Food & Drink

The People Who Make Your Beer Are Seriously Underpaid

Published On 10/14/2016 Published On 10/14/2016
beer and money
Africa Studio/OlegDoroshin/Shutterstock and Oren Aks/Thrillist

Very few people feel like they make enough money. Hell, Scrooge McDuck probably thinks he's underpaid, and that guy uses money instead of water in his pool.

Considering the popularity of craft beer in America, it seems like there should be more money to go around. But it turns out, the folks filling your pints with joy aren't necessarily raking it in. To see what you'd make if you scored a job in the craft beer industry, take a look at these statistics provided to us by the Brewers Association. But hey, at least the get free beer... right?

(Editor's Note: The ranges given are base salaries based on the size and type of the brewery. Everything from brewpubs to large craft breweries are represented. Bonuses were not included.)

Salaries of eight different jobs in craft beer

Brewmaster
$44,844 - $95,403

Assistant brewer
$23,292 - $36,871

Owner
$43,333 - $225,930

Administrative/office worker
$37,167 - $42,188

Sales manager
$43,000 - $103,072

Marketing manager
$39,000 - $89,428

Marketing staff
$31,280 - $47,198

Human resources
$37,833 - $62,826

Putting the salaries in context

If you look at those salaries and go, "$95k is a lot of money for a brewmaster," you're not wrong. But that's the exception, not the rule. That salary is the mean salary for a brewmaster at a large craft brewery, and there's only one brewmaster at those breweries. Most brewers are making a salary more in line with the assistant brewer position, which is between $23k-$36k.

The same goes for the rest of these positions: the higher salaries are at the larger craft breweries, who presumably have some cash to spend on the people who make the brewery great, and the beer taste so good.

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Lee Breslouer is a senior writer for Thrillist, and enjoys beer. Follow him to tweets about beer: @LeeBreslouer.

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