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General Category => Going Pro => Topic started by: rollingstonebadger on December 12, 2017, 10:11:20 PM

Title: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: rollingstonebadger on December 12, 2017, 10:11:20 PM
So a bit ago some guys I'm Facebook friends with messaged me (went to college with them, not close friends) about being the brewer for a brewpub they want to start up. I like brewing, but I've got a full time job making an above average income at a hospital laboratory. So these future partners also have no brewing experience (red flag) but are more business inclined. I told them I can't work full time there.

Am I making a wise decision? I told them I can do part time, or maybe just be a consultant or something.

From my experience being is brewer be a full time gig, and I don't plan on bailing on my career. Sorry I don't  have specs on the size of their proposed system. I'm guessing 8 barrels, so brewing would be approx once a week.

Is it realistic to be their brewer AND work full time at my regular job?
Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: RC on December 13, 2017, 01:21:56 AM
Is it realistic to be their brewer AND work full time at my regular job?

Resoundingly no.
Title: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: BrewBama on December 13, 2017, 01:36:50 AM
Risk vs reward.

I think if you ask most brewers if they love what they do they would say yes. I also think if you ask them if they make an “above average income” in the beginning they’d say no. If your income is equal to your and your family’s security it would be a tough gap to fill. However, if your significant other makes enough to cover expenses plus you have a rainy day fund (~6 months expenses) you may be able to follow your dream. ...if that is your dream.

Likewise, you have been asked by some guys to enter into a lifestyle and they may not see eye to eye with you. If that is the case and a business decision goes south you may end up odd man out. Going into business with someone is like getting married. You gotta have mutual interests, common intent, complimentary ideas, a pre-nup, a damn good lawyer, etc.

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Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: majorvices on December 13, 2017, 12:26:22 PM
Is it realistic to be their brewer AND work full time at my regular job?

Resoundingly no.

Do you like free time? Are you married? Do you have kids? If the answer is "yes" to any of those then there is "no way."
Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: rollingstonebadger on December 13, 2017, 01:34:26 PM
Yeah, sounds like it'd be too much to handle. It was nice being asked, but in this case the negatives outweigh the positives. I don't have kids yet but I do like my free time and my job is secure. Also, I'd be just as happy to keep brewing as a hobby.
Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: denny on December 13, 2017, 04:46:09 PM
Is it realistic to be their brewer AND work full time at my regular job?

Resoundingly no.

THIS^^^
Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: boulderbrewer on December 26, 2017, 02:15:47 AM
I vote No, I'm sure with your credentials you would be wasting your earning potential by doing this. as a side with time constraints might work.
Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: hopfenundmalz on December 26, 2017, 05:12:37 AM
I vote No, I'm sure with your credentials you would be wasting your earning potential by doing this. as a side with time constraints might work.
You have two strong no votes from guys running breweries.  :)
Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: speed on December 26, 2017, 10:43:07 PM
I would have to jump in and agree with the majority. NO
Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: el_capitan on December 27, 2017, 12:00:43 AM
I am in a similar position - some friends opened a brewery and they do most of the brewing themselves.  I got hired as their RND brewer.  I brew 10-gallon batches of new beers to refine recipes before ramping them up to the 7 bbl system.  You might be able to arrange something similar with your friends.  However, I would not give up an established professional career on a gamble.  What I like about my arrangement is that I'm able to brew on a professional level and still maintain my regular career as a teacher. 
Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: klickitat jim on December 28, 2017, 12:15:59 PM
This sounds exactly like "Bro!!!! let's get the band back together!" to me.

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Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: James K on February 11, 2018, 05:51:52 AM
I would stick more on the consulting side if you can. There is only one part time brewer at the brewery I work at and she happens to be more full time at another brewery in town.

At best I think you could give recommendations on the side of system they may want or even recipes.

All the brewers where I work are full time. Shifts starting at 4am going into the afternoon.

To me there is no real part time “brewer” unless you want to be the guy who comes in to wash kegs periodically.
Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: Adam on February 23, 2018, 06:28:10 PM
Don't forget that brewing is not only about making wort.  Fermentation must be monitored, transfers need to be done carefully and by trained hands, kegs need to be filled, tanks need to be cleaned and maintained.  If you can consult with this company and maybe play around on their system and help with fermentation issues that sounds like a blast.  If you are limited to brewing on saturdays and working the week at your real job then your beer may not be what you imagined it to be on brew day.

Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: majorvices on February 24, 2018, 03:19:40 PM
Don't forget that brewing is not only about making wort.  Fermentation must be monitored, transfers need to be done carefully and by trained hands, kegs need to be filled, tanks need to be cleaned and maintained.  If you can consult with this company and maybe play around on their system and help with fermentation issues that sounds like a blast.  If you are limited to brewing on saturdays and working the week at your real job then your beer may not be what you imagined it to be on brew day.

Good point. Managing fermentation is a huge part of the job.
Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: mabrungard on February 24, 2018, 04:30:08 PM
Why destroy your perfectly good hobby by making it a profession?
Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: denny on February 24, 2018, 04:44:27 PM
Why destroy your perfectly good hobby by making it a profession?

THIS^^^^
Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: Visor on February 24, 2018, 04:49:43 PM
  Cuz you don't have enough strife in your life??? Ya gotta have some discomfort to truly enjoy the good times?
Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: jeffy on February 24, 2018, 10:17:59 PM
Why destroy your perfectly good hobby by making it a profession?

THIS^^^^
For years I have said “I’ve already ruined one perfectly good hobby” by going pro.  I am too old to ruin another.
Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: denny on February 24, 2018, 10:24:39 PM
Why destroy your perfectly good hobby by making it a profession?

THIS^^^^
For years I have said “I’ve already ruined one perfectly good hobby” by going pro.  I am too old to ruin another.

I've done that with 3 hobbies and if I'm not careful I could do it with a 4th.
Title: Re: Switching careers to brew?
Post by: majorvices on February 24, 2018, 11:59:50 PM
Why destroy your perfectly good hobby by making it a profession?

THIS^^^^

While I understand this sentiment I am an outlier - I decided all I wanted to do was brew. And outside of marriage and starting a family it was the best thing I have ever done. I f#cking love it.