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The Hustle

The US will return 12 artifacts worth $33m to Turkey. They were smuggled out of the country 50+ years ago, and include a headless bronze statue, possibly of Roman emperor Septimius Severus, dating back to 225 CE. Dick Wolf, please hear our prayers — “Law & Order: Antiquities Trafficking Unit” needs to happen.

In today’s email:

  • Beer and loathing: When it comes to brews, we love nasty names.
  • Urban mining: Seeking concrete gains in recycling buildings.
  • Weekend Reads: Excellent links that pair well with pajamas.
  • Around the Web: A tool for your next read, 18 cool food startups, how to build a big robot, and more internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast to hear Zack and Mark discuss The Hustle’s 2023 dating survey, postage stamps, and LVMH’s rising market cap.

The Big Idea
pouring beer

When it comes to craft beer, bad names are best

You’d assume customers gravitate toward products with aspirational names, but the opposite is true for craft beer.

A new study that analyzed data from beer review site Beer Advocate between 1996 and 2012 found that when it comes to craft breweries — defined as making 6m barrels or less per year — beers with names that would typically elicit negative emotions have stronger consumer appeal.

Uh, why?

By 2012, Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors had gobbled up so many smaller brands that they controlled 90% of beer production, per The Atlantic.

Conversely, the craft beer movement — for both consumers and brewers — flew against mass production and was instead “steeped in authenticity,” University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor Olga Khessina told The Hustle.

  • Khessina co-authored the study alongside J. Cameron Verhaal (Tulane University) and Stanislav D. Dobrev (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee).

And when brewers come out with offerings like Ugly Pug or I Hate My Boss Coffee Stout, those names reflect that independence — which Khessina’s research indicates may be even more important than how the beer tastes.

Does this translate to other industries?

There are wines and spirits with weird names — take Cat Pee on a Gooseberry Bush Sauvignon Blanc or Dirty Water Distillery’s Bog Monster gin — but Khessina said it’s not as common.

Those craft movements started later and have yet to reach the same scale as beer.

What about cannabis…

… where strains have names like “unicorn poop” or “grandpa’s breath”?

Sure, because both have ideologies in opposition to something, Khessina said. For craft beer, it’s mass production; cannabis remains federally illegal.

“Strong oppositional identity demands authenticity in expression and behavior and encourages rebellious (i.e., counter-normative) attitudes and actions with which negative naming of products strongly resonates,” Khessina said.

Hear that, rebels? Enjoy your Ill-Tempered Gnomes and Geriatric Hipster Clubs this weekend. For nondrinkers, there’s always Liquid Death, the canned water brand that grew its revenue by 4,000%+ by branding itself like a craft beer.

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eyeball wearing a hat

A Fandom study found millennials spend more time playing video games than Gen Z or teens, with 40% spending 22+ hours per week gaming. Look, Elden Ring is very hard, OK?


Save those pennies: The cost of a first-class USPS postage stamp will increase from 63 cents to 66 cents in July. USPS is on a decade-long mission to wipe out a $160B shortfall and hopes to break even this year.

Rewriting the record books: The Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry has 25 new inductees, including Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” the Super Mario Bros. theme, and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.”

Luxury brand LVMH briefly broke into the world’s top 10 companies as it reached a market cap of $486B on Thursday. If it hits $500B, it would be the first European company to do so.

Meanwhile, protestors against France’s plan to bump the retirement age from 62 to 64 set upon LVMH’s Paris HQ. Union lead Fabien Villedieu said if President Emmanuel Macron needed funds for the pension system, “he should come here to find it.”

The EPA predicts Americans would save up to $1.1T on gas if its new auto emissions standards were adopted. EVs would cost more upfront, but the EPA maintains owners would save on fuel and maintenance over time.

Bot beer: Becks, owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, will produce Beck’s Autonomous, a beer made and marketed by AI. For now, only 450 total will be available in Germany, Italy, and the UK.

Uncharted waters: A trio of SpaceX alum brothers believe their new venture, Argo, can expand space travel. Their secret weapon: lunar water, which they would harvest as a propellant for the moon juice-powered craft they’re developing.

Odds ball: This year’s women’s college basketball tournament scored record TV ratings — and set high marks in gambling, too. BetMGM said betting on the tourney increased 30% YoY, with action “comparable to an NFL game.”

Update: Colorado farmers have won the right to repair their own equipment. This has been an ongoing battle between farmers and tractor behemoth John Deere.

rising construction material costs
Olivia Heller

As material costs go rogue, will recycling old buildings go in vogue?

Looked into building a home or renovating a home lately? There’s no shame if you went catatonic looking at the price tag.

The overall cost of construction materials today comes in 37% higher than pre-pandemic numbers. Supply chain issues of late surely haven’t helped calm things down.

Though price and supply fluctuations in natural materials aren’t exclusive to this moment in history, there are some uniquely hard times ahead (see: shortage, copper).

All of this is driving some German businesses to try speeding up urban mining’s adoption into the construction mainstream, according to Worldcrunch.

Sounds great… what is it?

Urban mining is the process of retrieving raw materials from waste for reuse.

  • And goodness, construction produces a lot of waste — more than one-third of all waste generated in the EU comes from construction and demolition.

It all seems intuitive: When buildings are knocked down or renovated, their materials would be assessed for recyclability, then viable metals, concrete, bricks, etc. would be reused in the project.

But adoption hasn’t gone wide in construction for a few reasons: limited technical know-how, belief in the inferiority of used materials, and high disassembly costs.

Back in Germany…

… builders hope their pilot programs will show a way to clear those hurdles:

  • One architect says recycling materials for a new office complex saved eight tons of waste and actually brought costs down.
  • A consultant evaluated 465k+ tons of in-use material for a renovation project, finding a loss rate of only 5%-10% in metals and ~20% in concrete.

Regulations could ultimately force builders’ hands. The German government, per Worldcrunch, may eventually require new builds to register a “resources passport” accounting for sustainable material usage.

We’d wish them well, but we’re off to look at more material cost charts and have a good cry.

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Free Resource

Five free tools to free up your time

Getting more done, in less time? Sounds like a far-flung dream.

But that’s just the jaded part of you talking. The optimist inside knows that this video contains some novel productivity tips. Because otherwise, we wouldn’t put it in front of you.

Five tools to streamline your workday:

  • Screen recording
  • PDF editing
  • Cloud storing
  • Gmail email groups
  • Meeting scheduling

Tory breaks down each timesaver (and suggests snappy softwares).

Up your productivity 😎 →
Weekend Reads

Welcome to Weekend Reads

In case you missed ’em, here’s this week’s best…

  • Tweet: Have a good summer. I mean, weekend.
  • Blog: OK, so business expenses aren’t exactly a good time — but they’re important. Here’s how to manage them.
  • Chart: Every year, Americans work 10 whole weeks more than Germans. But they’re finally starting to chill.
  • Story: In the 1980s, a teen found a secret room and a name in the video game “Adventure.” He’d just discovered the first “Easter egg.”
  • Video: The economics of Spotify — and why artist payouts are so low.

📘 On this day: In 1828, lawyer Noah Webster published the first copy of his American Dictionary of the English Language, featuring 10k+ “Americanisms.”

📚 Useful: Love at First Line presents the first sentence of various books to help you find your next read.

✏️ Blog: Check out these 18 startups changing the food industry.

🤖 That’s interesting: The Moving Gundam in Japan is 60 feet tall and weighs 25 tons. Inverse explores how it was made.

🐦 Aww: And now, “peep peep show” is a great pun and a better video.

  1. Going bananas and going ape shit are the same thing. SOURCE

  2. Hanging out with your parents is third wheeling. SOURCE

  3. To not expose his identity, Batman is either driving the Batmobile uninsured or committing insurance fraud. SOURCE

  4. When you bury your feet in the sand at the beach, you are briefly wearing the Earth as shoes. SOURCE

  5. The memory of your childhood best friend lives on through bank security questions. SOURCE

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