When Blue Ribbon butt play goes south
Plus: Booze bears down, N/A beer trend debunk, hammered hamsters + more
Please sustain independent journalism about drinking in America with a subscription:
I depend on readers to underwrite the labor that goes into producing this newsletter. Thanks for your support!—Dave.
🧾 The Settle-Up
— Pabst Blames Rimjob Tweets on ‘Poor Judgment’: “[O]ne of the largest beer makers in the U.S. has entered 2022 with a series of sexually suggestive tweets as part of an anti-Dry January campaign,” reported Brewbound. The Pabst Blue Ribbon butt-stuff was scrubbed from the timeline by midday Monday, but not before it was preserved in the amber of a million screenshots and its own Know Your Meme entry.
Thanks to the literal dozens of Fingers readers who sent this to me! This actually dovetails nicely with a story I’ve been thinking about writing for awhile (lol) so expect more soon.
— America’s Beer-vs.-Liquor Beef Is Building: “Liquor makers see lower-alcohol premixed offerings as a way to change perceptions” of spirits as house-wrecking firewater,” reports the Wall Street Journal. And spirits are coming on strong even in the face of higher federal excise taxes, which are newly in play! Yeehaw. Relatedly:
— Troy Aikman Wants to Clone Michelob Ultra, Which, Like… Best of Luck: Per CNBC, the Dallas Cowboys QB-turned-sportscaster is launching EIGHT, a 90-calorie active-lifestyle light beer for… boomers with high blood pressure? Lone State gorpers who miss Sufferfest? Texas only at launch; target demo TBD.
— Fresca, preferred mixer of teen drinkers nationwide, to launch canned cocktails: According to the WSJ, “Fresca Mixed will start with cocktails inspired by recipes from people around the world who use Fresca as a mixer, said Constellation, which will market and distribute the products in the U.S.” Fresca is Coke; Monster Energy, a prime energy drink-to-hard seltzer pipeline candidate that’s reported playing footsie with Constellation, is 17% Coke. And so we must ask:
Mark Gallo®️ @guhlo🚨 Coke x Constellation Partnership Bring to market Alcoholic Frescas 🚨 https://t.co/qG20w7BCty
— Corona Introduces Non-Alcoholic “Vitamin D Beer” for… Reasons: “Sunbrew 0.0% will first launch in Canada, with the winter launch carefully targeted for the time of year where most Canadians experience limited sunlight,” reports Beverage Daily. Expect it in the U.S. once Anheuser-Busch InBev and Constellation stop suing each other. So… maybe never!
— Ireland Hopes to Beat Binge-Drinking with New Pricing: No jokes please. To make “cheaper, stronger alcoholic products less readily available, particularly for young people and heavy drinkers,” the Emerald Isle has implemented a minimum unit price (MUP) on booze, reports the New York Times. Critics call it a regressive flat tax, and uh… it kinda seems like one? NB: Scotland has had an MUP rule in place since 2018.
— Nashville Whiskey Workers to Vote on Union: Employees of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery will begin mailing in ballots later this month to determine whether they’ll join the United Food and Commercial Workers and become the first unionized spirits producer in Tennessee.
For the backstory, check out the Fingers interview with Dylan Lancaster, one of the workers organizing the drive at Nelson’s Green Brier.
— Lab-Made Booze Brands Say Synthetic Is Safer, Scientists Skeptical: “[S]ynthetic alcohol could capture the good parts of drinking while ditching the death and disease associated with it,” reports TIME, but ersatz booze prototypes raise the public health concerns that e-cigarettes probably should’ve a decade back. Hmm!
— Dry January Is Here, Beware Misleading Headlines about Non-Alcoholic Beer: The July 2021 Good Drinks interview between Julia Bainbridge and Bryan Roth and Kate Bernot of Good Beer Hunting is much more informative than any trend story you’re going to encounter this month.
— You Have No Idea How Hard It Is to Get a Hamster Drunk: You really don’t. “Hamsters don’t just tolerate alcohol, though; they prefer it to water—and that might be because they’re drinking for the calories,” reports The Atlantic.
Please support independent journalism about drinking in America with a subscription to Fingers.
📬 Good post alert
🤝 Only for Friends of Fingers
Paying subscribers this week got an audio read of the Fingers feature on Topgolf’s working conditions from just before the holiday.
If you value the boozeletter’s work, and want to support independent journalism about drinking in America, consider purchasing a subscription! You’ll get access to these subscriber-only bonus features, and help me sustain and grow this project.
With this sale, annual subscriptions work out to less than $6/month. This project is only possible with reader backing, so if you enjoy Fingers, please consider becoming a paying Friend of Fingers today!
If you haven’t followed Fingers on Instagram yet, you’re missing out on free daily original content about drinking in America. Like this:
Don’t miss out, follow Fingers on Instagram today. It’s free, and your feed will thank you. (Not really, that would be weird. But you know what I mean.)