Jon Elks of Carlsberg UK has been named as the world’s top candidate in the Institute of Brewing Distilling’s prestigious Master Brewer examinations. He was awarded the JS Hough award for the candidate achieving the highest overall marks in the five modules of the Master Brewer examination. Jon, 32 from Northampton, has worked at Carlsberg UK for eleven years. He started work in the laboratory at the Northampton brewer before being appointed technical brewer in order to allow him to pursue his ambition of taking his IBD brewing qualifications.
Brewers have to pass two stretching Institute examinations before they are allowed to call themselves Master Brewers. They must pass the Institute’s Diploma qualification, which tests their grasp of the science of brewing, before they are allowed to sit the Master Brewer examination. This tests their practical experience and ability to apply their technical knowledge to brew outstanding beers.
Following the news he had received the top prize, Jon said: “It was tough but really enjoyable! I had four written exams and had to write a dissertation on the work I was doing at Carlsberg UK. I’m incredibly proud to receive this award and I’m thankful to the company for giving me the opportunities to develop my skills.” Carlsberg now employs nine master brewers in the UK.
Simon Jackson, IBD Chief Executive said “It’s always an enormous achievement to be the top candidate in the Master Brewer examination but even more so this year because there was so much competition. There was a 20% increase in take up of IBD examinations compared to last year. During 2012, over 2000 exam papers were sat at 150 centres in 50 countries around the world.
Increasingly companies see talent as key to future success. There is a worldwide shortage of qualified brewers with the growth of beer in emerging economies and the increasing popularity of micro-brewing in developed markets. Companies are safeguarding their future by stepping up training for their technical staff.
Photograph caption: Jon Elks, Carlsberg UK
Notes to Editors
The Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD) is the world’s leading professional body for people working in brewing and distilling. The organisation originated as the “Laboratory Club” in 1886 and now has an international membership of 4000 people based in over 50 countries world-wide. www.ibd.org.uk