12 episodes

A podcast about drinking culture, being online, and beyond, hosted by Fingers founding editor Dave Infante. Featuring interviews with interesting people in the wide world of booze, expanded audio reads, and more.

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The Fingers Podcast Dave Infante

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

A podcast about drinking culture, being online, and beyond, hosted by Fingers founding editor Dave Infante. Featuring interviews with interesting people in the wide world of booze, expanded audio reads, and more.

www.fingers.email

    "Workers have to really want this for this to happen"

    "Workers have to really want this for this to happen"

    You know how like 200 Starbucks stores have unionized since that first one in Buffalo did back in December 2021, and over 100 of those 200 all struck in unison on Red Cup Day this year because the company—which is one of the biggest private employers in the U.S. by the way—refuses to bargain with its workers in good faith and has actually fired scores of them just for exercising their federally protected right to organize on the job? What’s going on there?
    So glad you asked. Today on The Fingers Podcast, exclusively for paying Friends of Fingers, I’ve got an interview with , a writer and organizer at the worker publication/organizing platform Labor Notes. He’s also the guy behind , a vital, semi-weekly round-up of American labor news. If you spend any time on Twitter… well, first of all I’m sorry to hear it, you should definitely try to stop doing that. But second of all: you have probably come across Jonah thanks to his relentless coverage of the U.S. labor movement. We first crossed paths last year when I was reporting on United Food and Commercial Workers’ six-week strike at Heaven Hill’s Bardstown, Kentucky distillery. I knew he’d be great for The Fingers Podcast because of how well he can get deep in the weeds of this or that union drive, then zoom out on what it all means for the overall landscape for workers in this country, and earlier this year, our schedules finally aligned to make it happen.
    The Fingers Podcast is usually paid-subscriber bonus, but this episode is free for all. Please consider buying a subscription to support independent journalism about drinking in America!


    Jonah and I spoke in October 2022 about a ton of different, related topics: his coverage of the Starbucks union drive, the importance of being honest about the health and strength of American unions, and the best way for customers to show their support for workers organizing a shop they patronize. (Spoiler alert: it isn’t a boycott, because boycotts are way harder to pull off than anybody thinks, and they almost never work!) The upshot, as he sees it: despite the rising groundswell of American public support for unions—an August 2022 Gallup poll found 71% of the country felt positive towards organized labor, for example—“workers have to really want this for this to happen.” Capital has been eating labors lunch in this country for going on five decades, and it was never a fair fight to begin with. Still, Jonah believes the brushfire campaign by Starbucks Workers United is both proof-positive that it’s still possible, and a model of how to do it. I tend to agree.
    It was a wide-ranging and illuminating conversation about consumer-facing food & drink’s place in the U.S.’s sorta-resurgent labor movement, and I hope you enjoy it. 
    Jonah Furman is a writer and organizer with Labor Notes. He publishes Who Gets the Bird?, a newsletter of American labor news updates. Follow him on Twitter.
    🎧 Other recent episodes of The Fingers Podcast
    * James Wilt, journalist and author of Drinking Up the Revolution (Parts One & Two; transcript)
    * Jack Hamilton, critic, professor, and author of Just Around Midnight
    * Kim Kelly, journalist and author of 'Fight Like Hell'
    * Craft labor writer and scholar Ben Anderson
    * Low Culture Boil's Rax King, author of ‘Tacky’
    * Hugging the Bar's Courtney Iseman
    * Bryan Roth, journalist and news editor of Good Beer Hunting's Sightlines
    * Dan Ozzi, music journalist and author of Sellout


    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.fingers.email/subscribe

    • 43 min
    "Volume of alcohol is their #1 priority."

    "Volume of alcohol is their #1 priority."

    This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.fingers.email

    Dave interviews James Wilt about the profits, politics, and power of the global alcohol industry—and his radical vision for a better system that puts drinkers before shareholders. Episode 1 of 2.

    • 2 min
    "I don't think it's going to work out for the corporation at this particular shop."

    "I don't think it's going to work out for the corporation at this particular shop."

    You know how earlier this year, Heaven Hill workers went on a six-week strike against their employer, which is one of the largest bourbon distilleries in Kentucky, and therefore the world? Well, about 2.5 hours to the south, across the Tennessee state line, workers at a very small whiskey distillery with a very big corporate overlord took notice. Here’s the deal.
    Today on The Fingers Podcast I’ve got an interview with Dylan Lancaster, a tour guide and organizer at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in Nashville, Tennessee. Last week, Dylan and around 35 of his coworkers went public with a union drive at their workplace, a historic Nashville whiskey maker that in 2019 was acquired by Constellation Brands, the major beverage conglomerate behind brands like Corona, Mondavi, Casa Noble, and many more.
    The Nelson’s Green Brier employees’ grievances are pretty familiar: low pay, bad working conditions, and unaffordable and/or inaccessible healthcare. But the way they’ve decided to address them—by forming a union with the United Food and Commercial Workers—is less so in Tennessee, a right-to-work state with one of the lowest labor union densities in the country. “Not only are we fighting a giant, multi-billion dollar corporation, but we're also doing it within a state that is not kind to unions or to workers more broadly,” Lancaster told The Fingers Podcast. “It's a bit of a David versus Goliath situation.”
    🎧 This full-length interview is FREE to all subscribers on The Fingers Podcast.
    Interviews are usually for paying subscribers only, but I’ve unlocked this one for the whole Fingers Fam. I need your support to continue this work. Consider purchasing a subscription:
    In our interview, Dylan and I discussed why he and his colleagues decided to form the United Distillery Workers of Tennessee. They believe it’s the first distillery union in the Volunteer State, and they’re petitioning Constellation to voluntarily recognize the union. We got into the challenges of organizing quietly in a small shop, the perils of the American healthcare system for rank-and-file workers, and how the United Distillery Workers are hoping for good-faith treatment from their booze-biz bosses, while also bracing for the union-busting campaign that may or may not come.
    Dylan also told me that part of their inspiration for the drive was seeing Heaven Hill’s workers—represented by the same union, UFCW—strike their bosses over healthcare and overtime provisions. Comparing the conditions, and wages, across state lines convinced Nelson’s Green Brier workers that collective bargaining was the way to go. “They were hiring people off the street for $21.50 an hour, when our lead bottler is making just under $20,” Dylan told me, comparing the wages Heaven Hill offered scabs to those that his colleagues earn at Nelson’s Green Brier. “Those are things we definitely took into account.”
    Editor’s note: This interview was conducted via video call on 12/13/21. Neither Nelson’s Green Brier nor Constellation responded to Fingers’ requests for comment. The below transcript has been edited and condensed. The full-length interview is available on The Fingers Podcast.
    Meet Dylan Lancaster, worker & organizer at Nelson's Green Briar Distillery
    Dave Infante, Fingers: OK, Dylan Lancaster! Welcome to The Fingers Podcast. How you doing, man?
    Dylan Lancaster, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery/United Distillery Workers of Tennessee: I'm doing fantastic. How are you?
    Doing well, man. You’re in Nashville, and you and your your colleagues made a little bit of news last week. What's going on in Nashville?
    I work at Nelson's Green Brier Distillery in Nashville, who produce Belle Meade bourbon and Nelson's Green Brier Tennessee whiskey. Me and a majority of my co-workers got together and we are in the process of forming a union with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1995. On Friday, we filed for recognition with our corpora

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

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

    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:
    Remember to subscribe to The Fingers Podcast on Apple, Spotify, 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:
    📬 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!
    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!
    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!
    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 t

    • 17 min
    [Bonus pod] The pseudoscientific spectacle of @BangEnergy.CEO

    [Bonus pod] The pseudoscientific spectacle of @BangEnergy.CEO

    Enjoy this audio read of the Fingers newsletter published on 9/20/21, titled:
    Remember to subscribe to The Fingers Podcast on Apple, Spotify, 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.
    Music credit: The intro/outro music to this episode of The Fingers Podcast is SKA Podcast / YouTube / Channel Intro by NaturesEye, sourced via Pixabay.


    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.fingers.email/subscribe

    • 17 min
    [Bonus pod] The sinister politics of pouring beers for dead troops

    [Bonus pod] The sinister politics of pouring beers for dead troops

    Enjoy this audio read of the Fingers newsletter published on Labor Day, 9/13/21, titled:
    Remember to subscribe to The Fingers Podcast on Apple, Spotify, 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.
    Music credit: The intro/outro music to this episode of The Fingers Podcast is SKA Podcast / YouTube / Channel Intro by NaturesEye, sourced via Pixabay.


    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.fingers.email/subscribe

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

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Hilarious & Unique Style, Great Content

Dinfontay is one of a kind. Awesome podcast for anybody that enjoys the world of beer, or just drinking and culture.

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