Typical Roles at a Microbrewery

A microbrewery has unique roles that need to be filled, including head brewer, assistant brewer, and brewery representative. If your brewery is also a pub, you will need to hire for all of the positions in a restaurant.

General Manager

This is the first role you’ll need to think about when building your team. In many cases, the business owner can act as his/her own general manager.

Typical Salary: $35,000 per year

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Hiring and scheduling employees
  • Keeping track of inventory
  • Adhering to health and safety standards
  • Ensuring customer satisfaction  

Who to Look For:

  • Previous management experience
  • Able to manage customers’ complaints
  • Available for many shifts, as they are an integral part of everyday business

Head Brewer

The head brewer, or brewmaster, is in charge of crafting different beers. This is a job that could be done by the owner, or you can hire an experienced employee.

Salary: $62,000 per year

What This Role Entails:

  • Choosing ingredients and creating recipes
  • Overseeing fermentation process
  • Familiar with cellar operations, packaging, and quality control procedures

Who to Look For:

  • Some brewing experience
  • Brewing education preferred

Assistant Brewer

The assistant brewer is a sort of apprentice of the head brewer. They complete the same tasks as the head brewer, but do not have the final say when it comes to creating recipes.

Salary: $32,000

What This Role Entails:

  • Choosing ingredients and creating recipes
  • Overseeing fermentation process
  • Familiar with cellar operations, packaging, and quality control procedures

Who to Look For:

  • Some brewing experience
  • Brewing school (optional)

Brewery Representative

Brewery representatives may work in the microbrewery and its adjoined restaurant, if applicable, or they may work outside the premises. Their job is to sell the craft beer to customers.

Salary: $44,000 per year

What This Job Entails:

  • Promoting and selling craft beer
  • Networking in local and regional areas

Who to Look For:

  • Enjoys working with the community
  • Knowledgeable about the product(s)
  • Good salesperson


Microbrewery Hiring Tips

Hiring employees can seem like a nerve-wracking process, but it doesn't have to be. We break the process down into four basic steps: (1) Planning; (2) Recruiting; (3) Interviewing; and (4) Completing the Hire. Here are some tips for each phase of the process

Plan to Staff Your Business

A microbrewery should provide its customers with friendly staff and a comfortable place to sit while they enjoy their drinks. Many breweries also offer a menu to their clients, so they will need to offer the fast and quality service of a restaurant.

Regardless of whether your microbrewery will sell food, you will need to hire two main groups of employees: those who actually brew the beer and manage the equipment, and those who will be interacting with and serving customers. In the early stages of your business, you can help out with one of these roles if you need to.

Develop a Recruiting Strategy

As the purpose of your business is to sell alcohol, you will want to hire employees who are over 21. You may hire underage servers, but they must have a bartending license. Advertise your job openings with flyers in local pubs and restaurants that are likely to be frequented by beer aficionados. The brewery industry is fast growing and very trendy, so you will likely find plenty of interested applicants.

Interview with Confidence

If you take your time during the planning and recruiting phases of the process, you will likely end up with many qualified candidates.

Nonetheless, it is perfectly natural for a new business owner to be a bit anxious the first time hiring employees. Don’t forget that the interview is just a chance to get to know an applicant and to give them an opportunity to learn more about the role and the business. Also, it might help to remember that they are probably even more nervous than you are!

Throughout the interview process, it may help to keep in mind that most microbrewery owners look for employees who are:

  • Clean
  • Friendly
  • Detail-oriented
  • Knowledgeable about beers outside of the microbrewery as well

Here are some sample interview questions that will help you learn more about the character of your interviewees:

  • What did you think of our beers that you’ve had?  Which was your favorite?  Least favorite?  Why?
  • What are you currently doing (and planning on doing in the next year) to improve your brewing?
  • Would you be available to work during weekday evenings and weekends?
  • Tell me about a time when you worked under stress. How did you manage it?

Be Familiar with Hiring Laws

After selecting a job candidate, there are certain steps you will need to follow to complete the hiring process. Check out our Hiring Compliance Checklist for a step-by-step guide to the legal aspects of hiring employees.

One of the most important steps is to classify your new hire as an employee or an independent contractor. Become familiar with IRS guidelines on this matter, as there are serious consequences for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor.

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For more details, please refer to our guide on the topic, Contractors vs. Employees: What You Need to Know. We also provide templates for the essential hiring forms you will need.

Set Up Payroll

Once you have a growing team of employees, it's time to set up your payroll. Using a payroll service provider saves you time for running your business, and also helps ensure that you comply with important federal requirements such as employee tax withholding.

To help our readers save money and grow their business, we negotiated a 20% discount for you with payroll provider ADP, the most popular small business provider in the country.

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Try ADP and get 20% off payroll services for your business.

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