Five different IPA's in the tap room isn't really a variety.
A very good point along with a number of others in this thread. I love IPA, but most of them taste and look cloudy and amateurish (and I have a quiet chuckle every time I hear the nonsensical excuse that "IPA is supposed
to look that way").
With regard to brewer salaries, in speaking to people I know or have known in the commercial brewing world over the years it is clear that there is quite
a wide range. It depends on a lot of things: how committed to quality the owner is, the size of the operation, how much business the brewery is doing, and of course, how much the brewer is willing to accept.. I've heard of talented head brewers with a good, specifically focused total
brewing education and a proven track record making at least $60k/year...but brewers working under
the head brewer will generally rarely come even close
to that kind of salary for two reasons: 1) they are the "line cooks" of the brewing world and 2) (based on what I've been told more than once) they are a 'dime a dozen'.
One of the things that a lot
of breweries need to figure out (especially the new breed of small, "local" ones) is that rushing product out the door using the 'freshness' hype spin actually often results in clearly sub-par product. Of course, aside from the impatience factor that is often a holdover from the homebrewing roots of many of the small, local startups, proper aging/storage is certainly a problem for the new breed of small brewers because time is money; they generally need
to turn product around quickly.
Here in NJ there have been quite a few new small breweries popping up and most of them are serving beers that taste like they were brewed last week (and that's not a compliment).