I would be concerned that not only does he not know anything about beer but that he knows nothing about running a restaurant and nothing about running a business in general.
That was my first thought.
Mine too! There are certainly a lot of things that can go wrong with this....very wrong! Actually, when he told me that he would allow me 50% ownership, that raised a red flag. If it were my business, I would want to own 100% and simply hire the people to handle the areas I don't know (i.e. food prep, management, brewing, etc...), so I'm kinda curious as to why he would want me to own 50%. Maybe he just wants to make sure I stay - again, kinda weird since he doesn't know me. I'm sure I'll find out in due time...but I'm not making any commitments until I'm sure of it.
On the liability front, I have been under the impression that an LLC will offer at least some protection to your personal assets? At any rate, I'm not going to borrow any money for this venture, so I'll be sure to think twice before taking any offers of ownership.
Definitely strange to give up half ownership unless he plans on you contributing a substantial portion of start up costs. It's too much equity to give up to retain an employee, even if you were the greatest brewer on earth. I think it's even too much equity to give up to make you take on management of the brewing side of the business without pay if he's financing the start up (although that is probably not an advantageous position for you, anyway).
An LLC will limit your liability to the extent of your equity in the company for claims against the LLC on contracts and tort liability (personal injury) of other members of the LLC. It provides no liability for your own tort liability. It's easy to get yourself outside of the protections of the LLC in a start up. If you sign on to any contracts, such as contracts for brewing ingredients, as an individual or before the LLC is legally formed you will likely be personally liable on that contract. If he goes to get financing for the LLC many banks will want the members to personally guarantee the loans which eliminates the liability protections and puts your personal assets on the line for those debts.