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Mark Burch

What inspired you to do the Brewlab course?

My love for quality beer of course! I had been working in metal manufacturing for close to four years and was enjoying it... but I also held a degree in culinary and restaurant entrepreneurship. Brewing seemed like a happy medium. Turns out it is.

What areas of the Brewlab course were most beneficial to you?

The vast amount of practical work was very beneficial. It really allowed me to become more confident in brewing. In the lectures there is plenty of valuable information, very relevant. Not just recipe formulation, the course covered topics such as CIP and filtration, less glamorous aspects of the job but very important. I also really dug the placements in professional breweries that give an accurate representation of the differences in size and scope, processes, from one brewery to another.

Was there a part of the course you particularly liked/enjoyed?

I really liked the comradery, the group we had was amazing. The whole experience was such an adventure, probably the best of my lifetime. I mean, the education was principle, but traveling to another country and meeting these interesting, genuinely great people from different areas of the world. Connecting with them, we all had at least one thing in common… Beer really does bring people together! That and the fieldtrips, they were always interesting and generally just a really good time.

Where do you work now?

I work for Tröegs Brewing Company. We’re located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA.

What is your position?

I am an assistant brewer. I have a hand in wort production, cellaring and filtration.

How much beer do you produce?

I believe we hit almost 90,000 bbls last year. And as of March 31, 2015, Tröegs made the Brewers Association’s list of the top fifty craft breweries in the United States based on sales. We are #44!

Do you have a recipe you are most proud of?

Well, somewhat haha. I am proud of winning first prize in the food and beer pairing competition we had at Brewlab. That was a fun day. My robust porter paired with red velvet cupcakes. I used the porter in the batter, icing and in a glaze. Delicious.

What plans do you have for the future?

I plan to stay with Tröegs for a while, we’re growing. In my first year with the company I’ve seen the installation of eight, 800bbl fermenters, a state of the art Corosy’s filtration system as well as our first three foudres. There are many exciting things happening at the brewery, big things on the horizon and I don’t want to miss any of it. I’m learning all the time and I absolutely love the industry. Not to mention the beer is top notch!

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