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?