G N I TAK f o E CAR S S E N I S BU M
BY W R IT T E N B U RY R E T A W T A R GA R E T
The craft spirits industry starts thinking more seriously about workplace wellness
ildland firefighter. Commercial crab fisherman. Bomb squad technician. Underwater welder. Brand ambassador? Workplace danger comes in many forms, and while distillers may think first and foremost of forklift and fire safety when they consider on-the-job hazards (important issues, to be sure!), there are other, subtler dangers for people who work in the drinks industry. The temptation to overdo on alcohol and dining out — and underdo on sleep and restorative time — is ever present, and the hospitality industry has historically WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM
struggled to build workplace wellness into its culture. In 2011, Business Insider reported that white male bartenders were 2.33 times more likely to die from alcoholrelated causes than the average white male, and white female bartenders were 2.89 times more likely. Hazardous alcohol consumption and lopsided work-life balance are still major issues facing the drinks industry today, but things might be starting to change. “I know a lot of people who are trying to get their health back,” says Clyde Davis, regional director for Pacific Edge Wine and Spirits
and the former owner of a spirits import company. “People are actually talking about it now, whereas before, they weren’t talking about it.” The resulting conversations about what it means to strive towards wellness, how to balance the demands of personal and professional life, and how to maintain a healthy relationship with alcohol are starting to have an impact. People and companies are making shifts aimed at preserving professional longevity rather than always being the life of the party.