Industry All Access Exclusive

Why Some Breweries Are Hiring for Talent

Seeking capability rather than job-specific experience while cross-training your staff on a variety of tasks can reap dividends. Here’s how some brewery operators are looking at hiring in a new way that strengthens their teams and offers competitive advantages.

David Nilsen Jun 24, 2024 - 12 min read

Why Some Breweries Are Hiring for Talent Primary Image

Illustration: Jamie Bogner

Many jobs within a brewery require technical acumen and specialized knowledge, and hiring for them often rewards impressive résumé. However, some breweries are succeeding with a different paradigm—one that places a higher value on curiosity, character, and cultural fit, and one that sees specific brewing skills as trainable rather than prerequisite.

At Urban Artifact in Cincinnati, Hannah Kent leads brewhouse operations—a role to which she was promoted from assistant brewer. Before that she had never worked in a brewery, and she had no experience in brewing or management. When she saw Urban Artifact was hiring, however, she took a shot, even knowing that there were more qualified applicants.

Her interview with the cofounders, she says, “wasn’t really focused on my knowledge as a brewer.” Instead, they asked her how she handles stressful situations and manages her time, and how she would approach coworkers if she saw something that could be improved. “It really kind of blew my mind that there are companies that actually look at stuff like that when hiring humans.”

Urban Artifact’s method demonstrates a new way of hiring and promoting that focuses on finding the right person rather than the right résumé. It can be less efficient than hiring someone who can plug in almost immediately, but its advocates say that it’s better in the long run—it allows companies to empower talent they already have on staff and to find the right outside candidates when needed.

Capability and Curiosity

Access All of the Brewing Industry Guide

Subscribe today to access all of the in-depth brewing stories & advice you won't find anywhere else (including this article). Subscription includes unlimited access to every brewing report, brewing course (60+), article, video (55+), magazine issue (40+), and more.