As the holiday season gets underway, we thought it might be interesting to learn a bit more about the libations that bring so much holiday cheer. Matt Simpson is in the business of beer, specifically craft beer. Matt is a craft beer consultant.

For a day job, he conducts tastings and corporate events, Beer & Homebrewing 101 seminars, provides marketing/promotional consultation support, beer education for corporate hospitality staff and even provides expert legal witness testimony in legal cases between industry adversaries. In short, he talks about beer for a living. Sounds like fun, right?!

Matt took a couple minutes to help us learn a bit more about his job and how he got into the world of craft beer.

How did you get into this line of work?

Having seen the craft beer revolution on the horizon, I decided to take my passion and years of experience, and start my consulting company. Building a reputation and credibility were significantly easier than building the actual company. As I like to say, you can be the best in the world at what you do, but if nobody knows you exist, what’s the point of going into business?

It seems like being a craft beer consultant would be all fun and games; what is the best part of the job?

The obvious answer to this is all the social involvement – festivals, beer dinners and all manner of gatherings are incredibly fun. But the truth is, the most interesting aspect of my industry, is the science and minutiae behind the products. Most people think beer is simple to craft, but they couldn’t be more wrong!

There’s a world of bioscience – process, chemical and cellular interaction that dictates how any given beer will exist. It’s all extremely complex and takes years of study and practice to learn, develop and create. Then you need to learn some more.

What do consider to be your greatest career achievements?

Getting the call to appear on the TODAY Show, winning my first brewing competition blue ribbon, judging at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), or achieving any of my certifications.

Are there any interesting industry stories you can share?

I think my funniest and most interesting industry story involves two of the world’s most prominent brewers. At a big brewing conference, having introduced one of them to the other’s renowned imperial stout for the first time, a question arose about ABV (alcohol by volume) of the stout. Not believing the ABV level stated on the label, the other brewer tested it at his company’s lab and found it to be a full 4% less than they’d claimed. I’ll keep the whys and wherefores of the encounter to myself, but the situation taught me a lot about what goes on behind the scenes in the brewing industry.