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Meet the master, Kate Jones

During Women’s Month we have met with some of the boldest females in the industry and thought it would be appropriate to catch up with one of the coolest Master Trade Brewers, now an L&D coordinator for brewing, Kate Jones.

Keeping up with the Jones

In 1983, in Burton on Trent, UK, Kate Jones took a temporary job as a lab technician for Bass Brewing Burton. Why not? She loved beer and wanted to work. Little did she know, this passion would turn into a career that is still brewing strong today. Kate worked as a SAB Trade Brewer for over 17 years, becoming a Master Brewer during the process. She recently updated her profile as a Brewing Learning & Development Coordinator for AB InBev. This gives her the opportunity to manage, train, and coordinate passionate people within the beer industry, as well as ensure quality brewing remains a high priority for her and her colleagues. Kate was also involved in setting up draught training across Africa, including Zambia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, Botswana and Tanzania.

When she is not working, she loves a good game of golf, a lekker braai with friends and family – having to fly back to the UK at least once a year for the obligatory family reunion or wedding – and when asked to choose her favourite SA beer, without a doubt she answers Castle Lager.

“When I moved to SA I had a bit of a problem because I did not particularly like lagers and that was pretty much all that was available. It took me a long time to get to like Castle Lager – around four or five beers - when I realised that this truly was a World Class beer! So, Castle still is my beer of choice. If you are lucky enough to be near any of the 20 Castle Brewery Fresh Tank installations across the country go and try it out. This is the way Castle is meant to taste.”

Want to follow in her footsteps?

Brewing is a science-based career; Look at having some background in either biology, micro-biology, chemical engineering, engineering, or physics. “Do not be afraid – there could be a fascinating career out there just waiting for you.”- K Jones. Craft beer is also spreading across the globe like a revolution, giving passionate home brewers the chance to dabble in this craft and explore new possibilities.

Brewing is an artform based on science. It’s a world where you’ll never stop learning and the key qualities required to pursue this - just like any artform - is practice, patience, and passion.

“I have been covered top to toe in yeast slurry (and boy does that smell!) also top to toe in wort (a very sticky sweet liquid produced in the Brewhouse). In my opinion you are not a proper brewer unless you have imploded/exploded some kind of tank in your brewery, not particularly funny at the time! But this is all part of the learning process.”

Check out the careers portal for more information about brewing beer for Ab InBev, or beer schools like the Beerlab if you’re keen to learn more.