Last week, while I was messing around on LinkedIn, I saw a grouping of words that caught my eye: Whole Foods Brewmaster. It was the title of a job posting based at the company’s store in San Jose, Calif.
News broke earlier this year that Whole Foods Market, the specialty foods supermarket chain, was potentially opening an in-house brewery at its Houston location. Already a hub for craft beer—many stores staff a full bar with an impressive selection of drafts and bottles—the headlines came as a bit of a surprise, but not a total shock.
“As we developed our beer program and made it better, putting beer bars in our stores and offering growlers in our stores, it just seemed like a natural evolution for us,” Whole Foods’ beer and wine program director Nichole Becerra told the Huffington Post last March. tweet
But after April, the brewery chatter stopped. So, I was struck with a renewed interest last week, while staring at a job posting for a brewmaster position beyond the Houston store. I reached out to Whole Foods’ beer and wine representative, but after multiple attempts, I still haven’t heard back. Then, this morning, I circled back to reference the job posting: It was gone. Probably just a coincidence.
After a little poking around, I’ve come across a few nuggets of information.
It turns out the Silicon Valley Business Journal got wind of the San Jose development last August, and wrote an interesting description of the planned brewery:
“One of the most talked-about features, the store will include a separate 6,000-sq.-ft., two-story craft beer brewery and tap room on the northwest corner of the site. (This is the company’s first-ever market to include a brewery).” tweet
Regarding that missing San Jose job posting, the only site that still has the full description is Black Career Network, which posted the job on Aug. 12. A few points from the posting:
* Brew Master will manage production brewing facility in store, and will be responsible for all brewing operations; this is a startup position and is responsible for management and oversight of the brewing department, creation of menus/recipes, budget oversight and assist in the marketing of WFM various tap rooms.
* Lead Assistant Brewer: Hire, mentor, train and develop Assistant Brewer to become a head brewer or Brew Master; hold AB accountable to expectations; perform annual performance reviews and maintain schedule for Assistant Brewer and outline Assistant Brewer responsibilities.
* Participate in and support the new product development process and continually research industry developments to keep the brewery on the cutting edge.
And a few of the qualifications:
* Minimum 2 years brewing and cellar experience; craft brewing experience preferred.
* Minimum 2 years brewing experience as brewer in production facility.
* Brewing Degree, Brewmaster Degree, Brewer Science Degree, Fermentation Science Degree or Degree in Chemistry/Engineering/Science Preferred but not required.
As for the Houston brewery, developments are in the works, too. According to a LinkedIn profile—which I won’t link here because it’s a personal account—it looks as though Whole Foods hired a brewmaster for its Houston store on Post Oak Blvd. in June. The unconfirmed new brewer previously worked at Saw Works Brewing Co. in Knoxville, Tenn.
That’s pretty much all I know for now, but I’m hoping you might have something to add. Have you seen any Whole Foods brewing developments? Maybe you snapped a picture of shiny new tanks, or heard whispers while sitting at one of its beer bars? Tell us in the comments.