A lot of human energy goes into the production and sales of alcohol. Pretty much everyone of legal drinking age knows about the basics — the brewers, winemakers, bartenders and shop owners — but there is a wide swath of alcohol careers that the average person never even considers.
Many of the jobs are so sidelined that you wouldn’t even initially think of them as possibilities. Sure, you’ll need to know more than the guy making a Long Island Iced Tea behind the bar at Applebee’s, but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get a fun job in the alcohol industry.
Sit back and dust off your resumes, because here are a few of the lesser- known alcohol careers you might want to look into.
A monthly Gin & Tonic club called ILoveGin put out a job listing in August for an intern that set the internet ablaze. It called the position a “gintern” and the job description included taste tests, brand introductions, mixing up gin drinks and “ginspiring” people. From the looks of it, being a gintern means doing anything with an “in” prefix, but with gin. Not mentioned, but probably should be gincluded: Making ginsane cocktails that stand out from the ginflux of gins available in the ginternational market. Sounds ginteresting either way.
This one’s for all you corporate hacks out there looking to escape neckties and powder-blue collared shirts. A beer insurer insures spoiled alcohol, contaminated product and leaky barrels to make sure disaster costs don’t destroy a burgeoning business, the Indy Star reports. See, insurance doesn’t have to be mind-numbingly boring.
People who like to blow stuff up don’t have to be left out of the creation of alcohol. A winery’s environment is a big part of the experience of drinking wine. Consider: Would you rather drink in a sterile room surrounded by men in white lab coats, or in an underground cellar surrounded by barrels? Exactly. That’s where companies like the Cave Company in Napa come into play. Wineries don’t need to be limited by geography for a gorgeous wine cellar, they just need someone to blast a cellar out for them! Or, you could just turn a room into a wine cellar.
Alcohol is a very sexualized business, but you probably already know that. Sex sells, that’s a fact. But advertising is changing — less money is going to print ads and TV commercials, and more is going to social media “influencers.” That doesn’t mean the whole “sex sells” idea is going away, though. A male influencer, a position offered by places like Grand Marnier, is how alcohol companies ensure that their brands are still in the consumer’s mind. For Grand Marnier, other than acting or modeling experience, a “Blend Out” male influencer needs a passion for nightlife and the ability to “determine how many female samplers are needed.”
White oak logger
Everyone needs a niche. It’s not too hard to find one when it comes to bourbon production. Bourbon must be aged in new American white oak barrels. When bourbon became all the rage, companies selling white oak suddenly had a lot more business than they were prepared for. As the Wall Street Journal reports, white oak logging companies in middle America couldn’t fill that demand, and the need for more white oak loggers grew. These guys aren’t your everyday loggers. No white oak loggers, no bourbon.
Not all oaked alcohol requires new oak. Enter the role of the barrel broker. Barrel brokers are for all the environmentalist drinkers out there. This job entails taking used barrels and selling them to people who want the barrels for wine, beer, spirits or furniture. Surely this is one job group that is happy about bourbon barrel-aged Cabernet Sauvignon.
It’s the age of on-demand services. People don’t have to send work out or build entire in-house operations anymore, because there are companies that specialize in coming to other businesses and doing the work. Like the mobile canner, whose whole job is going from brewery to brewery and filling cans of beer that other people have made.
Very few people are cut out to be professional sniffers. Nancy Fraley, who was profiled by the Atlantic in 2015, is one of those people. She’s so good, in fact, that all she has to put on her business card is “nosing services” and liquor companies come running. Her nose, which actually does pick up all of those obscure, probably made-up smells that people like to put in descriptions, guides the blends and taste of craft spirits across North America.