The Smithsonian wants to pay someone $64K to be a beer historian


Attention, beer nerds!

The Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. is hiring a beer historian to research America's brewing history – with a special emphasis on craft beer, according to the museum's job posting.

It's part of the Smithsonian Food History project at the National Museum of History. It's a three-year position that pays $64,650, plus benefits.

"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 WW II era in how and what we eat, one thing we were curious about is the craft beer movement," Curator Paula Johnson told the Washington City Paper.

The Smithsonian has collections that date back to the late 1800s, but has little information from the post-1960s, the paper says.

Susan Evans McClure, the Smithsonian’s director of Food History programs, spoke with Punch Drink about including more beer in the collection, saying adding stories of brewing history "can help us tell a broader story of American history."

McClure hopes to look at advertising, agriculture, industry, business history and community, and how they relate to brewing, the publication says.

The Brewers Association, a not-for-profit trade group that represents craft breweries across the country, is funding the position, according to reports.

Documenting America's craft beer history comes at a time when the industry is booming, both in Minnesota and across the country. The Brewers Association reports there were 4,225 craft breweries in the U.S. in 2015 – an 18.1 percent growth from 2014.

In 1994, there were just 537 craft breweries.

Planning to apply?

The museum is looking to hire someone who has experience in scholarly research, conducting interviews, and writing for both scholarly and general audiences.

Those with an advanced degree in business, brewing, food, culture or something similar within history are encouraged to apply.

The beer historian will work with other staff to develop content for a variety of programs, including digital. They must be able to travel, work independently and with a team, and be able to communicate effectively.

Applications are due Aug. 10 – send a CV, cover letter and the names of three references to Abigail Karow at NMAHApplications@si.edu.

If being a historian isn't your ideal job in the brewing industry, check out this Thrillist list of 11 jobs involving beer that are "guaranteed to make you jealous."

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