As the recession delivers a battering to Colorado’s economy, it appears to be driving Coloradans to drink more alcohol, according to new state sales-tax figures on liquor, which jumped by a stunning 32.6 percent. Otherwise sales taxes are down by about 11 percent, with the exception of tobacco, which is up by 0.1 percent, according to the Denver Business Journal.

While the news is bad for the state’s cash-starved government, which faces massive cuts in the months ahead, it might well be the sound of music to David Mays, a Fairview High School (in Boulder) and University of Colorado graduate who has the unusual job of “whiskey professor” at Jim Beam.

“I have a really odd skill set,” Mays tells the Daily Camara. He was a bar manager and has worked stints as a photographer and personal trainer. When he heard about the job, he thought, “I can do that.”

Meanwhile, fans may no longer be able to drink at boxing matches (or similar events) in Greeley, as the city council there considers a possible ban, reports the Greeley Tribune.