Sensory Manager

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

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Sierra Nevada prides itself on having a flavor first approach to developing beers while adhering to a strong set of company values revolving around People, Quality, Integrity, Sustainability, and Community.  We often take a long and arduous path to ensure products are made with the finest ingredients and methods to best showcase their sensory potential with no shortcuts.  The Sensory Manager is responsible for all efforts that Sierra Nevada takes around evaluating products, processes, methods, and materials that impact the final sensory experience of our brands at both our Chico and Mills River production facilities.  Reporting to the VP of Technical Innovation, this role is responsible for raw material evaluation, NPD validation, in process quality checks, R&D project analysis, and consumer testing.


  • Oversees and participates in market release sessions including sample collection, session set up, preparations, discuss and review of taste session results with the panel
  • Helps ensure product quality through monitoring sensory characteristics of all brands
  • Develops target profiles for brands with the support of the descriptive panel
  • Conducts basic sensory training to support brewers and quality functions as needed, especially for new panel members
  • Manages and leads Sensory team involving direct and indirect responsibilities for performance management, interviewing, selection, training, motivating, performance evaluations, wage, and salary administration, developing goals and developing procedures to ensure achievement of goals
  • Develops, trains, and monitors various sensory panels including discrimination and descriptive panels; maintains database on the progress of all sensory panelists through training program and offer rewards, feedback, and incentives when necessary; maintains and communicates sensory schedule to various panels
  • Independently conducts, analyzes, and reports results from difference and descriptive tests
  • Works with stakeholders to develop a design of experiments for sensory testing to determine if ingredient substitutions or process changes can be made to production
  • Executes sensory testing using proper sensory method and technique
  • Analyzes and interprets sensory data, including generating statistical results and graphs for completed sensory data and convey results to stakeholders
  • Coordinates sensory approvals for all incoming ingredient evaluation
  • Conducts analysis of new products and brands with internal and external stakeholders in support of new product development
  • Maintains laboratory and ensures proper up-keep of equipment and inventory of lab supplies
  • Promotes high product quality sensorial achievements within a professional work environment
  • Performed special analysis requests and projects as assigned
  • Assist in the development of or revisions to SOP’s and testing methods


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Bachelor’s degree in food science, fermentation science, or brewing required; Master’s degree in complementary discipline preferred or any combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge, skills, and abilities have been achieved


  • Five (5) years of experience in sensory analysis required, experience in a production environment preferred
  • Three (3) years leadership and/or supervisory experience required

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • High-level knowledge of sensory analysis, preferably from the beer, whiskey, perfume, or wine industries
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities with track record of team motivation, leadership, training, and development
  • Ability to analyze problems, identify solutions and implement procedures for solutions
  • Ability to collaborate with multiple departments
  • Ability to write technical reports, business correspondence and standard operating procedures
  • Computer literate and able to operate Microsoft Office; niche experience in analysis and data storage systems is a plus


  • Travel may be up to 25% to support the needs of the business


The frequency of the below physical requirements & working conditions are represented as follows:  Rarely represents 0-25% of the shift.  Occasionally represents 25-50% of the shift.  Frequently represents 51-75% of the shift.  Constantly represents 76-100% of the shift.  This is an exempt role for which workdays may exceed 8 hours on occasion.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The employee frequently performs work tasks inside.  The employee may be exposed to the outdoors, humid environments, extreme cold, wet environments, changes in temperature, and to fumes and airborne particles for less than 25% of their regularly scheduled shift.  The work environment may be loud and on occasion may require hearing protection.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this role, the employee will occasionally sit and walk, and will rarely stand, bend at the waist and neck, squat, kneel, and twist at the waist and neck.  The employee will frequently lift sensory samples weighing up to 10lbs, occasionally up to 25lbs and rarely lift samples weighing 25-75lb.  Close vision at distances less than 20” and at 20’ or more is required to perform the duties of this role. 


  • Management of team members located at both Chico and Mills River facilities
  • Selected candidate will be required to pass a post offer, pre-employment background check
  • You must be at least 21-years-old to work for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
  • Flexibility to adjust work schedule based on needs of the business

** This position will remain open until filled; online applications will be reviewed weekly **

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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