A topic that has come to my attention a lot recently is how to properly tip beertenders at a brewery. I’ve read articles, had discussions with customers and coworkers, and of course, have everyday experience to draw from.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind during your next brewery visit:
When you order a full pint, tip at least a dollar (plus change when applicable). This is standard across the industry, and chances are, you’ll continue to get quick service when your glass is empty. A pint of beer will generally run somewhere between $5-8: an average of about $6.50. If you consider that 15-20% tip is standard, then your tip on a pint should be between $1-1.50.
When your beertender goes above and beyond (i.e. giving you several “splashes” to try before you order, giving you a freebie, etc.), go above and beyond the standard tip for them. Often times, beertenders notice when you do this, and chances are, they’ll continue to hook you up from time to time!
If you’re ordering a flight, tip at least two dollars. These take a bit more finesse – more time to pour, often dealing with indecisive customers, etc. and therefore deserve a slightly larger tip than a pint would.
If you’re getting a crowler or growler fill, the general rule of 15-20% is appreciated. Often times, we have to hold up the line of customers waiting to grab their next pint while we take time away to fill a growler or crowler. It’s fair to tip accordingly for this service.
If you use a growler, please make sure you bring them in clean! Always rinse it with hot water immediately after use, let air dry, and store upright without a cap (breweries will generally provide you with a new one at no charge). Before you bring it in, do the sniff test: if there’s no smell, it’s clean. If it smells at all, soak again in hot water and give it a good rinse.
If you’re simply picking up pre-packaged beer or merch to go, a small tip of a dollar or two is certainly appreciated, but not necessarily expected. Your beertender likely didn’t have to go through much trouble with this kind of transaction, so you don’t have to go out of your way if this is the case.
If you’re paying in cash as you go, tip a bit higher your first round. This will usually ensure that your bartender is keeping an eye on your glass, and as soon as it’s empty, they’re likely to have another round ready to serve you.
Lastly, leave your tip in cash whenever possible, even if you’re paying by card. Depending on the establishment, some bartenders are able to take some cash tips without paying the tax on it in their paycheck. It’s not the case for every employee or every brewery, but either way, we generally prefer a cash tip and walking away with money in our pockets.
Many people believe the origin of the term “tips” was actually as an acronym: To Insure Prompt Service.
Remember, beertenders often rely on tips as part of their income—even spare change adds up at the end of the night. Please keep these tips in mind next time you visit your local brewery. Always be kind and respectful to your beertenders!