Trying to explain to people what I do for a living is often a bit of a challenge. “I’m a beer writer,” I’ll say. What follows, inevitably, is a puzzled expression and a litany of questions. “Wait, what do you mean? You get paid for that?" they'll ask. "I didn’t know that was an actual job. How did you get into that?”
As it turns out, cool beer jobs are everywhere. And in an attempt to fan the flames of your desire to change careers, I’ve compiled a list of occupations for those who have always wanted to work in beer but don't possess the skill set or passion for actually brewing delicious beer. Want to get paid for drinking in the shower? Read on.
Beer Label Artist
The bar for craft beer label art continues to rise as more and more breweries realize the potential for beautiful beer cans. What was once no more than a means of communicating information can now give consumers a better sense of the brewery’s brand, and show off an artist’s extraordinary levels of creativity. Breweries employee brilliant minds to spend their days drinking and drawing (okay, it’s a bit more complicated than that) with the goal of producing inspired beer cans. Keith Shore at Mikkeller is responsible for giving us those beautiful labels that make us glad we drink good beer. The South has beer art that certainly stands out. And have you ever caught yourself staring at that Rogue Ales Sriracha Stout bottle in the liquor store? You can thank the brilliant Hagen Moore for that -- as Rogue's Creative Director, it's his job to make that happen.
How to get in on the action: Get really, really, really into graphic design. And study the beer labels from breweries with outstanding art, like Wild Heaven, Creature Comforts, and Aslin Brewing.
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Craft Beer Shampoo Maker
Have you ever drunk a beer so delicious that you actually considered bathing in it? You're not alone. Companies like BROO and Duffy’s Brew take their love of shower beer to the next level with shampoo and other bath products made from beer. Some say it makes your hair incredibly soft and manageable!
How to get in on the action: First, you’ll need to learn how to make shampoo. Next, you’ll have to perfect your brew-poo (sham-brew?) recipe. Then, start selling it! Etsy? Farmers markets? Local shops? Hone your sales pitch and expect to spend a lot more time in the shower testing your product.
Commercial Beer Photographer
Imagine waking up in the morning and realizing you have a big day ahead at work. Then imagine that your “big day” requires you to take photos of beer. You’ll realize that you’ve done something very right in your life. People like Jack Anderson and Rob Grimm are living that dream -- and you haven’t even yet heard how much they get paid for such jealousy inducing work (hint: it’s a lot).
How to get in on the action: Learn all you can about photography. Pick up a camera, geek out, take classes, buy gear, buy more gear, and don’t stop taking photos and learning how to get better. It'll take years to master the art, but it’ll be worth it.
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Beer Tourism Guide
Ever been on vacation and thought to yourself, “I never want to leave this place"? Good news: you can have it all by hosting beer tours! The scope can range from bar hopping to brewery tastings, depending on the region or city on which you'd like to focus. For inspiration, check out OnTap Beer Tours, a beer tourism company which seems to have it all figured out.
How to get in on the action: Of course, you'll need to set up shop in a town that has more than just a brewery or two. If you already live in a beer-friendly locale with a decent amount of tourism, you’re already halfway there! Develop relationships with the breweries, plan a logical route, figure out transportation, and build a website. You’ll also need to market yourself and get the word out, so get started now!
Beer Tech Developer
Science geeks often have an advantage when it comes to brewing beer -- but if beer-making isn't your thing, you can still put that big brain to good use by developing beer apps, websites, and gadgets. Digital Pour, Tap Hunter, and Untappd have merged tech genius with beer devotion, generating a good amount of revenue, to boot.
How to get in on the action: Find a hole in the market. Figure out what the beer community is missing, and use your tech skills to solve the problem. If you don't have the ability already, a good start would be learning how to code, which you can pick up from a number of free resources!