Well, might have an interesting development here. Seems that old adage, "it doesn't hurt to ask," might just pay dividends. A few days ago I started chatting with the twitter operator of one of our local breweries (Smoky Mountain Brewery). As I am job hunting anyways, I figured I would give it a shot and ask if they might be hiring. One thing leads to another, and last night the fellow tells me that the COO wants me to get in touch via email.
I'm really hoping that is a good sign. I sent off an email and a quick intro last night, but haven't heard back yet.
Learning from a professional who has been brewing for years would be a great experience! And Marty Velas makes some damn nice beers.
Fingers are crossed!