Brewer Compensation Survey

Labor Day is just three weeks out, a date on which I usually write about how hard brewers work--and for how little remuneration. Last year I actually found some numbers to highlight this point, but I've always wanted to dig deeper. I'm hoping you will help.

Above is a relatively brief survey. This year I'm surveying brewers and cellerpeople. I realize people work elsewhere in a brewery, but this will help set up a baseline for the people who make the beer--perhaps next year I'll branch out. This isn't quite a scientific survey--I'm not sending it directly to brewers to fill out, largely because I don't have access to a representative sample. But I hope to get enough responses to offer fairly good findings. The industry is awash in cash, but as we saw with Toppling Goliath, that doesn't always mean the people doing the hard work actually get paid adequately.

Identifying Information
In order to have some level of validity, I'm asking survey-takers to include names and emails. The function is like a digital signature--in giving your name and email, you affirm it's who you say you are. It also gives me a tool to look at names if they appear to be fishy for any reason. Absolutely no names will be divulged and I'll delete the identities after the survey closes. By deleting names and emails at survey's end, all information will become generic. Even comments you leave in the survey won't be traced back to names.

I would love to get a thousand responses to the survey--that will give me a big enough pool to compare subgroups (head brewers vs master brewers, for example). I will leave the survey open long enough to get a full response. In order to hit this goal, it would be great if you would share this link with coworkers and colleagues in the industry--especially you brewers outside the Northwest. The more responses I get, the better the findings will be. I am looking only for American brewers in this survey.

I will share all the findings of the survey (unless the response is a dud). You'll see it is structured to find out what people earn at different-sized breweries, in different jobs, and in smaller or bigger cities, Usually research like this is costly and not shared broadly. My intention is to make these numbers available to everyone. As workers, one of the strongest tools you have for bargaining is information, and knowing what your peers make is valuable info. In service of that goal, I hope you take the time to send this. If you have any questions about the survey or how I'll handle the data, please contact me at jeff(at)

Thanks for your help!

Jeff Alworth8 Comments