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The beer conversation has changed

Mike Kallenberger’s made this really smart comment following the most recent post here. Didn’t want you to miss it:

“A culture isn’t a simple aggregation of values and opinions, it’s a set of collective, commonly-understood values and meanings — as some theorist once said, it’s not only more than the sum of its parts, it’s different than the sum of its parts. So neither group defines beer culture — it’s defined by the interactions among everyone. But craft beer is dominating the conversation in the U.S., and so I’d say craft drinkers have been the dominant force in the culture. One example: having sat through hundreds of focus groups, I’ve heard many people who love mainstream beer literally refer to their favorite brand as ‘cheap beer.’ (‘I only drink cheap beer. I drink Bud Light.’) Craft beer has reframed how even dedicated mainstream drinkers think about their beer.”

Just so you know, Kallenberger spent three decades in Marketing Insights at Miller Brewing and then MillerCoors, retiring last year. These days he operates Torque Brand Consulting.

He knows beer, brands and consumers. He might be on to something.

2 Responses to The beer conversation has changed

  1. Pivní Filosof April 15, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    I’m beginning to realise that perhaps, what I should have said in my post is “the PREDOMINANT beer culture of a given country”.

  2. Joe Stange April 15, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    Most of here spend a lot of time thinking, drinking and writing about 5% of the market. It’s important to remember that most people still drink beer straight from the bottle.

    Makes me think of Spike the bulldog and Chester the terrier from the old Bugs Bunny cartoons. The little dog dominated conversation, for whatever that’s worth. The big guy was still in charge.

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