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Bartenders have a complicated relationship with alcohol, to say the least. We sell it, we love it, we hate it, we know more about it, the way it’s produced, its history and it’s effects than most other people, and we are constantly surrounded by it. Sometimes this relationship can become extremely difficult, particularly when we get caught up in this routine of being the life of the party, that is quite literally our job.

It’s hard to put things in perspective and it’s hard to find personal balance in an industry that is so completely saturated with alcohol. It can be a massive challenge to discover our own connection to booze and what it really means, and sometimes that requires taking a step back and not drinking for a while. A task that I know from personal experience is easier said than done.

My guest today is Mark Goodwin, he’s been in this industry since 2014. He began his career at Trick Dog here in San Francisco and he now works behind the bar at Coin Op. Mark really came to terms with his own relationship to alcohol almost 11 months ago, and made the decision to stop drinking. During this time of sobriety he’s created The Pin Project, which directly addresses the challenges of alcohol consumption bartenders face in this industry.

The Pin is a small symbol you can wear on your lapel during your shift behind the bar, that lets your coworkers and customers know that you have made the choice to not drink during that shift. The pin allows you to make that choice without facing scrutiny or awkward conversations about why you’re not drinking. There are plenty of reasons to not drink, everything from addiction problems to having to pick someone up from the airport later, and the pin helps you make that choice silently and easily.

 

The pin will be available very soon for $15, so you can get one for yourself or your team. Make sure to check out their website and sign up for updates. All proceeds from the pin support The Pin Foundation, a community driven charity focused on improving wellness, health and understanding in regards to sobriety in the working life. The Pin Foundation’s main focus is to connect mental health and substance abuse counselors with those in need, as well as financially sponsoring treatment.

Check out my conversation with Mark in the player above or wherever podcasts are found. Don’t forget to hit subscribe and please share us and The Pin Project with your friends and colleagues in the industry. We’ll see you next week with more conversations about the biggest challenges in our industry. Cheers!

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