Bespoke Inns Start Search For Apprentice Brewer

Jon Archer Head Brewer at Bespoke Inns Jon Archer Head Brewer at Bespoke Inns

Award-winning Bespoke Inns is working with Derby College to find an apprentice with the aptitude and passion for everything to do with craft beer and real ale to learn the trade at its fast-growing micro-brewery.

The micro-brewery was launched two years ago at The Boot in Repton and currently produces eight different real ales.

These are distributed and served at all of Bespoke Inns' pubs and restaurants – The Boot, The Dragon in Willington and Harpur's in Melbourne plus a few other selected outlets.


Head Brewer Jon Archer joined the company earlier this year – turning his long-time passion for brewing into a career – and now needs an apprentice to work with him as the micro-brewery expands.

He explained that the apprentice would have a wealth of opportunities to learn about the brewery business and to support the Head Brewer in all aspects of brewery operations.

These include brew-day preparation, brewing, cleaning, packaging, distribution and cellar management. Other activities range from assisting recipe development through to engaging with customers via events, social media and website update and promotion.

"Apprentices in a large brewery may only gain an insight into certain aspects of the job but this role is very diverse and the successful applicant will be working closely alongside me to learn the job and help us to expand production.

"We are looking for someone who has a passion for everything to do with real ale and the aptitude to learn about all the aspects of the micro-brewery and then ensuring the continued quality of the beers served to customers at all of the pubs and restaurants in the Bespoke Inns family.

"It is therefore an end to end opportunity with increasing levels of responsibility. As long as they have the enthusiasm and energy, we can provide the training to build the skills and knowledge.

"We are very flexible about the applicants. The apprentice could be a young person who has perhaps been involved in home brewing or someone older who, like me, was looking for a career change.

"If they don't know that much about brewing, an interest and GCSE level science qualifications would be a real bonus to understand the processes involved. A driving licence would be a bonus but not essential.

"The role is physical and there is heavy lifting involved but we are very much a team at The Boot and there is always help on hand so no one should be put off from applying for this exciting position."

Derby College's Deputy Principal – Employer and Economic Affairs, April Hayhurst, continued: "The new apprenticeship levy has put the planning and delivery of apprenticeships back in employers' hands so we are seeing all sorts of new frameworks emerging.

"We will adapt the training that is delivered alongside the hands-on work experience in partnership with Bespoke Inns to ensure that their apprentice works towards relevant qualifications that develop both their careers and provides a good return on investment for the business."

The apprentice search is the latest stage in the group's relationship with Derby College which already includes setting up the Bespoke Inns Hospitality Management Academy to provide practical work experience for learners on the higher education Hospitality Management programme at the Roundhouse.

Three learners have so far joined the Bespoke Inns Hospitality Management Academy which is the latest stage in the College's Employer Academy programme - designed to bridge the gap between education and the workplace.
They gain experience in the venues' different departments – including housekeeping, front of house and cellar management and will take part in special projects and have expert lectures from key personnel at Bespoke Inns.

Bespoke Inns owner Heidi Hammond concluded: "We have worked with Derby College on catering and hospitality apprenticeships over the years and the employer academy is working well but this is the first time we have worked with the College to recruit an apprentice brewer.

The Dragon in Willington is a previous winner of the Derby Food and Drink Awards and Best Traditional Pub Award. The canal-side pub and restaurant was renovated and restored in 2011 and expanded in January 2014 with the addition of an additional 70-seater restaurant which is ideal for group bookings as well as a separate bar, courtyard for outdoor events and seven luxurious, boutique bedrooms in The Cottage annexe.

Harpur's of Melbourne was recently awarded two rosettes for culinary excellence. The town centre bar and restaurant also has four boutique accommodation rooms.
The Boot at Repton is the most recent addition to the Bespoke Inns portfolio. It won the AA Pub of the Year in 2016. The renovated 17th century coaching inn offers luxurious accommodation, award winning classic and contemporary dishes and real ales including Boot Beer – which is brewed in The Boot's own micro-brewery.


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