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There is no hangover in the booze industry as far as jobs go. A recent report that was published on businessweek.com shows that sales of alcohol over the last year are up.

The report says that even during a recession, when people don’t have much money to spend, they still choose to spend it on booze. Most of the sales are in grocery stores and discount stores such as BevMo, which means people are trying to save money by drinking at home instead of going out to bars and clubs.

The same report also shows that people are deciding to buy the less expensive alcohols to save a little extra coin. Sales for imported beer are down 3.8 percent while cheap beers are up 7.3 percent. Sales for wine that cost more that $20 a bottle are also down 1.6 percent, while the $9-12 bottle sales are up 6 percent.

Bottom line; there are jobs to be had people. Jobs in manufacturing as well as sales rep gigs in the alcohol industry. Stores such as Beverages and More as well as Cost Plus World Market have jobs for expert boozers, as do upscale liquor stores that stock more than Boones Farm Sun Peak Peach.

With wineries popping up all over the West Coast, jobs from grape pickers to wine connoisseurs can be found from San Diego to Canada. Don’t forget about France, Italy and Spain if you’re looking for a job in the wine industry and you want to move before the next presidential election.

Speaking of wine- if you’re looking to start a restaurant in this economy, take a look at the wine cafes and bistros that are popping up on every third corner. Sales are up because people want to feel good again when they go out to dine.

Alicia Wiles lost her job in public relations in Los Angeles two years ago and couldn’t find a paying job anywhere. She was pretty depressed when she went to a wine tasting party, sampled some Washington wine, and fell in love.

“I loved the wine, but never thought about living in Washington, because it’s too cold,” she said. “But the more I researched the wine makers and the area I decided I wanted to change careers and get into the wine business.”

Wiles left California and moved to Washington. She now works at the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery pouring tastings part of the week and doing public relations the other part of the week. “I used to sit in a cubicle and pray I wouldn’t lose my job,” she said. “Now I meet people from all over the world, and I’m thinking of going back to school to get my degree in viticulture. And I love where I live. I’m so glad I took a chance.”

Wine and spirits are great, but when it’s all said and done, if you want to get a job in this recession-proof industry, beer remains the beverage of choice- especially with Gen Y. These kids, some reports indicate, spend 47 percent of their money on alcohol. So if you’re young and unemployed and like to drink, think like Homer Simpson- “Mmmm, beer.”

If you have a lot of time on your hands you might even come up with your own beer by crafting some ale in your basement. Check out working for small, up–and-coming breweries if you’re out of work. You never can tell, you might just be working for the next Sierra Nevada or Stone Brewery.

Don’t wait for times to get better, take this time to become a survivor-and a successful survivor at that. By taking your job and life in your own hands, you have a leg up on all the other mainstream jobseekers. Now put down that beer and get to work!

Here are a few great alcoholic beverage job sites:

Wine & Spirits Job: http://www.wineandspiritsjobs.com/jobseeker/job_listings.aspx

Craft and sell your own beer: Brewpoll.com

UC Davis On-line winemaking courses: http://extension.ucdavis.edu/unit/winemaking/certificate/winemaking_for_online_learners/

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BlueSouthPark April 8, 2011 @ 5:42 p.m.

Too many people depend on alcohol today, ...imbibing, promoting, brewing, selling, leasing space to do all of these things... I love certain kinds of alcohol at certain times of day, in limited amounts, but not to the extent that I see among people today, especially the 18- to 35-year-olds.

The fierce fights to drink crazily at the beach, at the park, at the local bars, ...it is obsessive. The beach-drinking battle, the local residential neighborhood bar-permit fights, the Kate Sessions Park right-to-party fight...These battles to do whatever the young drinkers think is their inherent "right," coupled with the alluring profit from selling and promoting drinking...the Blank Generation + down economy has created monsters.

These kids drinking obsessively are going to be fat, diabetic, and/or have bad livers/hearts/kidneys in 10 years. The PR industry (locally involving the restaurants/bars, the companies that provide shuttles to carry people to same, etc.) really needs to dial it back. The City and its permit departments, the Planning Commission that sees the money in bars and won't disallow anything, ...shame.


BlueSouthPark April 8, 2011 @ 8:27 p.m.

Ah, yes. The Revenue. That's the ticket...


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