Sam Thompson

Diploma Graduate

I used to work as a ship’s cargo officer, often spending 10-11 months out of the year out at sea, often in the middle east, with nary a good beer in sight. I’d been a longtime homebrewer, so I usually stocked up on brewing ingredients and experimented with hop and malt teas while out at sea, and whenever we pulled into a shipyard, I kept the crew stocked with freshly brewed beer. It eventually added up to too much time away from home, so I decided to go pro and become a commercial brewer, and Brewlab’s hands-on approach was just what I was looking for.

The classroom lectures at Brewlab were informative and easy to understand, and the placements and working on the in-house brewing systems and lab equipment absolutely helped to solidify and clarify the knowledge gained. In short, the Brewlab course was a great blend of theory and practice. Brewlab provided the opportunity to experiment with my own brews, participate in local brewing competitions, volunteer in commercial breweries, and work within their well-stocked quality control lab. Living and studying with other brewers from around the world while attending certainly sparked some new ideas about beer flavor and brewing techniques, and the communal environment certainly helped to create some lasting friendships.

I’ve recently left a position as Production Supervisor at North Coast Brewing Company (USA) for a new position as a Brewer at Lagunitas Brewing Company (USA), and can’t thank the folks at Brewlab enough for helping me to get my foot in the door in the brewing industry. I’m still an avid homebrewer and hope to someday start up my own brewing company, and the brewery accounting and startup guidance that came as part of the Brewlab course will certainly come in hand.

Cheers folks! To good friends, great women, and healthy fermentations! Whatever it is, it has to be great beer!

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