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General Category => Going Pro => Topic started by: DrewG on May 23, 2012, 01:21:16 PM

Title: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: DrewG on May 23, 2012, 01:21:16 PM
For a brewpub?
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: Slowbrew on May 23, 2012, 01:35:42 PM
I have never seen any actual numbers but the descriptions I've heard are not much to very little.

Paul
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on May 23, 2012, 02:07:45 PM
You won't get rich in dollars, but you will have a life rich in experiences.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: micsager on May 23, 2012, 02:36:12 PM
For a brewpub?

I've been offered $15.00/hr as a 1099 contracting employee. 
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: tschmidlin on May 23, 2012, 11:19:00 PM
The experienced guys around here get in the $40K range, maybe creeping up near $50k for some.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on May 23, 2012, 11:30:11 PM
For a brewpub?

I've been offered $15.00/hr as a 1099 contracting employee.
That mean no benefits, no health insurance, no vacation and no unemployment if you loose job.
Just saying.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: bo on May 23, 2012, 11:39:20 PM
Minimum wage.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: corkybstewart on May 24, 2012, 01:13:15 AM
I was offered $30K and 6% of beer sales at a brewpub.  Minimum wage basically, and management was very limiting in what could be brewed.  They left no room for the slightest bit of creativity.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: The Professor on May 24, 2012, 02:18:50 AM
I was offered $30K and 6% of beer sales at a brewpub.  Minimum wage basically, and management was very limiting in what could be brewed.  They left no room for the slightest bit of creativity.

Leaving no room for "creativity" is probably smart business on their part   ???   since a lot of these places actually do employ homebrewers (mainly because they can get them cheap).  In a high overhead situation, there's a fine line between being 'creative' and catering to the clientele.
 
Though there are definitely some exceptions, many times  homebrewers in such a situation view the gig as a sandbox to play in rather than a business (I've seen it firsthand).  As a result they wind up making barrels of beers that ignore the public taste.  The vast majority of pub/restaurant operations are going to be much more concerned with the bottom line and the most profitable use of the brewing setup (and in this economy, I could hardly blame them).
 
Besides, there is no shame in offering a better, house-brewed  version of the type of beer that the vast majority of people drink... and any brewer worth his salt should be able to do that.    A brewpub/restaurant that does that is, ironically, very probably more poised for success than one mainly bent on educating philistine palates.  ;D
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: corkybstewart on May 24, 2012, 05:22:52 AM
The best solution would have been 3 or 4 house brews and a couple of one-offs.  But they were strictly staying with the original brewer's recipes.  He brewed good beer, but his stout was a 4.5 ABV Guinnness clone, and everything else he brewed was similar.  He was a good friend, taught me lots about brewing(as did the brewers after him) but management got frozen in a menu where everything was basic and bland-wheat, pale ale, stout and amber.  The brewers that I knew there loved coming to my house to drink whatever adventurous brew I had on tap, and I always heard their lamentations about not being allowed to brew outside the box.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on May 24, 2012, 03:16:08 PM
Minimum wage.

Would take this in a minute, if I could keep my current job...

Damn college loans
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: micsager on May 24, 2012, 05:09:05 PM
For a brewpub?

I've been offered $15.00/hr as a 1099 contracting employee.
That mean no benefits, no health insurance, no vacation and no unemployment if you loose job.
Just saying.

That's right.  However, the guy's a friend, and his son just moved out of town.  So, I'll be helping him on the weekends for a couple months.  No illusions of giving up my day job. 
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: Jimmy K on May 24, 2012, 05:24:01 PM
For a brewpub?

I've been offered $15.00/hr as a 1099 contracting employee.
Not sure how they can justify calling you a 1099 employee, but that's another thread.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: micsager on May 24, 2012, 05:24:59 PM
For a brewpub?

I've been offered $15.00/hr as a 1099 contracting employee.
Not sure how they can justify calling you a 1099 employee, but that's another thread.

True, I should have said "contractor"
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: a10t2 on May 29, 2012, 02:16:47 PM
I was offered $30K and 6% of beer sales at a brewpub.  Minimum wage basically

Just thought I'd point out that that's about double minimum wage (and a helluva starting salary for a brewer, to boot).
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: nateo on May 31, 2012, 03:08:20 AM
I was offered $30K and 6% of beer sales at a brewpub.  Minimum wage basically

Just thought I'd point out that that's about double minimum wage (and a helluva starting salary for a brewer, to boot).

Yeah, $30k is only minimum wage if you work 4137 hours per year, or average ~ 80 hours a week, every week.  Even so, I would take that job if the opportunity arose, 80 hours a week and all.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: boulderbrewer on May 31, 2012, 04:35:00 AM
So far I have no wage, but then I'm not brewing, but plumbing, electrical and construction. Some day I will brew. Will I get paid? I hope so but I have complete creative control.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: corkybstewart on May 31, 2012, 12:00:46 PM
I was offered $30K and 6% of beer sales at a brewpub.  Minimum wage basically

Just thought I'd point out that that's about double minimum wage (and a helluva starting salary for a brewer, to boot).

Yeah, $30k is only minimum wage if you work 4137 hours per year, or average ~ 80 hours a week, every week.  Even so, I would take that job if the opportunity arose, 80 hours a week and all.
Well, I let my wife do the math for me and she wasn't willing to take that kind of pay cut ::)
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: nateo on May 31, 2012, 12:34:25 PM
Was the 6% on beer sales off the gross, or net? Either way, that could potentially be a lot of money if it's a busy brewpub.

It might be obvious to everyone but me, but get any profit-sharing deal like that hammered out explicitly in a contract. I went into business with people I trusted (family) because they offered a profit-sharing deal and minority ownership stake in exchange for working 80-100 hours a week for less than minimum wage. Now, a year later they've decided they don't really feel like honoring their end of the deal, and since I trusted them, I never made them sign anything on paper.

Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: denny on May 31, 2012, 03:17:50 PM
So far I have no wage, but then I'm not brewing, but plumbing, electrical and construction. Some day I will brew. Will I get paid? I hope so but I have complete creative control.

I'd say that in brewing it's the customers who pretty much have creative control.  You can try something creative, but if they don't buy it, they'll dictate what you create.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on May 31, 2012, 05:58:20 PM
I'd say that in brewing it's the customers who pretty much have creative control.  You can try something creative, but if they don't buy it, they'll dictate what you create.

Well said, Denny.

I think that's the biggest difference in the creative aspects of pro vs home brewing. At home, you create for you. At work, you create for your patrons.

You may not like kolsch, witbier, or irish stout... but if thats what sells, thats gotta be 1st priority.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: jeffy on May 31, 2012, 06:12:50 PM
I'd say that in brewing it's the customers who pretty much have creative control.  You can try something creative, but if they don't buy it, they'll dictate what you create.

Well said, Denny.

I think that's the biggest difference in the creative aspects of pro vs home brewing. At home, you create for you. At work, you create for your patrons.

You may not like kolsch, witbier, or irish stout... but if thats what sells, thats gotta be 1st priority.

Unless you are an arrogant bastard. ;)
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: majorvices on May 31, 2012, 06:54:22 PM
I'd say that in brewing it's the customers who pretty much have creative control.  You can try something creative, but if they don't buy it, they'll dictate what you create.

Well said, Denny.

I think that's the biggest difference in the creative aspects of pro vs home brewing. At home, you create for you. At work, you create for your patrons.

You may not like kolsch, witbier, or irish stout... but if thats what sells, thats gotta be 1st priority.

yeah, but the point you guys are missing is this: I have complete creative control over the brewery. Obviously it will depend on what sells. But a brewer coming in to work under me will have to brew what I tell him to brew.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on May 31, 2012, 07:16:48 PM
Ahhh, I gotcha.

So, even though you might not get to brew a barrel-aged-funky-dryhopped-saisonbock, those are YOUR recipes. Otherwise you're just brewing somebody else's.

Kind of like a great chef working for a chain restaurant.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: majorvices on May 31, 2012, 07:38:00 PM
Quote
Kind of like a great chef working for a chain restaurant.

Well, now you are implying that the homebrewer is a better brewer that the probrewer who owns the establishment.  ;) Let's put it this way, my brewery has a very narrow focus on styles. Mostly we brew Belgian and German ales. That's our gig and that's what we are sticking too. We certainly aren't going to change our flagship beers now. That said, if an assistant brewer came up with a great idea and/or recipe I'd certainly let her brew it, as long as it fit in our parameters. But as a business we are going to stick to those parameters.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: denny on May 31, 2012, 07:49:30 PM
yeah, but the point you guys are missing is this: I have complete creative control over the brewery. Obviously it will depend on what sells. But a brewer coming in to work under me will have to brew what I tell him to brew.

So you'll tell him to brew what your customers tell you to brew.....

I realize there is at least a bit of creative freedom.  I'd bet that a couple of the beers you brew are completely new to your customer base, and obviously they've been well received.  But if they didn't like the styles, you'd have no choice but to brew what they liked.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: majorvices on May 31, 2012, 08:04:23 PM
I've had a pretty good run of being creative but staying inside the bounds of moderation, so to speak. Some of our most sought after beers are our Tobacco Road Imperial Amber aged in brandy barrels and our Saison de Detente aged in Chardonnay bbls. And our #1 seller is a Belgian White made with ginger and lime leaves. But, yeah, there are certain limitations you have to consider as far as what will and won't sell, and you have to brew the ones that are selling whether you are tired of brewing them or not. Luckily for me I enjoy brewing all of our styles, though I will say hand grating the ginger every week does tend to get old.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: beersk on June 01, 2012, 06:19:47 PM
Quote
Kind of like a great chef working for a chain restaurant.

Well, now you are implying that the homebrewer is a better brewer that the probrewer who owns the establishment.
That may be true also.  Just because one is a pro doesn't make them better than everyone else.  I realize you may have been tongue in cheek with that statement, but I wanted to rebut anyway.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: narvin on June 01, 2012, 06:27:54 PM
Ahhh, I gotcha.

So, even though you might not get to brew a barrel-aged-funky-dryhopped-saisonbock, those are YOUR recipes. Otherwise you're just brewing somebody else's.

Kind of like a great chef working for a chain restaurant.

$20 bottles of barrel aged funky dryhopped saisonbock are flying off the shelf these days.  If anything, you may not get to brew a Helles!
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: majorvices on June 01, 2012, 06:43:16 PM
Quote
Kind of like a great chef working for a chain restaurant.

Well, now you are implying that the homebrewer is a better brewer that the probrewer who owns the establishment.
That may be true also.  Just because one is a pro doesn't make them better than everyone else.  I realize you may have been tongue in cheek with that statement, but I wanted to rebut anyway.

Yeah, well, try getting a job at a brewery with that attitude.  ;) Also, commercial brewing is a lot different than homebrewing. Most homebrewers would not know there way very well around a commercial brewery. It's a big learning curve. Even if they have the best recipe in the world there is no guarantee it will turn out without the supervision of the folks who know how to make the equipment work.

OTOH I have known some pro brewers who made terrible beer and didn't know jack about brewing. And some of the best beer I have ever tasted has been homebrew.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: nateo on June 01, 2012, 07:02:05 PM
OTOH I have known some pro brewers who made terrible beer and didn't know jack about brewing. And some of the best beer I have ever tasted has been homebrew.

One of my latest pet peeves (I have so many) is new breweries starting up that make a big deal about being "artisans" and making "small batch" beer and all the other buzzwords people love these days, only to make beer that is worse than the high-end offerings from established microbreweries (Avery, Great Divide, Boulevard, etc.).

It's fine to think you could "do it better" than the pros, but only if you actually can.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: beersk on June 01, 2012, 08:29:13 PM
Quote
Kind of like a great chef working for a chain restaurant.

Well, now you are implying that the homebrewer is a better brewer that the probrewer who owns the establishment.
That may be true also.  Just because one is a pro doesn't make them better than everyone else.  I realize you may have been tongue in cheek with that statement, but I wanted to rebut anyway.

Yeah, well, try getting a job at a brewery with that attitude.  ;) Also, commercial brewing is a lot different than homebrewing. Most homebrewers would not know there way very well around a commercial brewery. It's a big learning curve. Even if they have the best recipe in the world there is no guarantee it will turn out without the supervision of the folks who know how to make the equipment work.

OTOH I have known some pro brewers who made terrible beer and didn't know jack about brewing. And some of the best beer I have ever tasted has been homebrew.
I definitely agree with you, was just playing devil's advocate, I guess.
Title: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: majorvices on June 02, 2012, 03:16:40 PM
Fwiw I always appreciate devils advocate.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on June 05, 2012, 01:55:14 PM
One of my latest pet peeves (I have so many) is new breweries starting up that make a big deal about being "artisans" and making "small batch" beer and all the other buzzwords people love these days, only to make beer that is worse than the high-end offerings from established microbreweries (Avery, Great Divide, Boulevard, etc.).

It's fine to think you could "do it better" than the pros, but only if you actually can.

+1 - especially in the wild/sour/funky beer market. Bigger craft breweries spend a lot of time, money, and effort to make these wonderful beers. Don't just pitch some orval dregs into a belgian blonde that didnt turn out and slap a $20 price tag on it.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: DrewG on June 05, 2012, 02:19:00 PM
Or an infected porter, although they who shall remain unnamed did own that that was the case.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: nateo on June 05, 2012, 02:27:34 PM
Or an infected porter, although they who shall remain unnamed did own that that was the case.

A bar I won't name was charging a premium for an infected batch of a beer I won't name. Is it likely it was the bar's fault it was infected, or was it the keg?
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: DrewG on June 05, 2012, 02:37:24 PM
This was at a brewpub, and I talked to the brewer. Beer was infected in the fermentor.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on June 05, 2012, 06:51:08 PM
I'm all about "happy accidents" - some great beers have come from these. But, if an accident turns into a beer worth selling, you should market it as such.

Extra time, effort, money, etc. was not invested to warrant a price increase. If anything - a price reduction would be in order.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: morticaixavier on June 05, 2012, 06:56:09 PM
I'm all about "happy accidents" - some great beers have come from these. But, if an accident turns into a beer worth selling, you should market it as such.

Extra time, effort, money, etc. was not invested to warrant a price increase. If anything - a price reduction would be in order.

Price has very little to do with time, effort or money invested. That sets the minimum price below which it is not possible to sell the product but actual selling price is based on what the market will bare. hence a pair of nike sneakers selling for 200$ when it costs .20$ to manufacture. If the brewer thinks the happy accident makes for an exceptional beer, and there is a limited supply, there is a chance the market will bare a higher price. Even if there is not a limited supply, if the brewer (or the marketer) believes they can get people to pay a premium they should charge a premium.
Title: Re: Typical brewers salary?
Post by: DrewG on June 05, 2012, 07:03:52 PM
I don't remember what they charged for it (doesn't really make a difference either way to me). I thought it was cool that they were up front about it, basically "Hey we screwed the pooch on this, but it tastes pretty good anyway", which it did. The brewer got stuck tending bar for an hour, and since it was slow I got to shoot the s*** with him for a while. Nice guy.