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Zine Review | Beer Tarot by Courtney Iseman

Zine Review | Beer Tarot by Courtney Iseman
Emma Wargolet

As the kid who would host séances at her birthday parties and dressed as a variety of witches throughout her youth, anything witchy is always welcome in my home. When Courtney Iseman came out with Beer Tarot: Pulling Cards, Pouring Beer, & Discovering Self through the Bean to Barstool umbrella, I knew it was one I had to read.

There are many misconceptions about tarot, with the most common being that it is a fortune-telling tool. Rather than telling you what your future will hold exactly, tarot will help you look back at your past, consider your current present life and look to the future in regard to what you want out of life. As with most things, tarot comes in and out of the zeitgeist, with increases often seen during times of uncertainty. Unsurprisingly then, that tarot saw a steady increase in interest and searches between March 2020 and January 2022.

Within the zine, Iseman goes through a brief history of tarot before delving into the craft beer of it all. Starting with an interview with Nacim Menu, the owner of l’Ermitage Nanobrasserie in Brussels, she goes in depth in regard to how tarot is influencing certain breweries, and how more and more breweries are embracing tarot as a way to pair beers, include different artwork on cans and even launch their own tarot deck for brewery merchandise.

Not to give too much away with the interviews so you can enjoy them yourselves, the interviews with Menu, as well as EJ Nunns and Max Sherman (chief operating officer and graphic designer, respectively, of TRVE Brewing Co. in Denver, Colorado) are fascinating. How tarot influences these craft breweries individually is very cool and definitely worth the read.

Aside from interviews, Iseman does a six-card tarot reading from the TRVE tarot deck and applies this to craft beer. How does the Nine of Pentacles give advice on craft beer? You’ll have to read it to find out! The readings are in-depth and showcase Iseman’s knowledge of both tarot and craft beer. It also certainly encourages the reader to potentially pick up a deck themselves for their own reading!

Closing out the zine is a three-card tarot reading for Stephanie Grant, an award-winning food and beverage writer, where she pairs beer with the three cards she is given. This is a cool way to see how tarot can translate to the craft beer world, and her reasoning behind the card-to-beer pairing is wonderful to read. As someone who loves a pairing, I immediately wanted to call up one of my friends that does tarot readings and do a beer pairing night.

This zine was a captivating look at tarot and how its influence in the craft beer world has risen. After reading the interviews, pairing notes and the six card reading, I could see how easily tarot can connect to the craft beer world. As craft breweries dream up more creative opportunities within their space to set them apart from the competition, why wouldn’t tarot be on the list?

You can purchase the zine at Bean to Barstool and follow Courtney Iseman on Instagram at @highwaytohops.

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