Turning beer passion into supplemental income and/or career change

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by BKBassist, Feb 6, 2013.

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  1. czfreeman

    czfreeman Initiate (0) May 22, 2007 California

    Thats what I'm expecting..I worked as a volunteer assistant brewer for 6 months, so I know my way around.To answer your question..yeah, I brew..Actually bottled yesterday and will again tomorrow. I thought about the HB thing as well...debating if that would actually help
  2. garve

    garve Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2009 Massachusetts

    I think a lot of us are trying to figure the door in,,,,maybe actually knowing so much about a subject you can say wtf,,,,I know this biz,,,trust me........however...there seems to be a reality in this economy that is...I don't give a fuck how many degrees you have or who you know....how are you gunna' make ME money...it is like chess...always think what is the other guy thinking,,,the other guy being the guy behind the desk .....garve
  3. HipsterBrewfus

    HipsterBrewfus Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2012 Maryland

    Welcome to almost every field, ever
  4. nategibbon

    nategibbon Initiate (117) Sep 6, 2008 Illinois

    Bookmark the classifieds section on probrewer.com and post a resume.
  5. ShanePB

    ShanePB Poo-Bah (1,658) Sep 6, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Just a little bit of information how I landed my first (and current) part-time bartending job.

    I frequented the bar as a customer for quite some time. I watched the bar grow from something like 3-4 craft taps to currently around 28 taps. Speaking with the owners about different beers I liked, etc. helped show I have knowledge and a passion for beer. Fast forward a year or so later, I asked about a part-time bartending position. One didn't open up until about 4-5 months after I asked but I got the call. I had no previous experience. Yeah, I had to learn how to make cocktails, but it's great experience and the extra money on top of my full-time job is just icing on the cake. I have my "Certified Beer Server" too, but didn't even mention it for the job. That was more of a personal thing I wanted to do, not something to use as a tool for hiring (if it even means anything to half the bar owners out there).

    TL;DR - Go for it!
    afksports and BKBassist like this.
  6. SoggyCoasters

    SoggyCoasters Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2013 New Jersey

    What did you do before. Restaurant/bar work? Also what do you do now at the brewery. Only asking cause thats exactly what im hoping to do.
  7. HipsterBrewfus

    HipsterBrewfus Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2012 Maryland

    I had combined, about 6 years of restaurant work, but a lot of fabrication experience, and running a quality control department. Part of me likes to think my beer blog helped me, or maybe just my enthusiasm.

    In the end, I didn't get the job, but I ran into one of the guys that interviewed me recently at a Flying Dog event and I spoke with him for about 5 minutes. He went on to tell me that they ended up taking the posting down and not filling the position. Whether its true or not, I don't care. I got to interview with my favorite brewery, have the best interview of my life, and have the guy recognize me months later and talk to me about it. I'm fairly chummy with a lot of the people that work there on twitter and if they know my name, as far as im concerned, its a start.

    With all that said, the position would not have been ideal for me, in terms of hours/schedule, so I wasn't too torn up about it. I ended up getting a great job somewhere else that allowed me to move to MD.

  8. ALitteral

    ALitteral Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I get applications daily for bartenders. Very few places hire for that position directly (especially around here). If you came in and floored me I might offer you a server position but without previous experience probably entry level until you proved you can handle the speed of the job. A foot in the door and hard work can turn into a bar gig rather quickly if you can handle it. Experience is a must though as you are being trusted with a bar's main revenue stream.

    Also, I've never hired someone because of a certification. Usually thats a red flag.
    Beezee likes this.
  9. BKBassist

    BKBassist Devotee (438) Jan 24, 2013 New York

    Appreciate the input ALitteral, I definitely understand I'm going to have to start low on the totem pole. Just a question, why the red flag for certs? I thought the Ciccerone program was generally well regarded. Do you think I should not even mention it?
  10. FEUO

    FEUO Disciple (327) Jul 24, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

    Don't do it.
    One of the biggest complaints about head golf pros at golf courses: don't get to golf enough.
    Its like dating someone at work (also a bad idea).
    Let your passion be your passion. Bring responsibilities (income) into it and there is a big chance you will change he way you look at it, and how much you enjoy it.

    The best brewers didn't start out doing it to make it rich. They just wanted to get by making beer they like.
    Its tough to make it doing what you love. Too often you have to compromise.

    Whatever way you go, best of luck. :slight_smile:
    Beerontwowheels likes this.
  11. ALitteral

    ALitteral Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2012 Pennsylvania

    that program is well regarded. I'd approach it as 'I'm passionate about this so I got my cert". most people present it as "I got my cert so I'm qualified". it is important to make the distinction.

    good luck. I've been lucky to be able to spend my work day at a beer bar or brewpub for a while and there's nothing better than having a passion for what you do.
  12. imbibehour

    imbibehour Poo-Bah (6,277) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    Just a quick note... don't do something because of money, do it because you really enjoy it..
  13. BeerImmediately

    BeerImmediately Meyvn (1,067) Feb 2, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I have a friend who's looking to move out of a beer consulting biz that includes a wicked website that beer store and bar owners dig (mostly Philly area now, but would easily scale to NY and beyond). Beer mail me if you'd prefer the entrepreneurial route
  14. BKBassist

    BKBassist Devotee (438) Jan 24, 2013 New York

    This is perfectly sound advice...if you have money. I'm in a situation where I've worked retail since I was 18. I don't have the desire to do that anymore. If I was in a comfortable job situation, making this move would be open to ridicule. But I'm barely scraping by as is, and my passions are the only skills I have. Not to turn this into a "I had shitty guidance councilors" post, but not everyone is in the same situation. I'd kill for a mind numbing cubicle job that paid 45k a year. I'm stuck with a highly stressful job that on a good year might make me 30k. I need to play to my strengths here.
  15. TheBeerAlmanac

    TheBeerAlmanac Savant (967) Mar 3, 2011 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    You say that now...
    4kbrianb likes this.
  16. CaptKirkles

    CaptKirkles Aspirant (261) Apr 7, 2010 New York

    BKBassist said:
    I'd kill for a mind numbing cubicle job that paid 45k a year.​
    You say that now...​
    I did the desk job making about $55k but wanted to jump out the window every day. Now I am making more, have full benifits and good health coverage. A plus is that I have great job security!!!

    I feel you shouldn't put yourself in a hole (especially if you have a family) but sometimes you need to make a sacrafice if you want to follow your passion. Sometimes, you just gotta take the leap.
    TheBeerAlmanac and emagdnim13 like this.
  17. emagdnim13

    emagdnim13 Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2011 Illinois

    I was in your same boat about 2 years ago. I took a job at a small upscale grocery store doing odd jobs, eventually started doing tastings of craft beer. The craft beer manager was let go and they took a chance on me. I ran that program for a year, moved on to manage a great craft beer bar for another year. And now I have left and work for a distributor of craft beer.

    It was not easy, I made pennies for almost 2 years while I learned everything I could about craft beer and the business behind it. I would take the Certified Beer Server exam, that definitely helped me get a lot of interviews with distributors and gets people to put your resume in the call back file.
    If you want to discuss this further feel free to pm me.
    HipsterBrewfus and LieutenantDan like this.
  18. LieutenantDan

    LieutenantDan Initiate (0) Nov 18, 2012 Texas

    I highly recommend applying at a chain liquor store or grocery store like whole foods or world market. I started off as a stocker at a liquor store chain and moved my way into the beer department as an assistant, then a beer department lead, and now im a category beer manager over seeing 7 stores beers departments. When i first started i knew nothing about beer now im a veteran at what i do and my knowledge of beer is pretty solid, not amazing because im always learning something new. Being in this position has allowed me to the most rarest beers around. The perks of the job weigh heavily on my decision to stay here. The private tastings, the parties, the dinners, tons of "samples" all kinds of things non industty related people would never have the chance to experience. I cant discolse what chain i work for but i would highly reccomend it to anyone. I went from making minimum wage to a pretty decent salary and im only 24 and still in school. Ive learned how to price beer fairly, the cost, and most importantly how to move beer of the shelves. Ive even lerned how wholesale works and the profitabillity there is in draft bars. We have over 450 beers alone in this little desert region. Not too shabby. When applying to work with a distributor they preffer to go with people they already know i.e. beer/wine department managers. most of the guys down here start at a base pay of 35k a year. not too bad for a delivery driver or salesman. Just a liitle of my own personal story. i wish you the best of luck and hope my story helped.
    augiecarton and 4kbrianb like this.
  19. BKBassist

    BKBassist Devotee (438) Jan 24, 2013 New York

    An update to this thread, after many months of applying, I've found a job bartending/beer managing at a BBQ restaurant looking to up its beer game. I've left retail behind and doubled my income. I'm happier than I've ever been! Just goes to show you, persistence is not wasted! Cheers!

    If anyone cares, here is our beer menu

    #59 BKBassist, May 27, 2014
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  20. 64vdub

    64vdub Aspirant (266) Feb 20, 2014 California
    Beer Trader

    Good for you! That's awesome.
  21. TheBrewo

    TheBrewo Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2010 New York

    Strong work!! Got some great/ intriguing brews on there.
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