Pat Greer, MBA, has been working in the brewing industry for more than four decades. He recently retired from the corporate brewing world, where he traveled to more than 26 countries and managed all aspects of supply operations. “My career focused on enabling brew masters to make great beers,” says Greer. “I was involved in planning, sourcing, procuring, shipping, warehousing and distributing raw materials and finished goods.” He currently enjoys consulting and teaching in the craft brewing industry. Greer is the instructor of Brewery Safety: Creating a Safe Workplace.
Why are you passionate about brewing?
The beer industry has always been about fun and enjoying life. I’ve heard some beer-marketing executives talk about how breweries are in the entertainment business. This is very true of the craft brewing industry. Every day is a new adventure.
Why do you teach?
Sharing what I’ve experienced and learned is very rewarding. My preferred learning and working styles are hands on. I learn best when learning to do things that engage all my senses. Growing up, learning was difficult for me, but once I learned how to learn, I loved it, and I still do today.
Why is brewery safety important?
At the end of the day, we all want to go home to our families and friends, maybe a little tired, but healthy and unharmed. A brewery can be a hazardous place to work due to chemicals, high temperatures, equipment, heights, lift trucks and numerous other factors. Creating a culture of safety to avoid or minimize these risks is focused on having everyone go home the way they came to work.
What do you want students to take away from your course?
I want the students to be able to create and manage a safe workplace—to leave with a road map for creating and implementing a safety program or enhancing what they are currently doing. As the industry has grown, there are more regulators, regulations and other requirements placed on craft breweries, which students need to understand and comply with. In this class, we look at specific compliance requirements and regulations that may affect production/brewing processes. We also have conversations about these types of process changes and building a culture and attitude of safety.