Monday, August 2, 2010

Poll: How Does Homebrewing Affect Your Commercial Beer Purchasing

Similar to what has been done for all our prior blog polls, this post takes a moment to memorialize the results we received on the most recent blog poll. The reader’s response to the question “How would the knowledge that a commercial beer came from homebrewing roots influence the likelihood you would purchase that beer?” are presented below.

When we setup this poll, I had the impression that the response would not have been so skewed to one side as it did. I had assumed there would be more people swayed by the homebrewing roots, but not to the extreme as shown above. Three out of four people stated it would increase the likelihood of their purchase. That’s great!

Perhaps this response is part of the Local Food movement experienced these past several years. People want to know where their food is coming from, want it to be local, and want to feel some form on connection to it. Homebrewing, at its basic level, exemplifies all these. It’s the average Joe brewing beer the way he or she wants to for no other reason than because he or she like it that way. There’s no corner-cutting. Maximal profit margins doesn’t drive the recipe. It gives the impression that it wouldn’t be made if it wasn’t good.

Furthermore, from a pure marketing standpoint, emphasizing a product’s homebrewing roots adds some uniqueness to the beer helps differentiate it from the others on the shelf or in the other faucets. It helps it stand out from the normal pale ale/stout/porter background noise of all the other offerings. Personally, while I’ve only been in one bar that had a homebrewer / pro-brewer collaboration beer on tap, you better believe I ordered a couple pints of it – not necessarily because it was good (which it was), but because it was different. It jumped out at me when it came time to order

Of course this poll is inherently biased and that bias has to be understood in order to pull out value from the results. For one, the sample size is small - a fact that can't be disputed. Second, this is a beer blog, which is predominately read by craft beer fans and homebrewers. These are the folks that are willing to try new things. These are the people that are much more understanding about features that may make one beer unique to other beers. It’s that understanding that sets this group apart from the rest of the ‘Yellow Fizzy Beer’ general public that drives the overall beer market. The poll gives the viewpoint of a very specific population.  That bias does not invalidate the results, but allows a window into the thoughts of a particular customer base.  If this population happens to be the target population for a business (i.e. craft beer-specific bars or brewpubs), the results may indeed provide a whole lot of meaning.

We’d love to know what you think of the results and how the information may (or may not) be used.

Thanks to all those that participated. Please take a moment and participate in our next poll, which should already be up.



"I always find it strange that someone would turn their nose up at a homemade beer ... while regarding anything else homemade to be of superior quality to the pre-packaged factory-made alternative".
-The Beer Nut

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