Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Munich study for Iron Hill's No. 2 brewer

Iron Hill assistant brewer Jeff Ramirez will get to hone his brewing skills in Germany this spring.

Jeff heads to Munich March 26th for a five-week study gig that comes as the back end of his training with the Seibel Institute of Technology.

"This is their 12-week international brewing diploma," says Jeff, who's been with Iron Hill's Maple Shade location since it opened in 2009.

"Basically there's seven weeks in Chicago, different modules (of study). They'll go over the wort production, raw materials, fermentation biology, cellar stuff, packaging, the business of brewing. Then you go out to Germany, in Munich, and work at Doemens, which has the World Brewing Academy. There you do applied techniques."

The training abroad wraps up with a brewery tour of Europe. "You go to Belgium, London ... go to different places like maltsters and different breweries," Jeff says.

Jeff enrolled at Seibel while awaiting word on a job at Iron Hill. The folks who run the show there have supported his endeavors, letting him take time away from work with head brewer Chris LaPierre for the course work in Chicago.

And now Germany.

Before Iron Hill, Jeff worked briefly at Trap Rock brewpub in Berkeley Heights, helping out brewer Charlie Schroeder (in the photo above, that's Jeff on the left, with Charlie). But it was at Kenyon College in Ohio that Jeff decided he wanted to be in the beverage industry.

It was either tea or beer.

"Tea is more research and travel. Beer is more labor and science, hard work," he says.

Fans of Iron Hill's beers, no doubt, are glad Jeff chose beer.

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