In “Meet a Member,” we highlight the people who make up the North American Guild of Beer Writers. It’s a chance to learn more about the wide collection of journalists, podcasters, bloggers, and vloggers who cover the industry. See and archive of these Q&A profiles.
Where can people find you on social media?
I’m on Twitter (far too often) at twitter.com/dinfontay. You can also follow Fingers on Instagram at instagram.com/fingers, where I post daily original memes and shitposts about drinking culture, being online, and beyond.
Where can people find your work?
I publish an independent, reader-supported newsletter about drinking in America called Fingers, which you can check out at fingers.substack.com. I’m also a contributing writer at-large for VinePair covering the beer business, where I publish a lot of my reportage: https://vinepair.com/author/davei/
What topics do you regularly cover?
I write a lot about the intersection of labor, culture, technology and power in the beer business and the broader beverage-alcohol business. I’m not particularly interested in beer as a liquid; I don’t have a trained palate, I’m not a cicerone, critic, or judge. For me, the most compelling aspects of the beat are figuring out ways in which beer and beer drinkers create, influence, and react to the forces that shape our world. This can be serious stuff, but there’s also plenty of room for chaos and color, which I try to lean into as much as possible for the sake of my own amusement (and my readers’, of course.) N.B.: I also find myself covering Bang Energy’s CEO Jack Owoc quite a bit because he’s basically a living embodiment of my ideal beat (and so, so much more.)
What topics would you like to cover more in the future?
More labor coverage, ideally because there is more labor organizing in the beverage category! I’m always looking to hear more workers’ perspective about what it’s like trying to make a living brewing, serving, and selling beer and booze, so if you’re a non-boss in the beverage-alcohol business with a tip, never hesitate to get in touch! (I don’t have to tell bosses to get in touch, they already send me press releases.)
People should consider me an expert on ____ … and why:
The labor movement in the U.S. craft beer industry, because I’ve been writing about it for about half a decade now.
What’s a favorite thing you’ve created in the last year?
This is definitely up there: Here’s an idea: hard milk
What’s the last great thing you read or heard? (beer or not)
Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen.
What’s a fun fact, hidden talent, or something you enjoy that has nothing to do with beer?
I used to be a D-list Snapchat celebrity!
How did you get into covering beer?
It seemed like my best shot at escaping the #content mines. I was but a young listicle jockey when I first started reporting on the beer business, but I had the advantage of growing up in a household where the industry was a central focus, at least for part of my childhood: my father worked as a marketer for various brands in the late ‘80s, including Rolling Rock, St. Pauli Girl, and Labatt’s. It wasn’t, like, “the family business” per se, and it wasn’t his entire career. But I guess it got me interested in the industry in a way that I might not have been otherwise if I’d first encountered beer as a drinker.
Who is a reporter/author/podcaster and publication/show that inspires you?
Amanda Mull at The Atlantic is great. I love her stuff. I was listening to “You’re Wrong About” on roadtrips for awhile, but at the recommendation of my colleagues Jess Infante (Brewbound) and Kate Bernot (Good Beer Hunting, Craft Beer & Brewing) I recently made the move to “Normal Gossip,” which is produced by Defector Media. It is a delight.