Good Beer Hunting

Fervent Few

The Fervent Few — Beer Job Goggles

Summer was made for idle daydreaming. This week, we asked The Fervent Few what their dream jobs in the beer industry would be—or, if they already work in the industry, how they would take the skills they’ve acquired and apply them outside of beer. Here’s what our members revealed about their fantasy career changes.


Andrés Muñoz: “I would want to work in PR & comms. One of the things that surprises me the most when I go places is how many people don’t know about a brewery that’s literally down the street from them. That shouldn’t be a thing.

Also, it’d be cool to be a beer educator. The goal is to take my Certified Cicerone exam either in November or early 2020. I hope to get all the way to Master in the next five years (oof). One of my favorite things to see is someone’s eyes lighting up when we find a beer that they like after they were adamant that beer wasn’t for them. All it takes is patience and a little bit of edumacation. Come to think of it, this ties into the PR/comms side, too.”

Nick Naretto: “My dream job in the beer industry is to be a part of the creative department at a brewery, or at another company that focuses on experiences around food and beverages. I love to help people get the true feeling of a product through design, photography, and video. Earning a paycheck for that would be the dream.”

Melissa Jones: “My dream is to open a place similar to Lawson’s Finest Liquids—I want to have a main house or barn where people go to grab breakfast, lunch, snacks, and purchase bottles of rare beer for on-site consumption. Visitors would have their own cabins to stay in, but there would be a bottle share and group meal centered around a curated beer experience each evening. Ideally this Airbnb-style place would be near a destination brewery to draw the kind of clientele I’m looking for—example being somewhere in Vermont near Hill Farmstead.”

Randy Edwards: “I’ve been in the distribution tier of the beer business for nearly seven years. For the longest time I couldn’t see myself in any other business, and it still holds true. There is that grass-is-always-greener thought of being a retailer or working for a brewery, but I believe I am where I’m supposed to be.

At the beginning of 2018, a friend of mine and I threw around the idea of opening a café. Our area didn’t offer specialty coffee or a place to gather that wasn’t alcohol-focused. Fresh on the dad life, and with a love for coffee, three pals and I put the work in. On January 1 of this year we made it happen. Not saying it’s been easy to manage both, but it’s been nice to stay in beer and dabble in the non-beer business. There are a lot of corresponding parts and great opportunities to learn from both. I just need a few more hours in the day.”

Matt Paonessa: “Oh, man. How I would love to work as an R&D microbiologist for a yeast lab if I weren’t brewing. I'd love to be able to go around the world collecting samples of wild Saccharomyces in order to artificially select for new and unique traits and attempt to domesticate these wild strains. Beer styles are so yeast-driven; imagine all the new and unique styles that could come about with adequate R&D!”

David Purgason: “I’m a brewer/brewery owner, so I get to curate our tap list. But sometimes I wish I could just buy all my favorite kegs from all my friends and icons for my dream-bar lineup.”

Rob Steuart: “I'd be a blender for a brewery (preferably a Gueuzerie). I love the idea of tasting different barrels, and picking flavor profiles of different barrels, to make something that is better than the overall sum of its parts.”

Ashley Rodriguez: “Would it be weird to say that I want to be a brewer who makes cat-themed beer shirts? Pretty much I want to be Wade from Batson River Brewing.”

Casey Street: “I just want to sit around and come up with beer names. No ownership or financial commitment—just sitting around and facilitating brainstorming sessions about beer names.”

Patrick Guo: “My dream job would be the owner of a small bar/restaurant—so small that it hides in a basement, has no more than 10 tables, and serves a very niche set of people. It would have a moderately diversified beer portfolio (Pilsner, Pale Ale, IPA, Double IPA, Stout). It would also serve Asian-influenced Western food (think cumin-spiced beef burgers). And it would play rock from before the 2000s.”

Dave Riddile: “My ‘retirement plan’ is to open a small, neighborhood bar. Once things are running along smoothly, I’ll work Monday and Tuesday nights until I can’t shake a shaker or pull a tap anymore. I’m thinking a maximum of 12 taps (Allagash White guaranteed), a cocktail list of the classics, and a thoughtful wine list along with everything you need for a beer-and-a-shot customer (so yes, High Life). I’ll throw a couple dartboards on the wall and probably spend as much time on the other side of the bar as I do behind it.”

Joseph Reynolds: “I run a brewpub for Maine’s third-largest brewery, and I love what I do. But we also sponsor a series of outdoor adventure races that take place all year round, and all around Maine. I’d love to run something like that. I’m an avid trail runner/snowshoe racer, and I’d dive head-first into a position that partnered with like-minded groups/foundations/breweries that wanted to support getting people outdoors, getting their heart rates going, and cultivating community. Plus, I’d get to drink beer outside in beautiful places while getting my activity in for the day.”

Josh Mills: “My dream would be to run a company that builds and installs brewing equipment. The company would have two side businesses. 1. A brewery incubator where we could pilot our own systems while working with start-up brewers; and 2. Repurposing old brewing equipment and turning it into BBQ smokers.”

Turning brewing equipment into BBQ smokers? Josh just won my heart. What would your dream job in the industry be? Join The Fervent Few and tell us all about it (and support all the great work that Good Beer Hunting’s writers, editors, and designers do).

Hosted by Jim Plachy