BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Social distancing and the single drinker.


A very timely reminder: For the past 40 years I’ve always tried my best, at all times and twice on Sunday, to keep at least 6 feet away from the nearest Miller Lite.

The pandemic has strengthened my resolve.

Let’s begin with some bad news.

Farewell for now to a golden age of drinking, by Schumpeter (The Economist)

The pandemic has hurt the booze business

… Lockdown and its aftermath leaves craft firms most exposed. Some have been bought by industry giants; abi now owns Goose Island and Camden Town Brewery. But many still sell from their own small premises, making it harder to attract social-distancing customers. Even in good times many barely covered their costs. Being small, they have less leverage to force their wares onto supermarket shelves. Some will either be sold or sluiced down the drain. Inevitably, the industry will lose some of its creative fizz.

In addition, two longer-term threats loom on the horizon: demography and drugs. Studies show that Generation z, the eldest of whom have recently reached drinking age, are far less likely to consume alcohol than their elders, says Javier Gonzalez Lastra of Berenberg, a bank. That will affect the drinks industry for years to come, because peak alcohol consumption has traditionally been between the ages of 18 and 34. Partly as a result, in America, historically the world’s biggest drinks market, total alcohol sales volumes have declined for three years in a row. Overlapping with youthful sobriety is cannabis use. A report co-written by iwsr last year found that this was an emerging alternative to booze among the young. Millennials in America accounted for almost half of “dualists”, who both smoke pot and imbibe. Covid-19 could benefit cannabis further. In Schumpeter’s limited experience, pot-smoking has always been something of a furtive activity. That may make it better suited to social distancing than clinking glasses in a pub.

The good news is that a great awakening of regulatory experimentation allowed to survive pandemic states of emergency would help keep us in the game.

Hip Hops: Public drinking — and changing “stupid American liquor laws”

Rules and regulations are inevitable in any business or profession, but the ones pertaining to beverage alcohol often are a more impenetrable thicket than most, multiplied 50 times for each state in the union, compounded by additional layers of local blue laws, and seemingly imposed for the very purpose of denying that the repeal of Prohibition ever took place.

In the same article there’s a list of Louisville area breweries and their current opening status.

Food & Dining Magazine’s “Hip Hops” column is devoted to the beer beat, and an essential component for the health and well being of any city’s beer scene is its core of local breweries. In the broadest of terms, the pandemic has been kind to Louisville’s breweries. Many of ours never closed entirely during the pandemic, and others have reopened.

Here’s a status list with the (incomplete) lowdown, as assembled Sunday afternoon in the company of a tankard of Falls City Bock — and then another, after the first.