Still Brewing Strong
Spotlight on Grenada Breweries’ Master Brewer
Mr. Nigel Downes, Brewer in charge of process, Grenada Breweries
Grenada Breweries Ltd (GBL) provides far more than mere employment. It is a company where careers are formed through training and development programs, mentoring is facilitated by experienced personnel and there are opportunities for skill advancement as a member of the ANSA McAL Group, through the sister breweries in Trinidad & Tobago and St. Kitts.
Brew Master, Nigel Downes, started at GBL in 1998 after successfully completing his A’ Levels at the Institute for Further Education (now called TAMCC), in Biology and Chemistry. Nigel applied for a position as a Lab Technician at the Grenada Breweries Limited (GBL). At the time, there was no opening for that position. However, the company was looking for an applicant to fill the position of a Management Trainee within the Production Department. Nigel was selected from a pool of candidates and officially joined the company on November 1, 1989. He remembers how daunting the prospect of being on the Management side of an established company seemed at the time.
His probationary period required an initial training program which involved working within the various departments – Brewing, Cellars, Packaging, Quality Assurance, Engineering Stores, Maintenance, Accounts and Sales – before being accepted into the position. He was amazed by and curious about the processes required to convert brewing raw materials into a quality finished product and the challenges that a Brewer faced to ensure that this happened consistently. His amazement and curiosity soon turned to passion!
Staff of Grenada Breweries salute the company on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary
After completing his stint as a Management Trainee in 1990, Nigel was appointed Shift Brewer. This position required him to work on the evening shifts to offer support to the brewing team. To enhance his competencies in October 1993, he completed a brewing course offered by Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA) in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1997 he attended the University of California and on successful completion of his studies was awarded the certificate of Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling London, England. Nigel also obtained training at the Scandinavian School of Brewing in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2004 and played an integral role in the introduction of Carlsberg and later on Stag Lager beer. He pursued a Master’s in Business Administration at the St. George’s University and was successful in 2011.
Nigel’s appointment to the position of Brewer in charge of process in 1997 was no surprise to his colleagues. He remains in this position today and continues to be dedicated to improving his craft.
Grenada Breweries Ltd is a company where motivated youngsters have opportunities as Marketeers, Sales Personnel, Accountants, Laboratory Technicians, Engineers, Brewers, Welders and many other professions. Nigel Downes is one of the success stories in the company’s rich history.