The first talk I attended at Portland Cocktail Week was one on how to make a career in the spirits and cocktail industry. This was not a how to become a bartender discussion, but how to step away from the bar (if you were there in the first place) and find a new avenue in the industry. The panel was a collection of bar consultants, bar owners, brand ambassadors, and the like. The drink writing as a job was covered two days later at a Drink/Write talk called "Blogger to Writer." Here are each panelist's comments combined, and not necessarily demonstrative of the order in which they were presented.
Daniel Shoemaker - Bar owner of Teardrop Lounge in Portland
• Have the arrogance to build something that the world needs, then strip away the ego aspect.
• A protestant work aesthetic; put your head down and work hard.
• Find a mentor and shadow.
• Do not overshoot; know your short term and long term plans and visions.
• Put yourself in a position where good karma will come to you.
David Cid - Bacardi Rum's Brand Master
• Passion is key. Being in the moment and caring about what you do no matter what the task is, even if it is the most simplest of tasks like making a Highball.
• Stay positive especially about brands; you never know who is connected in this industry.
Josh Harris - Bon Vivants cocktail consultancy and event planners
Being at the right place at the right time is something you have
control of; put yourself in growth spots where opportunities can happen.
Seize opportunities when they appear.
• Determine a niche as a direction.
• Being more amorphous opens yourself up to new opportunities.
Jeffrey Morgenthaler - Bar manager of Clyde Common in Portland
• Writing helped to get name out there which garnered speaking engagements and other benefits.
Corey Bunnewith - Brand management for Inspired Beverage; brand strategist for OnTheBar app
• Key to success is failure, but being relentless.
• Also, humanizing things so one can connect and engage.
Keith Waldbauer - Co-owner of Liberty bar in Seattle; consultant for Liquid Kitchen; writer
• Make your own luck. Things are never an accident so set yourself up to succeed.
• For example, get yourself up earlier in the day instead of sleeping in, and do not wait for people to knock on your door.