You do have to live within the Greater London area to apply for this position, but what better reason to move?
London’s historic Old Spitalfields Market has announced it’s looking for a candidate to resurrect the ancient role of Ale Taster. Entries are due by May 23. From the website:
In medieval times, ordinary citizens were appointed to oversee and inspect various aspects of everyday life, effectively doing the work of our modern Inspectors of Weights and Measures. Not surprisingly, one of the most popular offices to be held was that of the Ale Taster also known as Ale Conner. His duties involved visiting stalls and inns on market days and during the town’s fairs to ensure that the ales, beers and other produce on sale were of good quality.
“Ale Tasters would have been a familiar sight in London.” explains Malcolm Ball, chief executive of Wellington Market Company, the company responsible for Old Spitalfields Market.
He added that he felt that the ancient office would still hold its value even centuries on. “Although the attraction of such a role may seem obvious at first, the 21st Century version would incorporate many more responsibilities than the original. Our ceremonial Ale Taster would become an ambassador for the promotion of drink and food in the area. Modern tastes have evolved and become so much more sophisticated in recent times and people demand ever greater levels of quality and variety.”
The site also explains: “The candidates will really have their knowledge tested by a number of different rounds. Blind-tasting will be the order of the day and contestants will be pitted against one another in a bid to claim the ceremonial role. The final round will consist of a one minute pitch to the panel of judges to demonstrate presentation skills.”
I’m already thinking a cage match pitting the English Ale Taster and the Wynkoop Beerdrinker of the Year might be in order.