The Smithsonian Is Hiring a Beer Scholar (Casual Sippers Need Not Apply)

mug of beer

It’s a historic first in beer scholarship — or at least a first for beer scholars/historians. (And how many of us knew there even were beer scholars/historians?) Inspired, in part, by the craft beer movement, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, in Washington, D.C., is now looking to hire its first-ever beer historian/scholar to work on the Smithsonian Food History Project’s American Brewing History Initiative.

According to the official job posting, the lucky hire, who will be appointed for three years and earn a salary of $64,650, along with benefits, will “conduct archival and field research” for the U.S. beer history initiative “with special emphasis on the craft industry.”

Regular run-of-the-mill beer fans need not apply. The job is for a real-deal scholar “with an advanced degree in American business, brewing, food, cultural, or similar specialization within history” and “proven experience in scholarly research, organizing and conducting oral history interviews, writing for both scholarly and general audiences, and knowledge of material culture and archival materials,” according to the job listing. A willingness to travel, work as part of a team and adhere to deadlines, as well as good communication skills, are also key.

“We have collected food history for many years, so when we were doing the research for the exhibition, which is all about big changes in the post WWII era in how and what we eat, one thing we were curious about is the craft beer movement,” Smithsonian curator Paula Johnson explained to the Washington City Paper. “We were looking at wine, coffee, cheese, artisanal bread and farmers markets. Well, this movement with small-scale, local regional beer is part of the ethos.”

If it sounds like the job for you, you better hop on it. The deadline is Aug. 10, which happens to be the 170th anniversary of the Smithsonian Institution’s founding.

At the very least, we can all — even casual sippers of lagers and ales, Pilsners and stouts — hoist a beer in the institution’s honor. Cheers!

Photo courtesy of iStock

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