This Local Brewer Started an OnlyFans to Boost Her Income

Alyssa Thorpe's beer-centric account on Instagram has grown to over 30,000 followers.
Alyssa Thorpe's beer-centric account on Instagram has grown to over 30,000 followers. southernbeergirl/Instagram
“I don’t think it’s any big secret that brewers just don’t really make a whole lot of money,” says Alyssa Thorpe, head brewer at Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery. She loves her job, the ownership and her co-workers, but she hasn’t been able to afford to live the life that she really wants. “I’m a single woman living in downtown Denver, and rent is outrageous,” she notes. “I like to experience things, travel, and I just wasn’t able to do that on the wage I was making.”

Thorpe refers to not making enough money in the past tense because she recently launched an OnlyFans page, a move that has been a resounding success. OnlyFans is an adult-oriented website where fans can subscribe to see exclusive content from creators. Thorpe got over 400 subscribers in the first month, and at $7.99 per month for the lowest subscription tier, that adds up to a lot of money. She estimates that her income tripled almost overnight as a result of the decision.

The idea for the OnlyFans page wasn’t new to her. “It’s something that I’ve been asked about over and over,” she says, explaining that people messaged her on social media regularly asking if she’s ever had the idea, or when she was going to do it. And with an Instagram page that is nearing 35,000 followers — around 85 percent of whom are male, according to Thorpe — the idea made a lot of sense.

Thorpe’s Instagram account has grown at a pretty fast pace. It all began when she was going through the Regis University brewing program. “I was sharing brew days on my personal Instagram, and I noticed it was getting a lot of likes,” she recalls. Then she was featured on the home page of Men’s Health magazine for an article about the best beer Instagram accounts to follow. “Overnight, my account grew by around 5,000 followers, and ever since, it’s just kind of grown steadily,” she adds.
Thorpe originally posted a lot of beer can photos and poses, but she started to realize that the fact that she was a brewer set hers apart from a lot of similar pages. “I started to feature brewing more, being in the professional world,” she says. That focus continues today.

Thorpe had been studying the idea of OnlyFans for a while, talking with other creators and getting to know the ins and outs. “I’m the kind of person that if I’m going to do something, I’m not going to half-ass it,” she says. And she wouldn’t have been comfortable doing this earlier in her brewing career. “The fact that I’ve made a name for myself as a brewer — that made a huge difference. Any time you do sex work or anything that’s a little risqué, you always have that kind of [talking] behind your back, that label. So I have the proof that I’ve worked hard to be where I’m at.”

The money has been really good, but so has the reception...for the most part. “I lost around 600 followers when I made the announcement,” admits Thorpe, which is just under 2 percent of her Instagram following. She adds that there were also a couple of comments that she would consider “shitty." Otherwise, everyone has been supportive.

While she doesn’t feel the need to ask for permission when it comes to this topic, she is thankful that her employer has been supportive, too, even giving her some CPA recommendations when she was looking for resources to help her manage the financial side of her new venture.
Alyssa Thorpe is the head brewer at Jagged Mountain Brewery.
Alyssa Thorpe
Money may have been the biggest motivator, but Thorpe also says that creative freedom is nice, too. “I never felt comfortable sharing risqué photos [on social media], going out of the realm [of beer],” she explains. Not having to link everything to beer is something she enjoys. She says about 80 percent of the content on her OnlyFans page is unrelated to beer. And the parts that are related to beer are not related to Jagged Mountain.

Thorpe is quick to point out that she considers her professional brewing life completely separate from her OnlyFans venture — so you won’t find any racy photos on the brew deck or at the taproom. She's also very clear that in the professional brewing world, she's not keen to talk about it and is quick to set boundaries with her peers.

She has been very busy on nights and weekends creating content for her page, as well as custom content, which subscribers can purchase for additional money. Personal access is also something that Thorpe sells to her subscribers; she spends hours chatting privately with them on the OnlyFans platform.

“This is mostly geared toward men. I like to think of myself as an expert, because I faked being straight for a long time,” adds Thorpe, who came out as queer several years ago. “So I just know what guys want.”
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Ryan Pachmayer is a beer writer living in Arvada. He has written for publications such as Craft Beer & Brewing, Zymurgy, Porch Drinking, Homebrewing DIY and Punch. He is also the head brewer at Yak & Yeti Brewpub, marketing director at New Image Brewing and a BJCP Certified Judge.

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