Possible job at a brewery? Wise decision?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by MammaGoose, Apr 9, 2013.

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  1. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    If I could leave my current job in IT to work for a brewery and keep the same pay I would do it in a heartbeat.

    The saying is people that do what they love for a living never work a day in their life....and I could not agree more.

    Do it, and never look back.
    kemoarps and 4kbrianb like this.
  2. ryan782

    ryan782 Initiate (15) Aug 29, 2010 Michigan

    Here is a little insight. I have been professionally brewing for 8 years, and I can't speak for everyone but most people do not get into the industry to make a lot of money, they get into it to do create one of the greatest and most versatile beverages in the world. It is one of the greatest industries to be in, there is an amazing sense of community and helpfulness that is unrivaled, IMO. But that being said, if you are not extremely passionate about it don't do it. I think a lot of people just think about the fun stuff like drinking beer and going to festivals and events. Expect to work long hours, be stressed out. Plan on getting possibly getting blasted with yeast or water and getting dirty and working hard. It isn't the easiest job, but I wouldn't trade it for anything else. So as someone else said, go for your passion and if you decide to do it welcome to the club!
    frazbri and jkblodge like this.
  3. jageraholic

    jageraholic Disciple (388) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I would take a job at a brewery in a heartbeat if they would pay what I am making at my current job. Unfortunately I don't think they would and I have bills to pay and a lifestyle I'm used to. My current job isn't rewarding at all, definitely work to live. So that's why I homebrew as a hobby to do something more rewarding with my time outside of work. Always wish for that lotto win so that I could be the happiest bastard at a brewery mopping floors and cleaning out fermenting tanks.
  4. jfarrlley

    jfarrlley Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2012 Connecticut

    I think the obvious answer (in both the response you will get on beer advocacy website *and* the right thing to do) is to take the brewery job. To reiterate some points plus make some new ones:

    · Assume you are in your twenties…this is perfect time to take the leap. Not tied down to family yet, your boyfriend appears supportive and willing to chip in extra on the bills if needed to make it happen, and you are probably in a situation generally where you do not have significant financial obligations. You won’t be able to take this risk in 10 years with a husband, kids, and a home.
    · Need to be honest with yourself though and realize that, even if you somehow make it to head brewmaster or something lofty, you will never be making serious coin working at a brewery. Don’t fool yourself that this brewery is ‘up and coming’. Even the best craft breweries will be hometown heroes only and make a nice, but not great, living for their employees. You brew beer for the love of it…not because it’s going to get you rich.
    · Caveat to last bullet: You somehow have a long term gameplan of opening your own brewery down the line. If you are successful, perhaps there is more opportunity for you to make some decent coin as owner, but there are a lot of other risks you are undertaking on that front.
    · Don’t know the local employment situation, but sounds like you are concerned about lost opportunity by leaving current company. If you are good at what you do and treat people right along the way, that job (or something equivalent) should be around if the brewery gig goes bad. Just explain to your boss that you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to follow your passions and need to explore it. Give yourself a year (or two tops) at the brewery and if it doesn’t feel like the brewery is going to make it or would prefer brewing as a hobby vs. profession, get back into your previous career before your resume gets to stale. If you do the brewery thing for five years and bail, your previous employer will be looking at a giant gap on your resume (and chances are most of the folks who could vouch for you might be gone).

    That’s the advice from a 38 year old working the insurance industry and realizing too late that his passion is beer making. Wish I had that revelation 10-15 years ago…I’d be in a much different place (for better or for worse) J
  5. chcfan

    chcfan Devotee (466) Oct 29, 2008 California

    Sounds like you're in a great situation for this brewing opportunity. If you were to have kids or a mortgage or other stuff like that, then you'd probably have to stick with the stable route unless your SO was making big bucks. I would have to think that you could do better money-wise than that lab job if you will make about the same part time for a brewery; I've heard of people making $8 hour in similar brewery roles.

    Anywho, I would say go for it! There will always be lab jobs or other stuff that may be less fulfilling and better paying, but I would not expect another opportunity like this to come along soon, if ever. As mentioned above, you could supplement your income with another part time gig if money gets tight.
  6. chcfan

    chcfan Devotee (466) Oct 29, 2008 California

    OP, this is something to think about long-term. You might be able to get an idea of ranges from listings on probrewer. I can tell you that there was a show that visited Oskar Blues last year to talk to their head brewer, who reportedly makes $47,000 per year. That number will obviously vary by brewery and location, but it's probably not going to get too much higher. Certainly not a bad income and probably would go a long way in Wyoming, but it's something to think about.
  7. ESeab

    ESeab Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2013 New Jersey

    I read it. Seems like you answered your own question.

    Have fun Brewing :slight_smile:
  8. Reneejane

    Reneejane Devotee (440) Jan 15, 2004 Illinois

    You're young, can afford to work part-time, you have the stamina for hard labor. So, from that perspective, I'd say do it, because if the choice presents itself later on, when you might have more financial responsibilities (ie: mortgage, car loan, children...), and maybe are older, you won't be in the position you are in now.
  9. TheLostGringo

    TheLostGringo Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2011 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    To me its a no brainer, "Do-it" now before life gets in the way and chasing dreams becomes difficult. Good luck!
    jrnyc likes this.
  10. Reneejane

    Reneejane Devotee (440) Jan 15, 2004 Illinois

    I liked prairie rock. down in Schaumberg, didn't it go out of business, though?
  11. JM03

    JM03 Initiate (0) Nov 12, 2010 Ohio

    I do not know anyone (including myself) who gets up, goes to work each day, and actually loves what they do. If you've figured out that you'll be OK money wise (and future wise), then its a no brainer.
  12. 4kbrianb

    4kbrianb Initiate (0) Jan 2, 2013 California

    Let me just say that I hope you remember the sound advice I gave you in this thread... say, when you decide to share this local brewery beers with us little people. I feel like I was a real driving force in this decision and it will benefit you and your husband for many years to come... just a thought
  13. mborden

    mborden Initiate (172) Jan 28, 2009 New York

    Sounds like you'd rather have a part-time full life than a full-time half life <science jokezzz>. Do it.
    kemoarps likes this.
  14. imbrue001

    imbrue001 Aspirant (213) Aug 6, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Much like bungee jumping.. don't ever work for a brewery in Mexico. They just don't have the regulations.
    BeerKangaroo and BrettHead like this.
  15. BrettHead

    BrettHead Devotee (478) Sep 18, 2010 Nebraska

    Holy crap someone who might possibly like Cable Guy as much as I do! :grinning:
  16. bulldogbrewhaus

    bulldogbrewhaus Initiate (0) Sep 17, 2012 Virginia

    Do it. You obviously have the education to get another lab job if things dont work out. Pretty soon we could all be drinking your beer. Cheers and good luck to one of my favorite posters.
  17. Ell

    Ell Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2009 Alabama

    Roll Tide indeed fellows!

    Aside from echoing that sentiment, let me say this. Seems like you're young and don't have a lot of actual responsibilities. I don't mean that flip or sarcastically - I just mean you don't have kids or a mortgage or any other of the things that will likely give you pause if this opportunity hits you in a decade.

    A few years back, I lost my job, and was working totally outside whatever could even be generously described as "my field". I worked at that for a few years, all the while homebrewing and doing what I could to make ends meet and still enjoy times when I wasn't at the office.

    All of this culminated in a sudden opportunity to open my own brewery. I do have a mortgage, car payment, credit card bills, etc, so I've kept my "real" job, and jumped at the brewery. The hours are long and exhausting. It will change how you appreciate beer (ie, I heard a rumor Stone was looking at coming to the Alabama market, and was at once overjoyed then immediately terrified they'd take handles from us). But at the end of all that hard work, you've made beer.

    And the first time you're sitting quietly at the end of the bar and hear a patron say "I'd like another - that's damn good beer"... well, let's just say that is when you'll know for sure you've made the right decision.

    Good luck!
    DStoked, BrettHead and kemoarps like this.
  18. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (2,647) Oct 14, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    The nice thing (and I think no one mentioned it yet) is that you have the sort of academic background that you can build on in advanced/graduate studies--I know there's lots of programs around the country (that would require moving or relocating briefly) in brewing/brewing sciences (?) that require the background in the 'hard' sciences. (Ah! Gotcha--if you thought I was going to suggest getting a ph.d. in studying radioactive materials.)

    Plus, you know, a lifetime of working with decaying isotopes sounds kinda scary from a health standpoint. At least with beer you kind of know what to expect.

    Good luck!
  19. BoneyardBrewer

    BoneyardBrewer Initiate (105) Apr 24, 2005 Michigan

    You' better be prepared to do "bitch work" for your entire brewing career as 90% of working in a brewery is cleaning, moving, etc. Unless you become Brewmaster for a very large brewery you will always have to perform those duties.
  20. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,035) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    <<<<<< Turned a great hobby into a job he hates....
  21. DaveAnderson

    DaveAnderson Devotee (479) Jan 11, 2011 Minnesota

    Do us all a favor, and name one of your beers "TOPE".

    kemoarps likes this.
  22. schnarr84

    schnarr84 Zealot (569) Nov 27, 2011 Alberta (Canada)

    i too am in such a quandry, i interviewed at a brewery this week for a brewing related position and felt it went exceptionally well. also just finished third interview at another company in sales. both would pay similarly, and similar benefits. only difference is the brewery is shift work and the sales job is 7-3. go for passion or go for shift stabiliity. .hhrm
  23. mintjellie

    mintjellie Defender (630) Oct 2, 2005 Ontario (Canada)

    I've worked lots of "grown-up" jobs. I've worked copy room at a law firm, entry-level office work (mail room, document runner, etc). I've done warehousing and landscaping. I've worked in factories and in e-waste recycling. And it all sucked. I didn't stick with any of them. Hell - I just couldn't stick with them.

    Now, after going back to school for the past two years and working part-time in a greasy spoon, I've landed a job as an apprentice cook at a ski resort. I start next Monday. I've heard it said that kitchens are a young persons gig, but I'm almost 30 and happier than a pig in shit.

    You seem pretty unhappy with your current job. Not for financial reasons, or for anything to do with how you're treated, but simply because you don't like the work. You also have the opportunity to do something you seem to love so much, I bet you would wake up so excited to go to work that the hairs on the back of your neck would stand on end. Not everyone gets the opportunity to follow their bliss, and if you feel like this is a calling then you should at least try to make a living of it.

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