View Full Version : who gets free beer?

11-25-2012, 11:07 AM
Everything I've seen indicates that free take-home beer for brewers is standard practice. But for those of you who have a taproom/pub attached to the brewery or a significant separated packaging operation, what are your free beer policies for those employees?

bonus question, on average, how much beer does each employee tend to take home per year?

11-25-2012, 04:15 PM
All employees get a shift beer at the end of their shift. We have an employee purchase program that gives a "significant" discount on all brewery merchandise including beer. All beer still must go through the register and inventory-out sheets.


11-25-2012, 10:49 PM
As Dave said, all beer is accounted for through the register/balance sheet. Staff should get a steep discount (determined by you) but will still pay for the beer. It's not a free for all, it's a business.

11-26-2012, 07:26 AM
Thanks for the responses guys. Of course everything should be accounted for. But from a prior thread I read here (and unfortunately can't dig up) it seemed that unlimited free beer was the norm for brewery staff. That is certainly the case at the brewery our head brewer is currently working at. He can even just take a keg home for a party if he wants. Do you not do that? Is it less of a norm than it seemed to me?

11-26-2012, 08:22 AM
...But from a prior thread I read here (and unfortunately can't dig up) it seemed that unlimited free beer was the norm for brewery staff. That is certainly the case at the brewery our head brewer is currently working at...

That sounds like a very bad policy, if not downright foolish especially when the allowance is 'unlimited'.
As SlapShot correctly ponts out..."it's a business".

11-26-2012, 02:46 PM
Our brewery staff gets two pints free per day at the tap room. For everything else, there is an employee price (discount).


11-27-2012, 05:58 AM
It's cheaper to pay a brewer in beer then in salary.

11-27-2012, 10:35 AM
It's cheaper to pay a brewer in beer then in salary.
Challenge accepted.

11-27-2012, 10:57 AM
It's cheaper to pay a brewer in beer then in salary.

You wouldn't think so, given the low pay that some brewers earn.

11-27-2012, 06:58 PM
I've worked at breweries that didn't even give me a discount. Although that just encouraged the bar tenders to "help" us brewers out.

Otherwise the "unlimited" keg situation does exist at my current employer, but us brewers tend to police ourselves, and usually only take home the low-fills.

12-16-2012, 10:47 AM
I never take kegs home... maybe a growler at the end of the week. I usually partake in a couple of pints at the end of the workday, but not more than that. The pub I work at has around 50 taps, only 8 are currently house brews, so I am able to sample what ever I want.

I respect the fact that even if I made the beer, it is not my property, and it is brewed to be sold. However, the owners are very generous people and allow me to use my own judgement when it comes to how much product I consume.

Once I asked for a couple of growlers to take home to bring to my brother's party on a weekend. The owner offered a 5-gallon keg instead. I thanked him for his generosity, and said the growlers would be enough.

06-21-2014, 08:09 PM
It's cheaper to pay a brewer in beer then in salary.

Can I come work at your brewery?! I'll take my pay in beer and "then" in salary! Unless of course you actually meant to use the right word, "than", then, never mind. :D

06-22-2014, 06:47 PM
How bout investors and family?

TTB Helper
07-22-2014, 07:29 AM
Just be sure your daily records, BROPS and taxes account for the beer removed. Running employee beer through the register is the cleanest way to keep track.


07-22-2014, 07:53 AM
How bout investors and family?

For investors we do one 1/6 a month on us. We only have two investors outside of the full time staff, so it's not much. Staff gets first shot at any under filled kegs. Aside from that, everyone pays the same price our distributors pay.

Our situation may be a little different than others though, as we are production only without a taproom. The only free pints are the ones in the kegerator from short filled kegs.

07-22-2014, 08:14 AM
I worked for the past year and a half at a brewery that did approx. 25,000BBL/yr. and their policy was employees could take home 3 cases a month, as well as low fills. All removals were to be documented, and some styles of beer that were higher cost / in high demand by customers (such as the DIPA and Barleywine) were not able to be removed.

I imagine the answer would depend on the size of the operation... I'll probably allow my employee(s) a free pint at the end of their shift as well as a growler-fill to take home. This for a 3BBL operation with on-site sales only (no distribution.)

07-22-2014, 09:30 AM
We are a Tap House and we brew off site.

Currently, we offer 2 shift beers for bartenders, servers and cooks. All front of house folk eat for 50% off. cooks eat for free on work days.
All employees can bring in family and friends and receive a 25% discount on the entire check.

We don't sell growlers, but brewers can take a growler in lieu of the shift beers. brewers eat for free.

Once we build our new brewery, we are likely to offer all employees 1 growler/week and they will be able to purchase growlers and cases at a discounted price.

08-12-2015, 08:47 PM
We have tried various different policies when it comes to this. What we found out, being employee owned and there being so few of us, is that even with full free access none of us abuse it. Anything involving Kegs requires approval from the president/Brew master, but we only ever ask maybe twice a year, even then it's a 1/6th bbl. Officially it's 4 pints a day and if we don't have anything we have the option to fill a growler, anything over 4 and it's $1 a beer to recoup cost. 9 times out of 10 no one even takes the offered growler. If you trust your employees there is no need to put a restriction on their consumption because they will never do anything to hurt the company. With all of that said, EVERYTHING goes though the register for tax purposes and so on. People who are treated right and feel appreciated work harder.