Letters

Letters 02-08-2016

Less Ageism, Please The January 4 issue of this publication proved to me that there are some sensible voices of reason in our community regarding all things “inter-generational.” I offer a word of thanks to Elizabeth Myers. I too have worked hard for what I’ve earned throughout my years in the various positions I’ve held. While I too cannot speak for each millennial, brash generalizations about a lack of work ethic don’t sit well with me...Joe Connolly, Traverse City

Now That’s an Escalation I just read the letter from Greg and his defense of the AR15. The letter started with great information but then out of nowhere his opinion went off the rails. “The government wants total gun control and then confiscation; then the elimination of all Constitutional rights.” Wait... what?! To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

Healthy Eating and Exercise for Children Healthy foods and exercise are important for children of all ages. It is important for children because it empowers them to do their best at school and be able to do their homework and study...

Mascots and Harsh Native American Truths The letter from the Choctaw lady deserves an answer. I have had a gutful of the whining about the fate of the American Indian. The American Indians were the losers in an imperial expansion; as such, they have, overall, fared much better than a lot of such losers throughout history. Everything the lady complains about in the way of what was done by the nasty, evil Whites was being done by Indians to other Indians long before Europeans arrived...

Snyder Must Go I believe it’s time. It’s time for Governor Snyder to go. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division are now investigating the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of people. Governor Snyder signed the legislation that established the Emergency Manager law. Since its inception it has proven to be a dismal failure...

Erosion of Public Trust Let’s look at how we’ve been experiencing global warming. Between 1979 and 2013, increases in temperature and wind speeds along with more rain-free days have combined to stretch fire seasons worldwide by 20 percent. In the U.S., the fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Coolest job in the world: Jason...
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Coolest job in the world: Jason Pratt

Erin Crowell - August 23rd, 2010
‘Coolest Job in the World’: Microbiologist Jason Pratt uses science — and taste buds — at MillerCoors
By Erin Crowell
Jason Pratt may have one of the best jobs in the world – at least
that’s what his buddies think.
The 30-year-old Traverse City native is a yeast and fermentation
scientist for MillerCoors, meaning, he gets paid to swig beer every
day.
With a Masters in microbiology and molecular genetics from Michigan
State University, Pratt uses his scientific expertise—as well as his
nose and taste buds—to assure consistent taste and quality during the
fermentation process of Miller and Coors suds.
This involves regulating the specific strains of yeast that gives the
company’s beers their signature color, texture and taste.
“It’s one of the coolest jobs in the world,” says Pratt, a 1998 graduate from
St. Francis High School.
Pratt was featured on the May 2010 cover of Black Enterprise Magazine
as one of several young professionals who are paving the way in the
math and science industry.

GOLDEN NOSE
While it’s mostly lab work, Pratt says his job has its perks,
including his role on the MillerCoors expert tasting panel, a position
that won him the 2009 Golden Nose award among the company’s tasters in
Milwaukee, his current home and central location for his job.
“When you’re evaluating a beer, you look at its appearance, color,
haziness and foam. Then you go for aromas, taste, mouth feel and
finish of the beer,” he explains. “There’s certainly different
characteristics you can identify and say with certainty about them.”
Although Pratt lives in Wisconsin, he often travels throughout the
country to all eight head MillerCoors breweries, helping the company’s
50-plus microbiologists with training and troubleshooting.
“We make sure our brands are consistent,” he says, “so the same beer
made in Milwaukee is the same stuff as what’s made in Texas.”
The job also takes him across the world.
“I send our yeast strains out to breweries in places like Vietnam,
Panama, Italy and Australia.”
Another aspect of his job includes training new MillerCoors
employees—from the brewery to the marketing desks—about the history,
ingredients, brewing process, new products and enemies of beer
freshness.
What are its enemies?
“Time – when the beer starts to oxidize and stale; heat – keeping it
in hot places like the car trunk actually helps it age faster; and
light – a lot of people call it ‘import character.’ Brown bottles are
the only things that are going to protect the beer from getting
‘skunky,’” Pratt explains.

BEER SNOB?
It may be neat having a keen sense of taste and smell, but Pratt says
it’s also a downfall.
“I’ll be out having a beer somewhere and I’ll constantly be evaluating
it,” he laughs. “My friends call me a beer snob.”
Pratt says he’d always been a beer drinker, but never dreamed he’d
have this job.
“I kind of stumbled onto it when I was online and thought, ‘that’d be
a cool industry to go into,’” he says.
With several job offers already on the table, Pratt interviewed with
the company in 2007 (before the Miller/ Coors merger) and was hired on
the spot.
He hasn’t looked back since.
“I found a home here and I really love what I do,” he enthuses.
As far as advice to those who want to follow in Pratt’s footsteps, he
offers this advice:
“It’s a tough industry to crack because there’s so much interest now;
but there’s some really good beer schools out there where you can
actually get a degree in beer. Just throw yourself in and take some
training courses.
Oh, and it helps to have a good nose.”

To read the Black Enterprise May 2010 article on Jason Pratt, go to
www.blackenterprise.com/magazine. You can also find an article on
expert tasters, which includes Pratt, entitled “No Glass Ceiling for
the Best Job in the World,” which appeared June 29 in The Wall Street
Journal by going to www.online.wsj.com.

 
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