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Drinkers prefer Big Beer keeps its hands off their local craft brews

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,663) Aug 23, 1996 California

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  2. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,318) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    My takeaway from this is that statisticians are fun-suckers. For me, cost rarely enters into the equation, styles and quality matter a lot, and local vs. not, and independent vs. not don't matter much to me.
  3. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,440) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

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  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,901) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    The material quoted of only beer geeks care about the BA independent 'certification' does not surprise me. I always thought the whole Independent seal thing had limited value. We BAs think that beer geeks 'rule' but we are only a tiny portion of the overall craft beer consumer market.

  5. BayAreaJoe

    BayAreaJoe Crusader (731) Nov 23, 2017 California
    Society Trader

    Patrons of a college bar in Davis, CA - I don't know if you could possibly find a more unjustifiably pretentious pool to survey.
  6. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (876) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    I was about to post something along the same line. He should do the test again in New Brunswick NJ.
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  7. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,174) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

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  8. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,735) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Depends on the bar your your taking the survey. I’m quite sure the results would be flipped say from a place like Sir Isaac Newton’s in Newtown and a bar in Trenton. They’re 180s and I’m sure the survey would reflect that.
  9. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (876) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

  10. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,778) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Except the guy who wrote the article self identifies that he's in the program in "agricultural and resource economics."
  11. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,174) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    It's been around forever, gimme a hint.
  12. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (876) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    They have a brewery in Davis CA.
  13. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (876) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    I don't understand what that has to do with the brewing program at UC Davis.
  14. stoumi

    stoumi Devotee (450) May 12, 2015 California


    I do care and am probably a real asshole when it comes to what I will and won't drink. That won't stop me from drinking with my friends, regardless of what they have in their pint glass. Beer bring people together.
  15. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,778) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Since JK was asking about the guy getting credit towards graduation for asking the question and the article was not written by anyone connected with the brewing program at UC Davis he's not getting any credit from them.
  16. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (876) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    I was replying to post # 7.
  17. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,778) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Well, since there's no connection between JK's question and the Brewing program there seemed to me to be no point in mentioning the Brewing program in the first place.

    In other words what has the brewing program and its funding to do with the research?
  18. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (876) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Post # 7 is giving an example of getting college credit for brewing courses.
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  19. CB_Michigan

    CB_Michigan Disciple (355) Sep 4, 2014 Illinois

    Oh my god. This has to be one of the stupidest and most nonsensical "research" studies I've seen. Seeing crap like this get churned out by shoddy researchers is (partly) what drove me away from academia. So, according to this particular survey carried out in a single bar over the course of a single month, participants were allegedly willing to pay more for a "local" beer, even though "local" didn't have any consistent definition and participants often failed to correctly classify the randomly presented beers according to their own stated definitions of "local." But if participants somehow chose to label a particular beer on the list as "local" they'd possibly (according to some "fancy" math) be willing to pay some cents more than for a beer they labeled as "non-local."

    A different article on this paper pulled the following quote: “participants identified beers from across the country and even internationally as being local.”

    So, this isn't really looking at local beers at all, is it? It's looking at some highly individualized concept that is routinely misapplied and seemingly exists only in the mind of the participant. It may be labeled as "local" but have nothing to do with actual location. Is there any actual takeaway or practical application here? I guess maybe if you're a bar owner, you can slap a "local" tag on some beers, then charge an extra quarter and hope that the theoretical/mathematical results of this "research" play out in real-life?
  20. BayAreaJoe

    BayAreaJoe Crusader (731) Nov 23, 2017 California
    Society Trader

    What?!? There were multiple articles on this guy's college homework? Omg. Yea for the internet, but I kind of liked it better when these tiny little useless local stories stayed local.
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  21. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (2,453) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Illustrates pretty clearly why AB InBev and other “Big Beer” companies try to obscure their ownership of “crafty” brands like Elysian, 10 Barrel, etc: an important segment of the market expects to pay a lot less for beer from Big Beer than from smaller businesses.
  22. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,901) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    But so far you have only read a 'summary'. Maybe you should wait until you read the full report?:wink:

  23. RacerX5k

    RacerX5k Disciple (336) Feb 11, 2013 Pennsylvania

    IMHO Goose Island hasn't been the same since 2012 and Terrapin Wake n Bake was so dumbed down for the masses it seems, not been the same since 2013. So yes, I prefer my favorites do not sell out. On the other hand, Lagunitas crushed the Willetized this year, I don't care who owns them.
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  24. CB_Michigan

    CB_Michigan Disciple (355) Sep 4, 2014 Illinois

    Well, it's a summary written by the researcher himself :blush:, and I have no interest in forking $25 over to the Journal of Wine Economics (JWE) for the "pleasure" of accessing the original. If anyone else wants to (link here then click "get access"), I'll give it a fair read, but I think I gleaned enough from his description. While looking for a pdf of the article, I happened upon the slides from a presentation of this research ( link here ) and, frankly, I doubt there's anything in print that will change my opinion.

    Look, I get that his JWE paper is just a write up of a conference presentation (less scrutiny than a proper peer-reviewed paper) and that he likely had to make some concessions in order to do field research, as opposed to having a more controlled setup, but I'd have gotten my a** handed to me by my dissertation committee for even proposing this kind of methodology as a viable project. If this is some kind of exploratory pilot, that's one thing, but for him to say this:
    strikes me as wildly exaggerated and suggests that either he isn't aware of the limitations of his research, or doesn't care about them. And before someone defends this as an innocent example of "mere puffery," this article was originally published on The Conversation, a site which lists the following as the first 2 points under "Our Charter":
    I stand by my initial impression that this is garbage research being presented in a highly misleading and suspect manner. :beers:
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  25. BayAreaJoe

    BayAreaJoe Crusader (731) Nov 23, 2017 California
    Society Trader

    In his actual dissertation, it looks like he's doing some real analysis work of Ratebeer ratings and Nielsen sales data; not sure why he thinks 300 college kids in a college bar adds anything to the discussion.
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  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,901) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Well, the dissertation was what I intended by my above verbiage of "full report".

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  27. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,778) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Interesting negative run through of perceived faults and flaws.

    Are there any postive strengths and/or useful findings?
  28. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (157) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    I think AB-Inbev turned a shitty brewery like Blue Point into one is that is pretty darn decent today.

    I don't have other examples.
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  29. CB_Michigan

    CB_Michigan Disciple (355) Sep 4, 2014 Illinois

    Not a whole lot. I found a working paper version of the dissertation ( link ). I stopped reading on page 11 of 30. It strikes me as a textbook case of statistical significance vs. practical significance. He takes an interesting approach to the RateBeer data by looking at pre- vs. post-acquisition ratings and breaking those into local vs. non-local. Ballast Point is the example case and he looks at how the average monthly rating changes over time (Figure 5).

    The trend lines for local vs. non-local ratings are intertwined prior to the Constellation deal, but diverge afterward. The non-local trend is relatively flat, while local ratings have a distinct decline. Of course, the scale on the y-axis is reeeeealllllly small. I mean, even at month 19, the lines look to be around 3.52 vs. 3.61. Does that signify a "real" decline in perceived quality?

    If you look at the post-acquisition data points in Figure 5, there are only 7 months where the average local vs. non-local ratings differ by 0.1 or more. In 3 of those months, locals had the higher average rating. In the other 4, non-locals had the higher rating. Even in the most extreme case (month 14), the difference is 3.35 vs 3.6, so what is this actually telling us? If there is any sort of anti-Constellation bias at work, it's having a very small and mostly, but not entirely, consistent impact on RateBeer users. And I'm not at all confident in generalizations drawn from that population. It's a small subset of a small subset, passionate and knowledgeable enough to assign values to specific qualities of a beer.
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  30. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,778) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Thanks. I'll also look a bit at the working version you linked to a bit later on in the day. If he's got big data those small differences may turn out to be significant even if not particularly practical, etc.
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  31. CB_Michigan

    CB_Michigan Disciple (355) Sep 4, 2014 Illinois

    After sleeping on it, I actually think the most interesting data are the disparities in how people define “local.” Of course, that’s not entirely surprising. Just look at any number of threads here on the topic.

    Untangling what people actually mean when using that term could yield something more impactful in terms of marketing and branding across the spectrum (e.g. the 30-seat taproom, state-level associations/guilds, larger regional brewers, and yes, macro/crafty brands). Some players clearly are more successful than others in utilizing that sentiment, but why? Figuring that out strikes me as way more valuable than trying to assign a dollar value to a 0.02% decline in perceived quality. Especially when considering the slowdown in Big Beer acquisitions.
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  32. NickTheGreat

    NickTheGreat Devotee (473) Oct 28, 2010 Iowa

    I don't know if I agree with the "study" at a bar near UC-Davis. But I agree with his overall thesis.

    I also think it would be interesting to do a "study" like this near a dive bar in Detroit, and a country club in Martha's Vineyard.

    In my experience, the beer geeks (like myself) care a lot, but no one else does. Hell, I know guys who have bumper stickers saying "My truck was built with wrenches, not chopsticks" but only drink 'Murican beers like Bud or Miller. Both of which are not American owned companies. Much like the Toyota/Chevy debate, I suppose.
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  33. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,778) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Well, the guy is basically an economist rather than a marketing researcher so that his dollar value for a 0.02% decline may matter more to him...

    Personally I too can think of questions I find more interesting to answer if I’d had access to the big dataset he did. :astonished:
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  34. BeerDrinkinGuy

    BeerDrinkinGuy Initiate (45) Nov 2, 2018 Minnesota

    I will say the price of a pint has gotten a little out of hand these days. You can buy a 12 or hell even a 30 pack of something macro for far less and be satisfied. Sure the ingredients are not harvested from the rarest mountain of Tibet but in the end its still a beer.
    lastmango likes this.
  35. stevepat

    stevepat Zealot (526) Mar 12, 2013 California

    The draft pricing is what I find crazy. It seems like many breweries that I can get pint cans for 2 or 3 dollars, or 12 oz selections for 1.50, will also be selling that same beer at their tap room for 5 or even 6 dollars for a pint.
  36. lastmango

    lastmango Crusader (758) Dec 11, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Or Pittsburgh PA!
  37. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (1,658) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    I personally don't like buying from InBev, but honestly, I don't think most people care whether or not their beer is "crafty." If people want a Blue Moon or Goose Island, that's what they're going to drink.
  38. lastmango

    lastmango Crusader (758) Dec 11, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Gotta admit . . . Goose Island still tastes pretty good.
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  39. meefmoff

    meefmoff Zealot (573) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    I'd guess it's probably as simple as adding something to please a member of his committee who has a hobby horse for that sort of thing. And as a bonus he might also have thought it would give him a sexier angle to include in these public articles than just sifting through existing data sets.
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