery’s own pubs. My fascination grew and with my interest in production, I found myself working at Thornbridge Brewery. A few years later, a lot of learning, studying and exams as well as on the job training I’m back working for Brampton Brewery as their brewer.

WHAT DOES YOUR DAY-TO-DAY JOB ENTAIL?

Brewing! From mashing in and getting the wort and yeast into the fermenter one day, to filtering fresh beer ready to be bottled or racking off casks ready for delivery to the pubs the next day. One of the best things about my job is the variety and physically demanding element. I wish I could say it’s all glamorous however, most days I end up with wet feet and scruffy dungarees but seeing people enjoying beer that I’ve had a hand in makes it all worthwhile.

ARE PEOPLE SURPRISED WHEN YOU SAY YOU’RE A FEMALE BREWER?

At times people are surprised, but it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. I used
to feel insecure as a woman in a male-dominated field, so people reacting with surprise made me feel even more so like I didn’t belong. Now, I just see it as people being curious about what being a brewer involves, rather than it being a personal thing about me being a woman.

DO YOU THINK THE PERCEPTION OF WOMEN & THE BEER INDUSTRY
IS CHANGING?

Definitely! There are still hurtful and judgemental comments that get made but I use this as fuel to keep doing what I’m doing and be part of the next wave of change. I am working as part of The Coven project (@thecoven.w.o.p on Instagram) to actively change perceptions, to platform alternative voices, provide beer education to marginalised groups and also provide safe spaces at beer festivals.Perception is changing and being visible to a variety of people shows that anyone can get involved. Including different perspectives in magazines like this is also a great way to change perceptions by showing that we’re here!

WHAT OBSTACLES, DIFFICULTIES OR MISUNDERSTANDINGS HAVE YOU FACED?

Many obstacles and not always due to being a woman! The beer industry can be tough, with lots of stress, low profit margins and unattainable production demands. At one point I did seriously consider walking away from the beer industry altogether!

I’m lucky to have had a lot of support from colleagues, managers and friends through my career and finding my home at Brampton Brewery has definitely brought my spark back.

WHAT WOULD YOUR ADVICE BE TO OTHER WOMEN LOOKING TO GET INTO THE INDUSTRY?

Ask questions! Find other women doing what you want to do and speak to them – most are happy to answer questions and get excited when other women are interested in joining the industry.Building a support network is a great idea and being able to ask advice from people who have dealt with similar struggles can be very helpful. I’m always happy to chat about my experiences and route into brewing and offer advice where possible.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE FUTURE OF WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY?

My main hope for the industry is to become more open to people from all walks of life. For me, beer has always been about community and bringing people together so I love seeing a variety of people gathered around for a pint.Misconceptions and barriers to women working within the beer industry, as well as women drinking and enjoying beer, are decreasing and changing for the positive.

FAVOURITE REAL ALE/CRAFT BEER?

My original favourite is genuinely Brampton Mild. It was one of the first cask beers I tried that made me really want to brew. When I first got to brew it, I was excited and worried about getting it perfectly right, haha!I do really enjoy trying new beers though and there are very few styles of beer I don’t enjoy.

Rachel Green, Brewer at Brampton Brewery

Facebook: Brampton Brewery

Facebook: The Rutland