Brewers themselves seldom reap the profits
"Brewers are some of the lowest-paid workers in craft beer. That's the disgusting truth. It's not fair, but breweries can get away with it. I think there are certain personalities driven to brewing. They're passionate. It's an art and a science -- there's a technical aspect to it. I think certain personalities are OK with that lifestyle and the pay that comes along with it."
Most people working in the industry aren't getting paid, either
"People on my team have salaries in the low $30,000 range, and that kills me because they're talented and work hard. You couldn't just hire a bum off the street to do their jobs, and they make more than our brewers. That's how bad it is. It's not just us.
"The craft beer industry notoriously pays shit. It still astonishes me when I hear what some people get paid. That's because our margins are so tight. Then you look at spirits -- their margins are insane. At a dive bar, a whiskey & soda is $6-$7. Think of how much profit that one bottle pays the distillery. Your glass is halfway filled with soda water! The margins are incredible for the bar, the distributor, and the distillery."