Darrow Montgomery

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Beer nerds may want to drop everything for this career opportunity. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is hiring a beer historian/scholar for a three-year appointment. Curator Paula Johnson explains that the gig is a new position funded by the Brewers Association and that the museum is seeking someone who can “focus and dedicate efforts towards research, documentation, and collecting American brewing history.”

“We have collected food history for many years, so when we were doing the research for the exhibition, which is all about big changes in the post WW II era in how and what we eat, one thing we were curious about is the craft beer movement,” Johnson says. “We were looking at wine, coffee, cheese, artisanal bread, and farmers markets. Well, this movement with small-scale, local regional beer is part of the ethos.”

The museum has collections dating back to the late 19th century and early 20th century, but very little from the post-1960s era. 

To say the position comes at the right time is an understatement. According to data released by the Brewers Association in March 2016, the number of craft breweries operating in the U.S. grew by 15 percent in 2015 (for a total of 4,269 breweries, the most in American history). 

See below for the official job posting. To apply, send a CV, cover letter, and names of three references to: Abigail Karow at NMAHApplications@si.eduApplications are due Aug. 10. 

Historian / Scholar American Brewing History Initiative IS-11 ($64,650 plus benefits)

The Smithsonian Food History project at the National Museum of American History, in Washington, DC, is seeking a professional historian / scholar to conduct archival and field research for a new initiative on American brewing history, with special emphasis on the craft industry. The position is located in the Division of Work and Industry and will be a three-year appointment. The successful candidate will have proven experience in scholarly research, organizing and conducting oral history interviews, writing for both scholarly and general audiences, and knowledge of material culture and archival materials. The candidate will work with members of the curatorial staff on collections work and develop content for a wide variety of programs and applications, including digital formats. Candidates with an advanced degree in American business, brewing, food, cultural, or similar specialization within history are encouraged to apply. Must be able to travel, work independently as well as within a team environment, to meet deadlines, and to communicate effectively with co-workers and the public.