By now I am sure everyone in the craft beer world has heard about the Smithsonian’s search for a beer historian/scholar. A position that could easily be considered a dream job for many of us beer enthusiasts. While the job posting was painfully clear that the hire will not be paid to travel around drinking craft beer, the details of the job are very interesting for me personally because this opportunity may be the rare unicorn that would allow me to combine my education with my hobby.
In university and graduate school I studied Anthropology. I love this field because it is diverse and curious. From my education I developed a deep appreciation of culture and history as well as learning to think critically about the role of culture in all facets of the world around us. After graduation I came to realize that I would be continuously trying to show how anthropology would be a good fit with various jobs; rarely have I seen an anthropologist wanted sign hanging from a store window. Sometimes it felt like the degree I had chosen would never really fit and I would not get the chance to do what I trained to do.
When I decided to start writing about craft beer I found it impossible to not turn my anthropologist’s gaze on the topic. Thankfully my background and my hobby dovetailed because the resurgence of craft beer is, by its very nature, cultural. Blogging about beer, for me, is not only about reviews and festivals but it is also about the people, the image, the art, the community and more. It is fun because there is such a wealth of areas to be explored. On my Twitter account I call myself the Rogue Anthropologist and what I hope to convey with this handle is that I am quite literally ‘in the field’ exploring this emergent craft beer culture (that and I really like Rogue Ales).
So back to this dream job. To put my skills to use showing this incredible culture of craft beer to a wider audience would be an unique opportunity so fingers crossed my application makes it onto someone’s desk. A job posting for a Rogue Anthropologist may not come again in my lifetime…