“The children are drinking so much ranch water their little tummies can't handle any more beer.”

Plus: bonus pod, this week's top comment(s), The Bottom Shelf + more!

  
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Editor’s note: Happy Friday, Fingers fam! Welcome to the 26 new Friends of Fingers who have subscribed since last week. We’re glad you’re here!


🎙️ Bonus pod: Big Beer's disturbing, deeply American vision of work and leisure

First up: for your listening pleasure, I recorded an audio read of Monday’s newsletter. Check it out in the player above, or on your preferred podcast platform:

Listen now

Remember to subscribe to The Fingers Podcast on AppleSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss new episodes as I publish them. All previous episodes can be found on those platforms, or in The Fingers Podcast archive. And if you missed Monday’s edition, catch up on it right here:

Fingers
Big Beer's disturbing, deeply American vision of work and leisure
Editor’s note: For more original reporting on the booze business, labor, and beyond, please subscribe to Fingers now. I’m running a sale on annual subscriptions through 10/22/21: Thanks for supporting independent journalism.—Dave…
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📬 Good post alert

As this week comes to an end, please remember: it really can happen to anyone.


🔝This week’s top comment

The stickers I offered to the first 50 people to buy yearly subscriptions to Fingers have all been claimed, which is incredible! Shout-out to those hair-triggered Friends of Fingers who jumped on that bonus. You know who you are!1

I sent out a Google Form to collect mailing addresses from the Fingers First 50, and included an optional, open-ended question in the survey: “Anything else I should know?” This field, I quickly realized, was just an open invitation to Friends of Fingers with shitposting tendencies. Some choice responses (anonymized to protect the shitposters, god bless ‘em):

  • “I spent almost 2 years keeping a spreadsheet of every unique beer I bought at my local bottle shop. I’ve done absolutely nothing with that data…”

  • “Dad?”

  • “hi dad”

  • “I probably won’t finish How to Kill a City

  • “Are you my dad?”

  • “Sometimes I just like to sit in the yard and listen to the birds for a little bit.”

  • “The children are drinking so much ranch water their little tummies can't handle any more beer.”

  • “No :)”

Good work all around, everyone. Not to get too sappy but I think it’s pretty cool that we’re building a little community here where some of my long-running in-jokes (the “dad?” thing; no I will not explain) are mixing with general wise-assery about drinking culture, being online, and… ah, birds, I guess? If you haven’t bought a subscription yet, but like the idea of joining and supporting that community, there’s still time to score a sweet deal on a whole year of Fingers!

Get 25% off for 1 year

Anyway, to those Fingers First 50 folks that haven’t filled out the form yet: get on it! I’m mailing stickers out soon. Wanted a sticker but didn’t get one? Don’t sweat it—there will be more opportunities for Fingers swag in the near-ish future! Stay tuned.


🧾 The Bottom Shelf

The Bottom Shelf is a round-up of headlines from across the beverage landscape (plus some stray items from everywhere else) that caught my interest since last Friday. Think I missed something the Fingers faithful should know about? Drop it in the comments!

Leave a comment

From the workweek that was:

  • Cannabis Cocktails Will Be Everywhere—But Are They Even Any Good?: Fingers is institutionally pro-legalization but I’m not much of a “weed guy” myself. But this new-to-me Munchies piece from Adam Rothbarth asks the question I’ve often wondered myself: is this something drinkers actually want? One bartender he quoted thinks this space will evolve like the craft beer business has. So expect cannabis kettle sours for $27 a 4-pack in a couple years? Maybe? God help us all.

  • Another lawsuit for Vitamin C Seltzer: Vizzy, Molson Coors’ biggest hard seltzer brand, is facing more class action for making claims that are allegedly “misleading and dangerous to consumers” regarding its products’ Vitamin C and superfruit content. It’s illegal to promote flavored malt beverages, or any booze, as healthful; thank the feds for that. This is like the third class-action Vizzy has dealt with about this, and it seems like a weird hill for the brand to die on. Does anybody actually buy Vizzy for the vitamins? Couldn’t you simply… change the branding a bit? Molson Coors marketers reading this: I’d love to know what sort of 4D FMB chess you’re playing. Get in touch!

  • The Future of Work Should Mean Working Less: Monday’s newsletter about Busch Light’s TreeWork promo was pretty widely read according to my metrics dashboard here at Fingers HQ. This recent column in the NYT Opinion section (of all places!) mirrors a lot of the points I was driving at; if you liked my piece, you’ll like this one even more, I bet.

  • On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs: Not as recent, but even more relevant, is anthropologist David Graeber’s 2013 essay defining and condemning “bullshit jobs.” I read both this essay, and the book the late LSE professor expanded it into, during the pandemic. I highly recommend them both, but the essay is definitely the easier place to start.

Get 25% off for 1 year

From Monday’s newsletter:

  • Is Hard Seltzer Killing the Classic College Kegger?: New from me at VinePair, a feature about what everyone’s favorite FMB is doing to the venerable campus tradition of keg parties. I won’t spoil the story for you but I will say that I was shocked by the number of college drinkers I spoke with who claimed they’d never seen a keg, period. Kids these days, etc.

  • A Community Over The Barrel: Friend of Fingers, fellow newsletter operator, and food journalist par excellence has a new story about a dog-friendly Charleston beer bar that proved itself to be very unfriendly to its neighbors. It’s a great piece, and one that speaks to a bigger debate about who typically gets to decide how Southern cities grow and change, and for what reasons.

  • The Bartender Who Quit Cocktails to Become a Mortician: If that headline doesn’t make you click, I don’t think anything I can write here will, either. But I enjoyed the hell out of this piece from Grub Street’s Chris Crowley.

  • Out of Character: Can Lager Masquerade with an IPA Brand?: Here’s BeerCrunchers’ Doug Veliky with a smart, fun little piece of analysis on whether New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger line—the country’s best-selling IPA family—has room for a new lager extension. Semi-related: Veliky has also leaned heavily into beer-themed TikToks lately. Follow him there or on Twitter, if you’re into that sort of thing!


📲 Everyone’s favorite Fingers meme this week

Perhaps inspired by the tale of Portland State football tailgaters rejecting Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA for Coors Light en masse, Fingers fam this week double-tapped this meme more than any other posted to the boozeletter’s official Instagram in the past seven days.

If you haven’t followed Fingers on Instagram yet, you’re missing out on free daily original content about the booze business. Don’t do that! Do this instead:

Follow @its.fingers now

Your feed will thank you. (Not really, that would be weird. But you know what I mean.)

1

Or at least you should, because I’ve emailed you about claiming your reward. Check your spam folder! If you feel like you must have been in the first 50 annual subscriptions, but don’t have an email from me, reply to this email and we’ll get it sorted out.