Pub Talk

How Much Money Can You Make Working in a Brewery?

If you’ve always wanted to land a job in the beer and brewing industry continue reading for tips on how to get your foot in the door, a description of the different job opportunities in a brewery, and we’ll answer the question on everyone’s mind: How much money do brewers make and how much money can you make working in a brewery?

How Much Money Can You Make Working in a Brewery?

Thinking about entering the beer industry? Working with beer sounds like a beer-lovers dream — but is working in the beer industry actually everything you thought it would be? Continue reading to find out if working in a brewery is the perfect job for you.


What is it like to work at a brewery? How much money do brewers make?

How much money you can make when working in a brewery all depends on the size of the brewery, your experience and of course, your job position. Often small brewpub’s only employees are the brewers and brewmasters, while larger breweries and macro breweries need more employees to complete the large workload.

What job positions are there at a brewery?

Brewing beer is a very hands-on job and requires many steps, which means it also requires a lot of employees to keep things running smoothly. Here are some of the positions often offered at brewpubs and breweries.


Brewmaster / Master Brewer Salary
What does a brewmaster do?

The brewmaster, oversees the entire brewing process, recipes, collaborations, etc. They also often manage the brewers below them.

How many years of experience do you need to become a brewmaster?

It can require over 10 years of experience in the brewing industry to become a brewmaster. Brewmasters also are often cicerones too.

How much does a brewmaster make per year?

Top-earning brewmasters can make up to $100,000 a year at a large brewery. Brewmasters working at craft brewpubs earn on average $40,000 – $50,000 per year.


Head / Lead Brewer Salary
What does a lead brewer do in a brewery?

The head brewer is often one of the top positions at the brewery. They have duties and responsibilities quite similar to those of a brewmaster.

How much do head brewers make per year?

Head brewers working in small brewpubs, on average earn a yearly salary of $46,000. In larger brewpubs, they average around $51,000 per year. Brewers who work in small breweries make an avert of $42,500 a year, but brewers working in medium to large scale breweries can make up to $75,000 a year.


What’s the difference between a brewer & a brewmaster?

The brewmaster is the person who handles the brewery’s production from start to finish. At most breweries, the brewmaster is one role higher than the head or lead brewer. Brewers and brewmasters have similar job descriptions. They often do the same work, only the brewmaster has more industry experience.

“A Brewmaster has the necessary skills and experience to run every aspect of production in the brewery from grain to glass. It’s his/her sole responsibility of ensuring the brewery puts out a high quality, safe product for public consumption. To me, it’s not a term to be taken lightly. So I embrace my title of as Brew Master because I know what I had to do to get here. When people acknowledge it and and respect it I appreciate it that much more.” — Smith Matthews of Southbound Brewing


Brewer / Shift Brewer / Production Brewer Salary
What does a brewer do?

The brewer’s role is to help the lead brewer with the brewing process.

How much do brewers make per year?

In 2011, shift brewers at small brewpubs earned an average of just over $20,000 per year. At larger brewpubs, their salary was roughly over $26,000 per year. Working at small breweries, brewers averaged with a salary of around $24,000 and at lager breweries, they made on average $33,000 per year.


Brewer’s Assistant / Assistant Brewer Wage
What is a brewer’s assistant? What does an assistant brewer do?

A brewer’s assistant is exactly that — an assistant. The assistant brewer often is responsible for cleaning brewing equipment, filling kegs, and helping the brewers for a smooth process.

How much money do assistant brewers make?

Assistant brewers are often paid hourly which varies from brewery to brewery.


Searching for a job as a brewer, brewers assistant, or any job where you get to work with like-minded beer lovers?
Check out these beer industry job opportunities in Alberta & British Columbia.


Beer Packager / Packaging Technician Wage
What does a packaging technician do in a brewery?

A packaging technician is responsible for packaging beer into bottles, cans and kegs. They also operate all the packaging machinery.

How much do beer packagers make per year?

In 2011, at small breweries packagers made an average salary of $22,000. At larger breweries, they made about $25,000 per year.


Brewery Laboratory Technician Wage
What is a brewery laboratory technician? What does a brewery lab tech do?

A laboratory technician, a.k.a lab tech, isn’t always a position at breweries and their wage depends heavily on the size of the brewery.

How much do lab techs make at a brewery?

At a large brewery, a lab tech on average makes about $35,000 – $40,000 per year.


Beer Cellar Manager Salary
What do beer cellar managers do?

Cellar managers lead all aspects of the “cold-side” of the brewing process and day-to-day labour of all cellar operations.

How much do cellar managers make?

In 2011, cellar managers earned between $30,000 and $40,000 per year.


Brewpub Servers Wage
What is a brewpub server? What do brewpub servers do?

Brewpub servers are responsible for waiting on the guests that are visiting the brewpub.

How much do servers make at a brewery?

Most servers are paid by the hour and the wage will highly depend on where you live. Wages for a server might seem low at first but they generally make tips from customers on top of their wage.


Other Jobs in the Beer Industry

Of course there are lots of other job opportunities in the beer industry, such as supervisors, managers, beer specialists in liquor stores, and educators. The wages of these positions would all depend on the size of company you work for, and where you live.


Are you still wondering what it’s like to work in a brewery?
Check out our “Chatting with” series and hear true stories and experiences from real brewers.


How to Land a Job in the Beer Industry:

A great way to get your foot into the door in the beer industry is to know what you are doing. A certificate or degree from a valid school is often needed when applying for jobs in the beer industry. Going to school to learn more about beer and the brewing process will give you the hands-on experience that most breweries are looking for when hiring.


Now that you’re on the hunt for a job in the brewing industry, check out these articles to learn ever more about beer:

Women and the Beer Industry in Alberta
What is Beer?
How to Prevent Skunky Beer
What is the #DrinkLocal Movement & Why is it Important?

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