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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Forty Liters a Week

Onward and upward.  Today's transcript, the scholarly and funny Matthias Trum, the young, sixth-generation owner of Schlenkerla.  The quote speaks for itself:
“In the Bavarian constitution, beer is still regarded as food and part of the tariff agreement with the brewery workers is that part of the payment is made in beer. Even today.” Me: “So you pay your workers with beer?” Matthias: “Yeah, yeah. They have a certain amount per week—I think it’s something like 40 liters per week, so it’s fairly large—and they get it tax-free, and they get it as part of their pay. Of course these days they sell at least part of it or supply their families with it”
I will leave the math to you.  "Fairly large" is right.


  1. I've interviewed for jobs with two localish brewers and they both gave each employee a case a month - definitely a fairly large amount! I've heard this is a fairly typical offering, at least for US brewers.

  2. Hmmm, so if we think back to many family members under one roof, and each adult has a liter of beer per day, you only need 6 adults to get to 40 liters per week. Seems feasible for 6 generations ago.

  3. Brewery 'beer breaks' were formalized at Coors in 1894. Settlement of a 24 day strike and lockout in Nov 1898 resulted in Local 44 of the Brewers, Maltsters, and Cooper Union members' benefits of
    - 10 hours' pay for a 09 hours day
    - 05 minutes off of each hour to drink beer supplied by the employers.
    Coors, Neef, Zang were among the Colorado breweries involved.

    08 pints a day 06 days a week would equates to ~95 liters per month.

  4. Jack, yes, but it's not a constitutional amendment, so where is their beer ration now? :-)

  5. My better half worked at Widmer a while back and was getting a case and a half every two weeks as well as 4 pony kegs a year as part of her pay. It was a very nice time.