Every brewer has heard it. “You have the best job in the world.” It echoes through tasting rooms and is seared into the consciousness of brewers all over the planet. And while on most days the sentiment rings true, everyone has an off day from time to time. Search for “dry hop geyser” and thank me later. We’ve all had bad days and left work soaked to the bone with beer or worse. Most brewers will also
tell you that they love what they do. It’s a rare type of job where you can (and are often expected to) taste beer on the clock, and it’s completely understandable that some lush at the tasting room bar inevitably shouts this aforementioned phrase at a passing brewer. It can be annoying especially when said brewer is dealing with one of the many headaches of professional beverage production. But it’s craft beer, it’s all fun all the time right?
Wrong! The job is often hard, hazardous, and doesn’t come with the best pay in the world. So why do we do it? Because of this undeniable infatuation with the world of beer. There’s millennia
worth of culture and tradition, an international community of creative and innovative thinkers, and beer oh delicious beer. The list very well could go on with all of the fun and innovative ways we’ve found to indulge over the years. Whether it’s food pairings, experimental styles, or just a perfectly executed Pilsner, there is literally always something to be excited about.
Many years ago, I felt like a rockstar brewer. Or maybe an indie darling brewer. I worked at an innovative brewery, producing unique beer, and frankly trying some things that just might work. Often they didn’t, but we learned and grew through our experiences eventually creating remarkable libations which had few comparisons across the craft beer community. I was the guy at work that people came to when they had a question about beer. Bartenders would often come to me with hard hitting questions from our taproom patrons who were too nervous to ask me themselves. I’m friendly and approachable, I promise.
Even with all the proverbial pats on the back, endearing nicknames, and a general sense of appreciation from my team and management group, I had my days. Bad, no good, downright terrible days. Some of the worst involved needing to change out of my entirely ice cold beer soaked work clothes and into whatever merchandise the taproom had for sale. I always keep a change of clothes with me now.
That embarrassing story aside, I love what I do and I’ll probably never stop. Between the culture, the storied past, and the brave new future, it is nearly impossible to not love (or at least like) the beer world.
Being able to have a job where you can learn something new every day and consistently taste the fruits of your labor is something truly special. There are also constant shifts in beer. Recent developments in hard seltzer, non alcoholic products, and genetically modified yeast strains have opened the door for endless possibilities for new products and ventures. And by the way, it doesn’t stop. The world of beer is this incredible, heaving, undulating mass of innovation, creativity, and passion. And almost all the time, it tastes great.
Our beers are extensions of ourselves. It’s a union of art and science which needs no justification for being an attractive field to involve oneself in.