25 January 2013

HBG Readers Survey Comments | Less Snobbery, More Education

Having received a record number of responses to our year-end readers survey, it's taken us a while to sort through the comments that our readers left to the following question: What do you think the Indiana craft beer community could do better? 

The comments we received touched on a number of themes. In this post, we'll focus on a prevalent theme that's illustrated by the following reader comments:

"Cut the elitism."

“Embrace that everyone has their own preferences in regard to beer flavors and styles. There's also a weird exuberant beer cockiness that feels rather unnecessary. Snobbery & geekiness are one thing, cockiness is quite another.”

“Get your friends to drink craft beer. Be more of an asshole about it. Demand that your friends don't drink shitty beer. Drink a little less, but have more of an experience with your beer.”

“I think as a beer community we need to try to shoot for being more inclusive towards people who haven't experienced craft beer. We need to be super generous with those people and our beer so that they can see why we as community enjoy the beer so much.”

“Party harder. Cut the snobbery. Cut the sense of entitlement. Enjoy life.”

“Stop the snark.”

“Provide more opportunities for education to non-regular beer drinkers.”

“Be more open to ‘newbies’ and less exclusive.”

“More education. It's hard to get into craft beer. It's even harder to describe, communicate, and learn about beers and breweries. There's so much I'd like to share with my friends, but don't really know how.”

“Stop being such stuck up snobs and elitists and supporting breweries/brewpubs that perpetuate that attitude. Craft beer to me is about community and camaraderie and that should be at the forefront of this ‘movement’."

“Be less snobby and condescending of other people's taste (including Bud/Miller/Coors drinkers).”

“I would pay to attend a beer class...I generally feel ignorant.”

“Educate people about craft beer.”

“Educate people on the different types of craft beer. Still meet way too many people that think because it's 'dark as motor oil' that it will taste the same. I know I do my part by offering tastings at my house all the time. :)"

The sentiment of these comments is clear: as a community, we need to be welcoming, not snobby, and we need to be willing to patiently educate those who are new to craft beer. My question is this--

What do you think are the best ways to go about educating craft beer newbies and attracting people to the craft beer world? And I'm not talking about just what the breweries and the distributors should do; I'm talking about what we as craft beer consumers could do. What do you think?


  1. For me, I've always tried to show an excitement and passion when it comes to beer. I think it is kind of contagious when you are really excited about something. I also like to play up events like Winterfest, and Brew Bracket. Things that are fun will draw more people in, and then you can educate them sometimes without them knowing it. When I volunteered for the B.I.G. booth for the state fair, they had a little game that helped shared information. It was hit and miss on who really was interested, but more often than not they wanted to know where they could find craft beer. On a personally level, I try to convert my friends by having them over at my place for beer tastings, going out to bars / restaurant and having them try my beer or even asking what they like and helping suggest things.

  2. At least for women, Girls Pint Out is a GREAT way to learn about new beers. In just a few totally affordable events (I think I paid five bucks each time), I learned a ton about craft beer I didn't know before. And I wouldn't consider myself a beer newbie, just a lover of craft beer especially in Indiana. GIven, this is for women but they do have men nights where women can bring their beaus. All the "snark" I'm reading about here is a nonissue with Girls Pint Out. I am a fan. I heard about it through a friend and found out many of my friends were actually part of it.

    Check out their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/IndianaGPO

  3. Why do you think there are so many comments about not being snobby? Are these craft beer people making these comments because they think snobby beer people are the reason behind the low market share for craft? Or are they regular beer drinkers who truly feel insulted by the craft beer L33T?

    I just don't see that many folks who I equate to beer snobs. Most of them that appear snobbish I think are just geeky (Wouldn't HBG know something about that? : ) It has a lot to do with perspective. Maybe craft beer people play into that role a little, because it can be kind of fun...maybe that's the problem. Non-craft beer people don't want to feel insulted or have their favorite light beer bashed to death. I don't know...people need to grow some balls and get out of their comfort zone from time to time. If they don't like it, there will always be fizzy yellow liquid to consume.

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  5. to me a beer geek would be someone who likes beer like coors light,bud light etc. but also likes beer like Trois Pistoles, Newcastle and Hoegaarde im more of a wine drinker anywayI was in Russia in a 2000, and tasted a few Russian brews. I haven't checked, but wanted to know if any Russian beer is imported to America?

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