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First successful female Brewer Apprentice is FDQ’s 1000th End-point Assessment

Three cheers to Caitlin McErlean! Not only is she FDQ’s 1000th End-point Assessment (EPA) candidate but also the first female brewing apprentice to complete her L4 Brewer Apprenticeship. Not what you might expect from someone with a degree in Chinese Studies! (Read more)

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Caitlin’s interest in making beer began at university whilst working at a craft beer pub. Without a science-based degree though she was unsure how she’d ever become a brewer. It was only years later when working for Brewhouse and Kitchen that she heard about the L4 Brewer Apprenticeship. She applied and was accepted onto the apprenticeship, working with hospitality specialist training provider, HIT Training.

“As soon as I got onto the brewing apprenticeship I loved it and knew it was what I wanted to do.”

As an apprentice brewer Caitlin (26) combined on-the- job training with learning activities set by her HIT trainer and six 2-day brewing workshops at Nottingham University. Talking about her apprenticeship, Caitlin says,

“ I really enjoyed learning about the scientific aspects of brewing, such as enzyme activity. It was challenging but also stimulating. I liked working with other brewers and built a great network of brewing apprentices during the weekend workshops.”

After two years, Caitlin was ready for her brewing EPA. Her HIT trainer had encouraged her to complete a ‘mock EPA’ for preparation. Her brewing apprentice logbook, a compilation of all her learning, was a helpful revision tool for EPA. Asked what her top tip for EPA success is, Caitlin says,

“ Ask your training provider what the assessment criteria is – then you can prepare your revision around it.”

Also key to success was staying calm, Caitlin says. This is where FDQ’s independent examiner was able to help. With clear explanations and friendly encouragement throughout the day he ensured Caitlin could do her best.

Happily, Caitlin’s hard work paid off. In September she achieved the highest grade possible for the Level 4 Brewing End-point Assessment – a Distinction.

She is now working as a Brewer in what she describes as ‘my dream job in my dream location’’ with Cloudwater brewery in Manchester, and says that the brewing apprenticeship,

“Really opened up doors for me.”

For more information about the L4 Brewer Apprenticeship talk to our friendly EPA team on 0113 859 1266 or email us at EPA@fdq.org.uk. Alternatively, visit our Brewer EPA page https://www.fdq.org.uk/l4brewer




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