Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Brew Master for the Army

A day late and four dollars short (inflation), but there was a posting on USAJOBS for a brew master for the Army.  The listing ended yesterday. In my head I immediately envisioned Pauley Shore from In the Army Now. Then I came back to reality and thought to myself, self, that would be cool you should apply. The opening was located in Fort Sill, Oklahoma and I had to re-read the posting to make sure the Army part was right.

The major duties:
Plans and manages the day-to-day operation of a brewery. Prepares and/or oversees the preparation of beer following and creating recipes. Develops operating budget, identifying labor, equipment and supply cost elements. Controls pricing, beer production methods and techniques. Supervises assigned staff.

Salary Range: $22,020.00 - $22,020.00/year

Benefits: Flexible employees are not entitled to benefits

After reading the salary amount and seeing the exclusion of benefits, I was intrigued as to how much head brewers actually made in the private sector. The salary equates to about $10.60/hr if you don’t work any overtime. So you would be running all operations of a business for $10.60/hr, seems kind of strange to me. So I set off on the Internet to research how much head brewers actually make.

I ran into some problems finding up-to-date information on a head brewer salary range. Most of the information I found was at least a couple of years old. After some research, I ran across a post from February 2011 on the Beer and Whiskey Brothers website. Based on the website post, the Brewers Association puts the salary range of a brew master at $30,000 to $50,000. To read the full article visit Beer and Whiskey Brothers.

I never had the privilege of being involved with a commercial brewery operation, so I can not comment on that directly. Drawing from my homebrew experience, I can attest to the fact there is a tremendous amount of work involved.  To put that on a commercial stage and actually be responsible for how the beer turns out would be amazingly stressful.  The compensation for the master brewer does not seem to fit the lopsided equation.  The work and stress seems like it would completely outweigh the compensation.  At the conclusion of my research I have even more appreciation for craft beer and the people behind it. Perhaps someone who is, or knows any of the local master brewers in the area can comment on the accuracy of the Brewers Association salary range.

To the people of local craft brew,
thank you and cheers!

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