Skip to main content

On Craft Beer

I finally got a chance to see the documentary film Beer Wars. It's very good and I'd recommend it to anyone with any interest in beer or the business behind it.

(from Rex Pechler on Flickr)

Occasionally I hear a discussion about why the craft beer industry is growing even as sales from the giant brewers are on the decline. It seems like the obvious answer is: big-name light beer just isn't that good. And once people have had a taste of something they really like, they're going to stick with it.

At the same time, the film gets into interesting issues about distribution and retail shelf placement. Sure, I have my favorite beers, and I know where to get them. But I can't get them at the Harris Teeter near my house. That supermarket is heavily stocked with light beers and stuff from the giant corporate brewers. So for me, it's a lot less convenient to get good craft beers. Not impossible, but not simple, either.

So it makes you wonder what people would be buying if they could get anything at the store that's most convenient to their home? In theory, people would be buying even more craft beer. So it's understandable that the giants are doing everything in their power to hoard shelf space wherever they can.

Comments

Mel said…
With the exception of ONE grocery store in the Pittsburgh area, some 30 minutes away from downtown, we have to buy our beer from a specialized store (and this is only by the case or keg). But only because this Market District is "technically" a cafe with alcohol on the premises, they got around the state laws. And even then, you are regulated to a cap of quantity per person/purchase. I like the idea of growlers here too, with the ability to fill up a half gallon from a tap at several bar around the area.

I won't drink the crap mass-produced beer, so the drive to the beer store is well worth the craft beer selections.

We are also charged an additional 7% tax on alcohol here. I have no idea what it's for -- and while fascinating, I can only imagine how that money is being mismanaged.
Rob Pitingolo said…
Pennsylvania's laws really are quite frustrating. I've often wondered how the inability to sell beer and wine affects profitability of a store like Whole Foods, which seems to do good beer and wine sales at a lot of its stores.

Popular posts from this blog

In Praise of Southwest's 'C' Boarding Group

A few weeks ago I saw a tweet from someone complaining that their Southwest Airlines boarding pass had been assigned A20 (meaning they would be at least one of the first twenty passengers to board the plane). Apparently this person though they should have been assigned a higher number, less their flight experience be considerably spoiled.

Despite the complaints, Southwest has resisted demands to assign seats on its flights, a decision which I personally applaud. I'll admit that I was skeptical when they rolled out the newest boarding procedure, assigning both boarding groups and a line number; but in hindsight it seems like one of the best operational decisions they've ever made. If nothing else, it effectively eliminated the infamous "cattle call" whereby fliers were getting to airports hours in advance and sitting in line on the floor as if they were waiting for the midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie.

When I was an intern at Southwest Airlines last winter, I…

So You Want to be a Southwest Airlines Intern?

My personal website must have pretty decent SEO - because in the past year, I've received about two dozen emails from aspiring Southwest Airlines interns looking to draw on my experience in search of their own dream internship. In the past two weeks alone a few new emails have already started rolling in...

(from flickr user San Diego Shooter)

If you've found your way here, you might be hoping for the silver bullet; a secret tip that will propel you above the competition. Unfortunately, I do not know any inside secrets. I can only share my experience as an internship candidate about two years ago and, rather than responding individually to future emails I anticipate to receive, I hope that potential interns will find the information posted here valuable.

Understand: Southwest Airlines is a very unique company. The corporate culture at Southwest is truly unlike that of nearly every other company. But you probably already knew that, since it now seems mandatory for every management,…

Commuting Meets Technology

I'm finally out of the dark ages. I got an Android smartphone over the weekend and have since been in the process of exploring the Android apps market.  One thing I've immediately noticed is the really wide range of usefulness in the apps. For example, the WeatherBug app is fantastic. It automatically determines your location and gives you exact conditions for that location. On the other end of the spectrum, Google's Goggles app is supposed to be a type of 'visual search' where you snap of photo of something and Google searches for it. In each of my attempts to use it, the app hasn't returned any search results. I even took a photo of a bottle of Pepsi (figuring it as a common houseful item) and got nothing.

Somewhere in the middle is this app called Waze. Have a look at their 'guided tour':



Some people might look at it and comment on the amazing evolution of technology or on the incredible value of social networks. To me, Waze says something important ab…