Professional Beer Taster

Use your taste buds to identify traits of a beer for sales and marketing.
picture of Professional Beer Taster

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $33,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Professional Beer Tasters do?

“If only I could get paid to drink beer…” That’s a statement many people have made, and if you’re one of them, try your hand at being a Professional Beer Taster. While the job title may sound like the next installment of a National Lampoon’s trilogy, it’s a real job with real responsibilities.

Being a Professional Beer Taster means more than just taking a drink and reporting whether it’s good. The Professional Beer Taster is responsible for identifying and defining characteristics of the beer through tasting. The taste buds of a Professional Beer Taster must recognize whether the beer is malt or hops based, and know the difference.

Pinpointing the texture of the beer is critical to beer testing. You decide if the beer is thin, such as a pale ale, or thick, like a stout. This process is about identifying the traits of the beer for sales and marketing, rather than about your personal opinion.

Understanding the brewing process is essential, as you must determine if the beer is “too hoppy” (unrelated to a happy rabbit) and identify what caused this. Was it simply the addition of too many hops, or was it a flaw in the brewing process?

Successful Beer Tasters also know when a good product was intentional. Let’s face it, some of life’s best inventions were accidental. For example, things would certainly be very different today if penicillin hadn’t been accidentally invented.

You should be able to identify whether a particular beer was crafted in a reproducible way, or if it was an accident. If the product cannot be reproduced, it won’t be very profitable for the company.

Above all, you must love the flavor of beer or you’ll spend your day gagging with every assignment.

Should I be a Professional Beer Taster?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • How to become a Professional Beer Taster

    Professional Beer Tasters generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Professional Beer Taster-related education!
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