Reporter’s Notebook: Exploring Beer’s Creative Job Titles

beer notebook_web2

“What do your parents think of that title?”

It’s the first question I wanted to ask Rashmi Patel when we spoke back in January. Hell, it’s the first thing I thought when I first learned about the official name of her job in December 2015.

Rashmi Patel, vice president for Share of Throat.

During our interview, Rashmi admitted the idea was to be a little silly (if not a little juvenile) with the title because it needed to be “disruptive and attention grabbing.” Mission accomplished. After all, her job, which oversees marketing for Anheuser-Busch’s Ritas family of beverages, Occulto beer and hard sodas, is literally “about what’s going down your throat, for lack of a better word,” she said.

Job titles are often literal – I am a “writer” who writes, after all – but I hadn’t come across a title like this before. But this is the beer industry and plenty of professionals in it don’t exactly adhere to the status quo.

“The most common reaction I get is ‘wow, that’s awesome, but what does it mean?” Rashmi said. Of course, she’s not alone in this predicament.

In one of my latest pieces for All About Beer, I explored the creativity that can be found on beer-related business cards around the country. As you’ve probably seen from hanging at your favorite brewery, there are plenty to be found.

Nick Chase is “Chef de Saccharomyces” at Pateros Creek Brewing Co. There’s Leslie Kaczeus, “Chief of Stuff” at Bootstrap Brewing. You’ll want to stay out of the way of Jon Lang, “Brewasaurus” at Triton Brewing Co.

“It’s all about having fun and being able to be who we are, which is generally good-time dudes,” said Sam Cruz, co-founder, managing member and “El Guapo” at Against the Grain. That last title, which means handsome in Spanish, is a special touch. “I’m a beast of a man at 300 pounds, so I’m probably not falling in the descriptor of ‘El Guapo,’” Sam added.

His title is rather tame compared to his colleagues. Adam Watson, another managing member at Against the Grain, is also listed as a Level 70 Wizard. “His special power is he can read better than the rest of us,” Sam joked.

One manager at the Louisville brewpub is The Goatfather – he owns two goats – and another is Mother Hen because she’s very caring toward coworkers, Sam said.

Kim Kavulak is Nebraska's "Chick That Makes S#*t Happen." Read about her title and more in this story.

Kim Kavulak is Nebraska’s “Chick That Makes S#*t Happen.” Read about her title and more in this story.

The attitude toward titles fits perfectly within the beer industry, which isn’t exactly known for a rigid culture of conformity. If anything, promoting this little bit of imagination is a benefit to breweries and the people who work there.

“If you are a company or an executive looking to distinguish yourself, you can get people talking if you don’t have the same boring titles on your business cards you find everywhere else,” said Dorie Clark, a marketing strategist, professional speaker and author of the book, “Stand Out.” “Having the creative title implies that your company is different and that you are different.”

So how different do people get? We’re just at the tip of the iceberg. Head over to the All About Beer website to find more unique titles.

Read the story: What’s in a Name?

Bryan Roth
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac

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