Coming up with a serviceable excuse to drink on St. Patrick's Day is one of modern man's eternal struggles, particularly those modern men who are stuck at work. Some guys, shockingly enough, don't need a clever scheme or vaguely plausible reason to leave work to get drunk, because they have drinking jobs.
Not all of the drinking jobs we’re going to discuss require getting loaded, but even just the smallest inclination of being able to be in the same room as alcohol while at work is far more than most guys bother to hope for.
With the proper motivation, here are five drinking jobs you can aspire to attain.
1- BrewmasterOn top of being a pretty awesome-sounding title, "Brewmaster" is also an actual area of study with tests, accreditation and science-sounding terms and everything. There are two brewing programs that we know of (one at UC Davis and one at the Siebel Institute of Technology) and one Master Brewers Association working diligently to make sure your beer tastes good. So, have some respect for that pint.
As for the job itself, the brewmaster (or master brewer) is basically the guy who runs the entire brewery. He needs an understanding of chemistry and engineering to manage the brewing operations, and from time to time he works on developing new beers or improving existing ones. An abiding familiarity with all things born of hops and grains is definitely required.
If you spent any time on a college campus, drinking jobs like this have definitely crossed your mind.
2- SommelierCommonly called a wine steward by people who find French names too snooty, the sommelier is the fellow in charge of the wines in a fancy restaurant. He may or may not actually come to your table (a regular waiter or wine waiter might bring you the wine list and offer suggestions), but if you have any in-depth questions or want expert advice, the sommelier is the guy you're looking for.
In addition to dealing with customers, the sommelier also designs the wine list and works with the restaurant's chefs to pair wines with specific dishes. Increasingly, sommeliers are expected to work with more than just wine, so one might taste a handful of wines, beers and cocktails when deciding what best complements items on the menu. We definitely can appreciate drinking jobs that also include eating.
3- Nightlife reviewerNewspapers and trendy city publications often have someone on the payroll whose entire job is partying, and then writing about it. Undoubtedly, the envy of his friends and colleagues, this guy reviews clubs and bars, goes to events and grand openings, and generally gets to do stuff that no other human being is allowed to call work.
We have two more drinking jobs for you professional consideration…
There is a degree of expertise involved; a nightlife reviewer can't just be an incoherent drunk who likes to get wasted. He needs to know the clubs, bars, owners and staff, and he needs to be able to write about it all with the discerning eye of a professional. He's as respectable as any reviewer, but he just happens to be reviewing something that probably happened while he was drunk.
4- MixologistSome mixologists are merely bartenders frantically trying to think of a more impressive title to put down on a resume, but technically there is a distinction. A mixologist may tend bar and a bartender may make interesting and creative drinks, but a mixologist is expected to know a wide variety of traditional drink recipes and even be able to come up with some of his own innovations.
That innovation is where mixologists really distinguish themselves. Some eventually leave the bars and go on to become consultants or specialists in the industry with the skills they’ve developed creating drinks. In either case, mixologists need a capable set of taste buds and a willingness to try to refine drinks on a daily basis.
5- ChefThe chef, chef de cuisine or executive chef is the guy in charge of a restaurant's kitchen. Like a sommelier, he needs to know the menu and the wine list inside and out in order to decide what goes best with the food he prepares.
Given that this is a job that involves being stuck with a bunch of other people in a cramped, hot room -- with access to no chairs but plenty of alcohol -- it should come as no surprise that a lot of chefs can (and do) drink over the course of the day. And yes, to a point, they have to; they might be preparing a dish that involves alcohol or pairing food with wines (or just drinking for the hell of it, but what goes on in the chef's kitchen is the chef's business).
cautionary messageIt probably need not be said that these jobs, though awesome, are not a blueprint for careers in general, and that even if you do work in a situation where drinking is acceptable, it should never feel like a compulsion. If you find it difficult to stop, or if your drinking is ever beyond your control, seek some help.