You can get a Line Sitter job in craft beer.
For reals. All those beer releases. Limited cans. Haze craze releases. Only so many cases per person. Only so many 4-packs per nerd. One bottle. Two bottles. You can get paid to wait for those beers. Yes, line sitter jobs are a real thing for iPhones, but they are a real thing for beer too.
But do you want to? SHOULD you want to?
They don’t get paid a lot. It seems like it runs around $25 per gig. But if you are one of those people that can mentally handle waiting in line for things, why not wait in a line with a bunch of (usually) cool people drinking beer all night?
Just hope there is a McDonald’s restroom nearby and the person behind you is willing to save your spot. Actually, there is a way around that I will explain in a minute, but I digress…
Looking For A Line Sitter Job?
Your city, if it’s big enough, might have one of these services line services you can work for. New York certainly does. There is one called Same Ole Line Dudes. They are set-up to wait in line for anything, beer seems to be low on their list.
But yes, you can be somebody’s “task rabbit” for the latest can release.
Try searching out your local area. Talk to some other beer geeks around or get into a local craft beer Facebook group and start asking. You could get a little flack for it. Beer geek related Facebook groups are know to be…passionate, at times, so tred lightly.
You can also go on boards like Beer Advocate and see if anyone will “donate” money or beer to you in exchange for you waiting in line for them. I feel like this is not exactly legal but … it’s a free country or whatever. On the record I say not to be doing this, but if you’re reasonable about it, who cares?
Is A Line Sitter The Same As A Beer Mule?
Not exactly. If you’re new to craft beer geekdom, you might have heard the term “beer mule” associated with this. A beer mule can be different from a line sitter or a task rabbit. A mule is simply somebody that brings beer to another person, usually a long distance.
So, you could be a line sitter and a beer mule or just be one of those things. A line sitty beer mule.
Know This Before You Line Sit
Some of the people in line are not liking what you are doing. Beer geeks that live in the area, as you can imagine, don’t like not being able to get the amount of beer they wanted because somebody that is not a beer geek is buying beer for somebody that doesn’t even live there.
Having somebody from the brewery come out, walk the line, and tell the person in front of you that they are the last one that will be getting any beer and that last person to get beer is you, the line sitter, might not go over well.
Maybe don’t make eye contact with the person behind you.
I have not heard or seen anyone get physical or even get into an argument, but know this is something that could happen if you start opening your yap about what you’re doing there.
Luckily craft beer nerds are a cool bunch of people. If you’re cool, they are cool.
Breweries You Might Run Into A Profesional Line Sitter
It seems that Other Half is a big line stander/sitter brewery. Being in New York helps plus they have can releases happening all the time. There is a lot of line work to be had. I don’t imagine every release calls for an epic line, but it all depends.
I have also heard of Monkish in Los Angeles (Torrence) is a big can release/line place. Ya might find some work there.
Hell, really, any small to big craft brewer that bottles or cans has the potential to have a freak show line situation. And that is what’s fun about indie breweries.
What Triggers An Epic Beer Release Line?
I think it starts with the reputation of the brewery and the reputation of the beer. Add in a hot style (haze me bro), proper hype from the brewery and the local beer community, and you have the makings of a LINE FEST!
It doesn’t hurt if a brewery already has a cult following as well.
And now. The most epic line in the history of lines. I think I have watched this video four or five times and I am still amazed every time:
It’s the most jaw-dropping beer release line I have ever seen. I challenge you to find one bigger.
Even the epic lines during the two-week event know as the Pliny The Younger release at Russian River, can’t compare. I know I know, Younger release and limited package beer releases are not the same things, but I’m just sayin’.
What You Need To Be A Line Sitter
If you’re a paid line professional or actually a beer geek with no plans to sell the beer (you know, you actually want to enjoy the beer), study up on how to drink all day and stay upright, first. Then buy the right gear to help your overnight sidewalk stay be more comfortable.
I put together a list of items you might find useful for your next rare beer release line.
A CHAIR. This is a must. Use the one that you yell at your kid’s soccer coach from. Or buy a new one. This one has a cooler and that seems relevant.
A BACKPACK COOLER. You will need beer for your overnight line wait. Then once you have emptied the cooler from your line-fest, you have a plenty of room for all the cans you’re buying everyone. This one holds 36 12oz cans!
Alright, maybe that is excessive…but not really.
COOLER TUBE: I have only moments ago discovered these were a thing. I want one. Take a look at the Mountainsmith:
BRIEF RELIEF: Yep. It is what you think it is. Because not every brewery has a Wendy’s bathroom next to it. When ya think about it, it’s better than going in the street. Once you do your business in there, the gel inside hardens and you just toss it in the trash.
For a comprehensive story on ‘line life’ at Other Half Brewery, check out this post from VinePair.com.
If you have any stories from a beer release line, don’t be afraid to leave them in the comment section or email me mikeytoppour [@] gmail.com.