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Thread: Any owners/operators/brewers who are Non-Drinkers?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Any owners/operators/brewers who are Non-Drinkers?

    I am wondering if it is even possible to own, operate, brew in, or otherwise be an active part of this industry and not drink?

    I am just about to pull the trigger on a half a million dollar investment to build and operate a brewpub with plans on developing a regional brand, and have the "liver damage" scare. Routine blood tests have revealed some abnormal readings; doctor suspects liver damage and advised that I stop drinking. I am going for more tests and an abdominal CT scan in the upcoming weeks.

    I have been an avid beer lover all my life, a homebrewer, and have spent the past ten years saving close to $100K for creating this business. I cannot see a life in and around beer without drinking it.

    Any others in this situation? Is it possible to do this, to work this dream, this passion, without consuming?
    John W.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Framingham, MA USA
    I know that one of the owners of Cisco Brewers on Nantucket doesn't drink at all for a similar reason.

    Health should be the most important aspect of this decision.

    I don't believe you should have to drink in order be in this business.

    Does a heart surgeon have to have heart surgery to be a good heart surgeon?

    As long as you have people in the company that know what they are doing... you should be fine.

    Good luck and stay healthy!
    Matthew Steinberg
    Exhibit 'A' Brewing Co.
    Framingham, MA USA

    Head Brewer
    Filler of Vessels
    Seller of Liquid
    Barreled Beer Aging Specialist
    Yeast Wrangler
    Microbe Handler
    Malt Slinger
    Hop Sniffer
    Food Eater
    Music Listener

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    I don't drink, but still brew. I do have the advantage of working with a bunch of excellent palates though. I do taste gravity samples, small samples of each transfer and at packaging time so my beer is closely monitored.
    David R. Pierce

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    I can imagine it would be tough for someone who loves beer, but HK's idea seems like a workable compromise. I worked for a head brewer who took a month-long "liver break" twice a year, constraining himself only to small QC samples. This is a huge occupational risk, and such concerns seem almost likely to happen somewhere along a career. I'm sure this is nothing new for anyone here but I always recommend (apparently hepatoprotective) coffee to people who routinely consume alcohol:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Wow, now I know why I crave coffee in the morning. Maybe someday the TTB will let coffee-infused beers have a health claim on their labels?
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN

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