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Hi, just wanted to share with you a link to Zythophile’s blog about the oddity that surrounds marketing certain types of beer.

Knowledge empowers the variety seeker

I think this comes from the lack of knowledge surrounding this product category. The average person on the street will only know a small collection of beer types -quite like wine in a way. And so you don’t want to scare them into thinking they’re ‘experimenting’. Wrap it up in a seasonal title – Christmas Cheer, Jubilee Frolicking, Easter Nectar etc, and its suddenly an acceptable bit of seasonal fun.

Matt and I both like many types of beers, but on the whole I tend to like darker beers and Matt likes paler ales. But we also like variety and it can depend on my mood or the weather, or the limited choices I have.

But far beyond pale and dark beer, there is a myriad of styles out there. There’s Indian pale ale, bitter, stout, porter, fruit, milk stout, lager, spiced, strong ale etc.

What interests me is that We care more about Brand names than our knowledge about beer styles, as a nation. And the Guinness Stout point being an interesting case that I believe this blogger may have uncovered a truth:

The Guinness drinkers wouldn’t accept another stout as it’d be not the same as what their taste buds are used to, and non-Guinness drinkers would be put off trying it at all with the name stout.

And I bet its a supermarket thing in general. I do like to take a stroll down the beer isle at Sainsbury’s. But, though I may try out a few things I’m likely to buy at least a couple I’ve tried and loved before, and the new things in my trolley will most probably be from a Brewery I’ve already tried and loved (often I try to go for a deal that maximises the variety of bottles rather than getting a case of one type I like -as variety is important to me).

On the whole we are timid to try things new and strange. ‘Milk Stout’ -erghh people would say, Will it be flat? Will it be weirdly milky? What’s its shelf life?

Decisions Decisions

In the pub the pressure to make a decision is greater, so you have to make it faster and look more confident about your decision. Because you’re with people. Or even that you don’t want to be laughed at or scorned by a busy barman. So perhaps in this more intense setting you will simply choose the ale with the prettiest logo, or the one with the easiest name to spot or pronounce -not on what style of beer it is at all -in fact it might be a surprise to you when you see its colour or consistency.

Or, more likely for many, you’ll go for a brand that’s always on tap that you’ve heard off of the TV or whatever you’d friend picks.

Your comments and thoughts are welcomed.

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