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The Fingers Know-It-When-You-See-It Drinking Guide FAQ
An user's manual for the deeply subjective, yet fully correct document
This being a newsletter about drinking in America, I’ve often thought it would be neat to maintain a list of boozeletter-approved places to drink. Not like, a “best of” listicle, or a power-ranking, or anything like that, mind you. My days in the #content mines are thankfully behind me, and you deserve better than that, besides. No, I’m envisioning building out a list of places I’ve drank that are good places to drink (evaluated upon Potter Stewart’s timeless, completely unscalable rubric of “you know it when you see it”) where you should drink, too, if you ever get the chance. Behold: Fingers’ Know-It-When-You-See-It Drinking Guide (KIWYSIDG).
Some frequently asked questions and their answers, below.
How does a bar make it on to Fingers’ Know-It-When-You-See-It Drinking Guide?
Someone tells me a bar is good, I go there, and if it is indeed a good bar, I add it to the guide.
Based on what, though? Drink selection? Staff skill? Storied history? Institutional vibes?
Yeah, all of that stuff. Or maybe none of it, I don’t know. I just know it when I see it.
Is this list prestigious?
Is it comprehensive and definitive?
I’m a PR person. Can I pitch you my client’s bar for inclusion?
I’m a bar owner, can I pitch you my own bar for inclusion?
Also no, but in a friendlier way.
I don’t see my favorite bar on the guide. I’m not a PR person or a bar owner, and I can’t comment because I’m not a paying subscriber. What can I do?
Buy a subscription. It supports my independent journalism!
I don’t see my favorite bar on the guide, and I am a paying subscriber. What can I do?
Damn, sorry I missed it. Put it in the comments and I’ll try to check it out next time I’m… wherever it is.
So a bar can only make the guide if you visit it? Who made you the expert?
In the most literal sense, you did, when you subscribed to this newsletter. Which, thank you! But I’ve been reporting on the drinks industry for over a decade, and I’d like to think I’ve got a pretty good sense of what constitutes a good place to drink. That said, I think it’d be very neat to incorporate recommendations into this guide from paying Friends of Fingers, so I’m going to think about the best way to do that. Stay tuned.
Are brewery taprooms and places like that eligible for inclusion?
Sure. Anywhere I can pay money to drink alcohol is fair game. Amtrak cafe car? Eligible. Philadelphia’s Dave and Buster’s? Eligible. Your cash-bar wedding? Not eligible, because I can’t evaluate a place I’ve never been, and I’m not coming. Places that give me alcohol for free are also eligible, so long as they’re not doing that in exchange for a listing.
How will you know?
Let’s say you got comped something—a tour, a drink, a t-shirt—when you visited one of these places because you or one of your companions at the time knew someone. How can we trust that you’re not allowing that to sway your judgment?
This does happen! As a matter of journalistic ethics, I will try to avoid this sort of conflict-of-interest whenever possible. When it’s not possible, I’ll disclose it, so you can judge my judgment for yourself. For what it’s worth, I always try to avoid professional situations where I’m drinking for free, because it means whoever’s paying for my drinks wants something out of me, and that’s just not a very pleasant way to drink.
All these rules and regulations are subject to change without notice. OK? OK! Let’s get to it.