My Path to Beer Brewing

Every day in high school I would go out of my way just to walk past the Molson Brewery in St. John’s (Newfoundland) during my lunch period.  The sweet yeasty smell emitting from the building made me envious of those working inside.

A few years later a friend and I cured summer boredom by purchasing a starter brewing kit. In the many years since, we have kept our operation small and minimalistic. I rarely brew the same recipes, instead opting to brew as many styles as I can; everything from the lightest Pilsner to the darkest Stout . I love making beer, everything from the brewing process to sharing the finished product with friends and family – who suffered through some unsuccessful batches.

During my undergraduate degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology, I had planned to work in molecular genetics. However, in my last year I decided to take a Food Microbiology course and instantly knew I wanted to work in the food industry but I quickly realized how large and branching this discipline was.

To help explore my options I pursued a Master’s degree in Food Science and Technology. I spent my degree monitoring the quality of freshwater beaches in the Halifax area and as a result became passionate about quality assurance. As I continued to ponder my future career I remembered how much joy I had found in making beer.

Now I am currently looking for opportunities in the Toronto area as a quality analyst in the brewing industry and fill my days reading home-brew books to expand my knowledge. As a recent graduate, I know first-hand how scary it can be looking for a foot in the door and deciding what you want to do with your career but I have never been more excited for a job hunt!

I honestly thought I would never find out what I wanted to do with my career but it was this set of events that led me to where I am now. So don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to focus on.

The food industry is a large enough for everyone to find where they belong.

By Michael McDonald

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