Some occupations have higher alcoholism rates than others. It is unknown whether "high risk" occupations attract problem drinkers or create them through job pressures. One hundred and fifty male manual recruits to Scottish breweries and distilleries were interviewed and compared with similar men in lower risk jobs. The alcohol producers reported poorer employment records and were significantly heavier drinkers than the controls. The alcohol producers were also more likely than the controls to have drunk more since recruitment. These results suggest that the drink trade attracts a disproportionate number of people likely to develop alcohol-related problems and indicates that drinking habits may be strongly influenced by work environment.