Research anything about the alcohol industry. Go to a craft beer tasting event. Try as many homemade brews as you want. Talk to a guy about bourbon for half an hour. Taste and report on fancy new cocktails. Welcome to your internship at winespiritsandbeer.com

Recently, I’ve acquired an internship with the forenamed company, and as a college student, it is a dream come true. It’s my first internship. I feel like an adult. I no longer have to ask “You know what I want to be when I grow up?” because I’m already doing it. I get college credit and professional experience for blogging about alcohol. What could be better?

I’m only two weeks into my five-week internship, and already I feel like I’m in the right place. But something funny hit me the other day. I’m interning for an alcohol promotional and research company, and I’ve stopped drinking a lot more than I used to. It just seems ironic to me.

Sure, I still pick up a few tall boys of Natty Ice on the weekends and pound some dollar Genesees at The Monopole. I’m never too good for the cheap stuff. But I’m not doing this as frequently as I used to.

Could it be a newfound appreciation and knowledge of good-tasting, hand-crafted beer? I’d like to think that’s part of it. Or is it that I’m getting older, and when we get older our priorities change? Our idea of fun goes from seeing how many cans of Bud Light we can crush in one night to slowly tasting and enjoying a smorgasbord of local brews.

The first bit of research I did for my internship was a tasting at the Plattsburgh Brewing Co. I wanted to wet my beak. Put my boots on the ground. All that jazz.

From those little plastic cups you put ketchup in, I sampled beers and ciders from regional breweries and cider houses. Then my friends and I ordered a sample platter of four different in-house beers, which were served in smaller glasses than pints. They all tasted incredible, by the way.

I won’t lie. I got a buzz going. I wasn’t driving, so why not? I didn’t get drunk though, and I’m happy I didn’t. I was there to learn and research the industry, not go out for a night on the town with some buds and suds.

While at the tasting, I snagged a few business cards and did a little networking. I’d like to think I handled myself pretty professionally. Again, I felt like an adult. And adults don’t get hammered when they’re working. Well, some do, but I don’t want to be like those ones.

A few days later, my friends and I went out to celebrate another friend’s birthday. We went to Chug-a-mugs at Peabody’s. For those of you who’ve never been to a Chug-a-mugs, let me teach you a thing or two.

You go to the bar and order a Peabody’s chug-a-mug (or bring your own if you already got it). A chug-a-mug is a basically a big gulp for alcohol. You can either fill it with cheap beer or cheap mixed drinks. Either way, you get f—– up.

So even though it was a celebration and cheap drinks could be bought by the mug-full, I didn’t get too rowdy. I ordered two Miller Lights, and that was all I had for the night.

The next weekend my roommates and I hosted a beer Olympics. After the games, we headed downtown to see my friend’s band play. Throughout all the games of beer pong, flip cup and chandeliers, I only had two tall boys. When we got downtown, I didn’t even order a drink.

Despite my internship’s subject matter, I’m drinking less and less. But I’m having more and more fun in my life.

In no way do I look down upon people who like getting trashed every weekend. In fact, there probably will be those nights where I drink a lot more than I thought I could, but those nights won’t be as frequent as they once were.

My internship is helping me turn into an adult, but not in the way that age makes you an adult. I feel more mature and comfortable as a human being.

Email Griffin Kelly at griffin.kelly@cardinalpointsonline.com

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