Cool Career: Britain’s First Female Beer Inspector

Annabel Smith has a freakin’ sweet job, and the fact that she’s the first and only woman in Britain doing it makes it that much cooler. Smith is the country’s first female beer inspector. She works for Cask Marque, an organization formed by four breweries (and now made up of 34) that ensures their beers taste great after going out into the world. Traveling across the country, Smith sips beer from morning till night, and unlike wine tasters, she doesn’t spit out her drinks: “You need to swallow it because the sides and back of your tongue are the only places that detect bitterness.” Smith gets her taste buds tested once a year, and when she tastes an ale, she is gauging it based on it’s appearance, aroma, taste, and temperature. According to research, Smith said, 84 percent of women haven’t drank real ale because of how it’s marketed (women usually aren’t the target audience). To get more of us into her beverage of choice, Smith is campaigning for bars to get stemmed glasses. Apparently, a lot of women say they won’t order beer on a first date! Personally, it’s all I’ll drink on one because, as Amelia discovered, glass after glass of wine can prove detrimental. However, sipping out of a beer goblet does make us feel a little more demure than when we sip from a pint glass.

The only downside to drinking beer for a living, Smith said, is when she has to start sippin’ at 9 a.m. on a Monday morning. Amen, sister. But today’s Friday, and it’s time to raise a glass. [The Times U.K.]