What You Can Do Today

The world’s first and only book on how to market beer to women is now available – How To Market Beer To Women, Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer.

One of my favorite parts of the book is the chapter wrap-up, the What You Can Do Today section. I designed this section to be the workbook portion – the action, Ms. Jackson – in each chapter. The What You Can Do Today section offers 5 specific actions you can take for each chapters’ specific insight.

Responding to customer curiosity builds brands

For example, Chapter 4 is Convincing Reasons To Try A New Beer. One of the five WYCTD tactics is Play to her sense of curiosity. Humans are obviously curious beings. We are always seeking new and different in life. Curiosity therefore is a goldmine for beer companies, and all companies really, to tap into.

  • What is she curious about, about beer? How can you answer her questions, diplomatically and educationally and enthusiastically?
  • What can you share with her about your beer that she doesn’t already know? What isn’t on the website, your online channels and in the heads of your team that you can share with her through these various marketing opportunities that will keep her interested and hungry for more knowledge?
  • When have you asked your female beer drinkers and buyers what they want to know about your brand?

Curiosity is powerful. It’s a powerful ally to building better marketing. Marketing is communication and when you go right to the source – right to your ideal client to ask her why she participates in your brand at all (or doesn’t) – you tap into your own curiosity so you can better satisfy hers.

Curiosity is good and necessary for strong marketing endeavors. To have more questions than answers is best. It indicates a continual thirst for knowing more, for you first to serve your customers; for your customers next so they keep coming back for more.

The book is available here; we ship all over the globe. Watch for an audio recording to be available soon as well.

What you can do today is to get the book to help strengthen and amp your overall marketing efforts. Your beer drinkers and buyers are ready, curious and waiting.

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Doing More With What You Already Have

One of the smartest and easiest tactics to improve your market share is to do more with what you already have. The premise here is that you are willing to closely examine what you do have and delineate what should stay and what should go.

Stay or Go? Examine:

  1. What works. Knowing ‘it works’ isn’t enough though; you have to know why. Examine what works and why it works. Be sure to have a hole-shooter to vet all possibilities on why it works, so they are intentional and useful reasonings, never happenstance and by-chance.
  2. What isn’t working. Knowing it ‘isn’t working’, again, isn’t enough. You need to briefly look at what isn’t working to determine why it isn’t. Even more so than to re-endorse what is working, examining what isn’t working is crucial because you may find a simple tweak can go from Not Working to Working status.
  3. Be detached from the outcomes. Detachment isn’t disinterest. Detachment is the ability to objectively find out what does work and why, deciding what doesn’t and why, and moving toward continual improvement of what can work. Detachment makes it easier for you to be tied to the end results, not the specific measures in getting them.
  4. Be motivated for results. While marketing can’t always be measured as we want – clear, concise and specific – it’s nonetheless fundamental to successful operations. Be motivated by the results you want to have and let that motivation guide you forward in your decision-making processes. Interviewing and hiring pros who can help you think through the process is often an excellent investment, since they are very experienced to do so – therefore making you more money and amplifying your efforts (and paying for their services easily along the way).

What else can you do with what you already have?

Doing more with what you already have is attractive for several reasons. One, you can keep using what you do have, reaping better benefits from the investments dedicated in those efforts. Two, you can release what isn’t working. Three, there are always new ways to parse an existing effort to enhance, add, subtract and otherwise modify the core mechanism to new ends.

I once met with a client and we cleaned her advertising slate of $2000 of relatively useless conventional ads with this simple conversation. We immediately saved her $2K (!) with a clear conversation of what was and wasn’t working. This freed up her money and more importantly released her from her ‘you should do this’ thinking that those things worked. If they aren’t working, change it! What could you do with $2K/month?

Doing more with what you already have is also a great team building effort; team building = where your culture comes from. Gather the troops, dedicate a set amount of uninterrupted guided time to examine what you’re doing already, brainstorm on ways to fully maximize these efforts and get every body excited to contribute to the continued and growing success of your endeavors.

Maximize what you have before adding more. Seemingly small changes can generate big positive movement. Hire the right pro to help you do so and you’ll see more happy customers support your business.

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Why Marketing Matters For Beer

Marketing is communication.

When you know who your ideal client is – what is that persona [specific attributes] of who you want engaged in your brand – you can get really clear on your marketing strategy.

  • Strategy is the road map; your trip (business goals) planned out.
  • Tactics get plugged in after the broad scope strategy is mapped out; tactics are the actual steps to how to execute your marketing plan (strategy).

Are you seeing how it’s all related?

Plans lead to maximum return on investment of effort with proper forethought and investment of time, talent and energy. Then your dollars and time go farther, as you’ve got a clarity and directions you’re going. On purpose. For a purpose.

Marketing is a necessary part of all businesses. Only fools think you don’t have to, need to market – or that it’ll all happen via word of mouth. Word of mouth is still the result of your marketing efforts, no matter what they be.

Some beer businesses wrongly think that having or making beer is enough. It’s not. Simply having isn’t marketing; it’s only having. All business entities, of all varieties under IRS codes, must make money to survive. Whether you’re granting it all out to others, or plowing it back into the entity or keeping it for yourself. making money – making progress and staying in the game you’ve chosen to play – is the name of the game.

Said another way, smart business that happen to be in the beer world, understand marketing for its elemental contribution and seat at the table of the entity. It’s why you are in business to begin with – who is your market – who are you serving – who do you do what you do. That’s all marketing.

Marketing is essential to all business endeavors. Heck, it’s part of personal endeavors as well. Communication always has been and always will be.

Marketing beer matters. Do it well, do it right and you’ll see what it matters. 

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Emotional Attachment of Beer

How are you attached to beer? I can put it this way instead: what is it about beer that attracts you?

The emotional factors of any good and service are what initially get us involved. If we choose to stay involved, our emotional attachment has begun to develop. What’s the next level, after initial introduction?

Women of all ages have an emotional attachment to beer.

In studying women and beer (qualitative data research) I can tell you there are as many reasons that women get involved in beer as there are women. And I can tell you that there are clear patterns and habits, trends and paths that are common among women and their engagement with beer. That’s good news for beer focused companies.

Are you one of those companies?

If you are, you likely want to know what your customers think about your beer and your brand, no matter what space you hold in the whole beer schema.

If you don’t know or you don’t think you care – your beer will sell itself – stop reading now and go burn your money. I can’t help you.

If you do care, then I can help you more than you can surmise. And it’s not because I think I know it all.

What I do know is this: Women Enjoy Beer. All sorts of women enjoy all sorts of beer. I help dedicated people in beer oriented companies know why women either do or don’t drink or buy (or both) beer. No one else has taken the time or made the deep dive into the asking of open ended questions to hear and record their replies, like Women Enjoying Beer has.

No one.

We know way more than any other resource out there who states they know women and beer. It’s qualitative data – it’s voluminous, messy and it’s rare any sort of company (beer or data) wants to dig into it, though it’s THE best data you can get hands down. Scan (quantitative data) will never tell the full story. So why do so many beer companies buy and reply on that data? It doesn’t divulge the why, which is the absolute key to knowing what your customer wants from your beer.

I personally have come to love this data – this rabbit-hole style input that can go anywhere; it doesn’t fit a mold – it simply reflects what our customers think, do and how they make decisions. It’s gorgeous and incredibly usefully fascinating for the right people who are willing tot wander through the weeds of this data to get to the gold. And gold there is. Qualitative data is a gold rush of insight; quantitative is the leftover denuded landscape from mining scan data.

General reports and extrapolated documents won’t have the depth of use and long-range collected insight like we have. I can tell you exactly what the emotional attachments and detachments are for women and beer.

Emotional attachment is not a sex oriented concern either. Women don’t get all ga-ga over beer any more or less than men do. Women aren’t any more detached from beer than men are. The crux of the deal is this: Beer is for everyone. Our data confirms this over and over again. Our services educate you on how to really maximize the insight clients get access to when we work together.

Beer isn’t for every women. Nor is beer for every man. It’s for the people who want to engage. The emotional attachment is a specific area of research data we have recorded. It’s rich, deep and extremely useful in the right hands and minds. Call us if you are one of those companies.

How are you emotionally attached to you beer?

How are you emotionally attached to your customers?

Buy the book here.

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What Do You Believe About Beer?

What do you believe about beer?

Having conducted research for 8+ years on female beer drinkers and buyers, I’ve come to a few conclusions.

An open mind is the best palate there is. Period.

Beer is for everyone who wants to partake.

You don’t have to drink beer to enjoy beer.

Beer is about flavor.

Beer is about community.

Beer is about conversation.

Pro Brewer, Larry Chase (c) surrounded by enthusiastic beer fans

Never trust a fat brewer.

Beer and food enjoyed together is a magic combination.

Drinking in moderation is always best, for flavor.

Getting drunk is not ever the goal.

Research on women and beer is fascinating.

The research I’ve gathered on women’s relationship with beer can change the world for the better, working with the right clients. 

There are really interesting people involved in beer, the world over.

Women have always been involved in beer.

There are a tun of unhelpful, damaging stereotypes and incorrect myths to bust around women and beer.

Beer brings people together.

 Flavor is where you find it.

Drink what you like, support what your friends drink too.

What beer you drink is irrelevant to the biggest picture. Camaraderie is relevant.

Beer has an oddly inherited fun factor to it.

Being a diplomat will always be better than being a snob.

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What Do You See In Beer Magazines?

More accurately, what don’t you see?

Nudged by an unexpected and thought-provoking conversation earlier this year, I was moved to do what the caller suggested: taking a count of images of women and men in beer publications to point out the sex disparity.

We have a few beer magazines in our home so I got the pile and started counting.

Even I was surprised.

Here’s the yield of this sampling:

Female                       Male

All About Beer

March 2017                           21                               55

January 2017                        19                               50

Beer Advocate

#113                                       6                                  20

#118*                                     15                               23                        *Female STEM article

#120                                       9                                  54

Brewer

May/June 2016                    12                               41

Nov/Dec 2016                       6                                  29

Craft Beer & Brewing

Oct/Nov 2015                       9                                  46

Feb/March 2016                  7                                  40

April/May 2016                    5                                  57

The New Brewer

July/Aug 2016                        34                               167

Nov/Dec 2016                         20                               93

Jan/Feb 2017                           18                               78

Zymurgy

March/April 2016                   12                               48

July/Aug 2016                          8                                  36

Nov/Dec 2016                           18                               67

I sent a letter to the editors and publishers of these publications with these findings, in an educational fashion pointing out: “Note: This isn’t an attack – rather highlighting a fact you’ve created which we can change for the better.”

It’s not an attack; it’s an enlightenment, a helpful count to assist those in a position to change things for the better today to see what they are really putting forth.

Do I have an ax to grind? Not with the editors and publishers. Indeed, I count the ones I know as friends and colleagues, have even written for some of them. With beer overall, perhaps. A mystifying grind as it were. People throughout the industry, women and men alike, say they are all for equality and then accept sexism in all sorts of ways related to beer. It’s totally disconnected and assumes that no, they don’t all get it. Not by a long shot. And they must to survive and grow.

I did this with respect. Mostly to help grow the full respect for and of women. And with the intent that this will help them see, literally, the positive (and negative) impacts of being blind to what is really unfolding in front of our very eyes. It’s a situation all of them can change – today if they really want to make beer welcome everyone.

What, if anything, did I hear in reply?

Exactly one response; a phone call from the founder and publisher of Brewer Magazine. It was a positive and enjoyable call, a first contact with this person. They expressed their concern. So far nothing else has happened.

So does beer really care about females and including them equitably in the images and articles of the everyday magazines in the trade and on the stands? These numbers can lead you to your own conclusion. I say it doesn’t. If we don’t see it, we don’t believe it.

Why did I do this?

I focus on the Why (qualitative, psycho graphic – reasons to our decision making factors) and I wanted to see what exactly the numbers were; to communicate that the research I’ve conducted for 8 years does in fact show in data (insight) what the pages did in pictures.

Women Enjoying Beer exists to enlighten those in the beer world who see value in knowing what the most powerful beer buyer and drinker does and thinks. We’re the only firm on the globe holding this precious and useful information. It’s researched procured data that tells the full story, something that statistics and scan data can never do. Why Women Buy Beer. For the right company, what we offer is life & business changing for the better.

If you are one of the right people, I can help you significantly grow your business.

FYI: Licensed Data is now for sale to qualified clients. Call me to discuss. 515.450.7757 PST

*

Counts include all relatively easily discernible images, overtly female and male, photographs and illustrations, ads, articles, editorials.

Includes advertisers illustrations and art, since you can control what you accept and decline.

Crowd shots factored in depending on how easily gender of people in shots can be quickly determined.

If you count and have slightly different numbers, the point is still the same.

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Poignancy In The Everyday

This weekend will find me in gorge-ous Hood River, Oregon. We head there annually for My Fine Husband to attend an industry event.

Belle (r) & Hops, nose to nose

We stay on the shores of the Columbia River, in a canine friendly hotel and soak it all in. He gets education and connects with others in his industry (he’s a pro brewer) and I get to see people I know and wander the shoreline with the Kids or work or whatever I feel moves me.

This year is particularly poignant because last year, on this exact trip, our 15+ year old beloved dog died. It was dramatic and fitting all at the same time. Her breed, Labrador Retriever, can’t get enough of water.  We had arrived and were stretching legs having made the 6-hour car trip. She slipped over the bank quicker than we realized and paddled weakly in the Columbia. My husband shouted to me in that EMERGENCY tone – I ran to him, saw her in the water and immediately jumped in. I fished her out of the river, having gotten to her after her head began nodding under the surface, no longer paddling….I can understand how humans lift cars off their loved ones in a panic. Her 65 pounds of limp wet weight was nothing to me in that moment.

Your heart stops at the same time instinct kicks in. I didn’t hesitate for a moment in jumping in this massive river to save her. Thankfully I could touch bottom and we brought her up the bank, settled her head downhill to try to get rid of some of the water she had taken in.

I quickly and strangely enough realized that it was her time to go.

Hops, wondering where Belle has gone.

Even typing this now my emotions well up and I miss her something fierce, caught in the memory of what happened. And how unexpected yet perfectly fitting of an end she had to a wonderfully full and giving life. The vet who answered the late night call was compassionate and professional, which obviously helped ease the pain everyone – Belle included – was feeling.

Why the hell am I sharing this with you?

Because Belle is on my mind and heart. Because there is meaningful poignancy in everyday living. Sometimes we see it, live it viscerally, sometimes we don’t realize what’s happening until we’re in the middle of it and sometimes we don’t see it at all.

How does this relate to Beer?

In my world, everything is related to everything else. Belle, my beloved canine, saw me through the entire launch of my businesses – all of them, beginning in 2002. I knew her longer than I knew My Fine Husband. And she knew me better than anyone else. My Fine Husband fell in love with and got to know dogs because of her. He feels the pain acutely as well, his first death of our beloved immediate family member.

Life without dogs ain’t worth it to me. Life without beer goes on.

Züc, our newest family member, soaking up the sunspot.

When life goes wonky, we need to keep it all in perspective. A family member dying is difficult at best; when it’s a member we truly and deeply love it’s brutal. The celebration of her life this weekend will help us keep moving through it, though the feelings never completely dissipate. Memories of our beloveds, like my friend Walt says, they live in our hearts forever – and isn’t that a great place to be.

Yes. If we can’t be together in life, then we’ll always be connected in our hearts. But damn, I miss her.

Take it all in stride, don’t stress out about things that ultimately don’t matter – like being a beer snob or not being able to get the beer you want at any one time. Life moves. It’s up to us to act with grace and take it all with gratitude, not for granted.

There is poignancy in the everyday. Enjoy it all.

We’ll celebrate her with a memorial picnic, with Hops – the other four legged family member who lived it with us – and our newest family member, Züc. Our humblest effort to cheers a fortunate life well-lived and appreciated.

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April Book Offer With Bonuses

The book you need.

Do you agree that beer is for every body?

In homage to spring being a time of renewal and limitless possibilities, how about a goodie to jump-start us to progress?? I’ve got a limited number of books earmarked for this special – once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Here’s my offer to you today:

Buy your own copy of the book, How To Market Beer To Women, Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer this week (through Friday 4/14/17) and I’ll give you two Bonuses:

  • Bonus #1: Complementary 15 minute phone call consult on how to best use the book, good through May 15, 2017
  • Bonus #2: Complementary document, Yes! and No!: The Do’s & Don’ts of Marketing Beer To Women for you to utilize and improve your business, better reaching more possible beer friendly taste buds and eager beer brains.

Offer good ONLY THIS WEEK!!

Order now.

Once you’ve ordered your book, we’ll schedule your bonus consult and I’ll send you the Yes & No bonus resource so you can put it to immediate use.

The book is the only one of its kind: a guidebook to increase and improve the beer community, to the benefit of all. 

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Crafting A Community

Creating a community involves many facets of consideration. One of them being language and terminology.

One word the beer world uses is ‘craft’ – and I think it’s hamstringing those who use it. Here’s why.

Classic example: Having recently presented at the Nightclub & Bar Show, Las Vegas Nevada, I was paging through the program. Looking for who else I knew presenting, interesting topics to read up on, and making sure I had my info straight pre-talk. I did see a few familiar names (always fun) and new topics to investigate (good for the brain) and my info was straight.

What I also noticed was the page on their Craft Brew Pavilion. Here’s what I find odd.

  1. The Brewers Association has self-determinedly put forth their definition of what a craft brewer is, not what a craft beer is (they try to be very direct about this differentiation).
  2. The industry of ‘craft beer’ has embraced this delineation. I appreciate having guidelines and parameters in some areas of life (like when I’m driving), yet beer is for everyone – and the term ‘craft’ really has nothing to do with the consumer; everything to do with going to market and production considerations for brewers. Yes, some consumers want it yet all brands should be founded on their own merits to begin with, not relying on one word to make or break (that’d be foolishly shortsighted).
  3. The word craft is like the word Natural was in the 1970’s – at first it had some legitimacy; then everyone started using it thinking that consumers would flock to the products that advertised as much, however true or untrue the claims. And there was and still is (to my knowledge) a set global agreed upon by multiple bodies definition of the word. So why use it?
  4. If your beers are well-crafted, then use that in your marketing.
  5. I guarantee you that from my own data backed qualitative research the word ‘craft’ isn’t as relevant as the makers would want it or think it to be. Most consumers simply want products and goods they enjoy and can buy and share.
  6. The list of Companies in the NCB Craft Brew Pavilion wasn’t following the letter of the BA definition (which seems to be what most people go by – so is it moot to begin with?). They included: Black Tooth Brewing Company, Bootleggers Brewery, Boston Beer Company, Breckenridge Brewery, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Duval Moortgat, garage Brewing Co., Green Flash Brewing, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Odell Brewing Company, Pear Up, Squatters Craft Beers & Wasatch Brewery, The Dudes’ Brewing Company, Wild Tonic.
  • Are all of these actually brewed, first of all? Is tonic brewed?
  • What’s the technical definition of ‘brewing’?
  • Are all of these fitting to the limited definition of a craft-brewer? (no)
  • Who’s putting this list together and are they trying to get traction or simply inaccurately lumping vendors they could get signed on together?

How about a simple Beverage Pavilion for accuracy sake?

Accuracy is critical. If you’re going to do something, do it well and accurately. Seeing this list pokes holes in the idea that ‘craft’ is special. Most beer enthusiasts I know would be able to take a look at the list and tell me which companies in the line up don’t fit the aforementioned definition.

And really, who cares.

Call this area a Beverage Pavilion – by all means and for all vendors and visitors, that’d be accurate. To call it otherwise is inaccurate, a falsity that only perpetuates misinformation. Who’s to tell me – as a consumer – what is craft and what isn’t? We make our decisions on the moment we make them, with the immediate influencing factors already in place.

As a marketer it pains me to see any entity publish inaccuracies, especially in a very specific arena like this.

Marketing isn’t solely around to drive sales. Marketing is communication. And the world deserves and wants accuracy and transparency. Nothing chaps my youknowwhat more than marketers getting unjustly blamed for shenanigans others may have instigated and perpetuated. When you notice that info is wrong, speak up. Legitimate hard working marketers will appreciate the catch. At a minimum, a lively conversation will build bridges and new connections.

What’s craft? That’s up to each and everyone of us, our own definitions will work just fine. For the industry, it’s another story. Fine – use it in industry. But don’t mess with everyone else.

Well crafted products, owned by any entity and in any category, of any size volume, suits me fine.

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Change In Beer (And Everything)

“Change is gonna happen. Might as well give it a hug before it tackles you.” -M Sansone

Wise words.

How’s beer changed over the last year? Last five years? Ten? Thirty? Century?

A heck of a lot is the short answer.

And as beer drinkers and buyers, we can all embrace the good, and let the unsavory die on the vine.

I inquire with you today, fine reader, because Beer has changed. A lot. And it’ll continue to change, perhaps even at a more rapid pace than the last 30+ years, for the foreseeable future.

Change is always here and on the horizon

My stance is to ride the tide. Speaking with my wallet and the public platforms available to me to praise the positive, challenge the crap and in general participate in the conversation that develops and guides the foundation of every community.

When a beer brand you enjoy decides to sell for instance, stick with it for a while. Wait to see what changes (’cause something always will – it has changed ownership structure) before jumping any guns. Jumping guns is a dangerous, relatively permanent act too by the way. Rather ride it out, wait and see. Surprises can be wonderful as well as awful. Wait a bit then decide what you will do.

Change is coming. Or rather, it continues to come along. In beer, now more than ever in recent times. Enjoy it for what it is – a social beverage, bringing people together and creating common ground on which greater goods can be built.

Open your arms for a hug – here it comes!

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What Does Your Beer Taste Like?

“This beer tastes like ____.”

If that phrase has ever come out of your mouth, then it’s a good day to rethink letting it trickle out of your lips. We can all get smarter, quickly to get more out of our beer adventures.

What should that beer taste like? Itself, perhaps??

Let’s begin again:

  1. What does the reference beer taste like? What flavor, aroma and texture words can you expressly use to define it?
  2. What does the current beer taste like? What flavor, aroma and texture words can you expressly use to define it?

My beer did not taste like Zachary’s…

Do you go to an Irish pub, order the burger and say, “This tastes like McDonald’s?” I’ll bet you a beer that you don’t. Maybe because it doesn’t – and maybe because it does. Either way, they are entirely different experiences. Proprietors of all goods and services strive very hard to make their specific offerings to us singular to their brand, and therefore unlike any other business.

Can you imagine beer judges saying, “Well, this beer sure tastes a lot like the last one we tried. It must be the same.”

Indeed, I’d posit a guess that this is one very specific reason why the following quote is true.

“The chief business of the American people is business.” – C Coolidge.

Today’s an ideal day to begin getting specific; specific is terrific. Specificity helps you identify the beer and food you like, steer clear of those you don’t care for, and it also helps the makers – brewers included – help direct you to what they believe you’ll enjoy too based on what you can specify.

The next time you’re tempted to compare one beer to another, perhaps even with similar attributes and flavors, pause – get specific and continue. To each beer, its own description.

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Locals’ Blindness

Do you seek out local beer?

If so, why?

If no, why?

As of today, here’s what Dictionary.com informs:

local

[loh-kuh l]
adjective
1. pertaining to or characterized by place or position in space; spatial.
2. pertaining to, characteristic of, or restricted to a particular place or particular places:

a local custom.
3. pertaining to a city, town, or small district rather than an entire state or country:

local transportation.
4. stopping at most or all stations:

a local train.
5. pertaining to or affecting a particular part or particular parts, as of a physical system or organism:

a local disease.
6. Medicine/Medical. (of anesthesia or an anesthetic) affecting only a particular part or area of the body, without concomitant loss of consciousness, as distinguished from general anesthesia.
noun
7. a local train, bus, etc.
8. a newspaper item of local interest.
9. a local branch of a union, fraternity, etc.
10. a local anesthetic.
11. Often, locals.

  1. a local person or resident:
    primarily of interest to locals.
  2. a local athletic team:
    the locals versus the state champions.
12. stamp (def 22).
13. British Informal. a neighborhood pub.
verb (used without object)
14. Informal. to travel by or take a local train or the like.

 

Where does beer fit? And does a definition of local matter to you?

Local is, to me, more of a concept.

Snow: local
Wrangler: no local
Dog: local now

It’s about what’s close by, what’s been made or imported by a neighbor – do you support your ‘local’ coffee shop? Great – unless you live in a coffee growing area of the world, the beans sure as heck aren’t local. So why does that fit for you (if it does)? Local grocer? Local mechanic? Local bakery? Cheese maker? Tailor? HVAC tech? Same idea…they may live locally or be based in a locale close to you, yet the totality of their operations rarely stand on an island of local only.

As for beer, yes, you likely have a local brewery. The majority of the American population has one within 10 miles of their home.

Beer is made of 4 primary ingredients: water, grain, hops and yeast. So what kind of grain is in the beer you enjoy and where is it grown? How about the hops? The major hops growing regions of the country are few and far (literally) between; does that affect what beer you choose, if you aim for local? Yeast – well, some breweries harvest some of their yeast to re-pitch in subsequent batches. And when they need new yeast, where does it come from? Do you know where brewers get their yeast?

The term “locals’ blindness” is a new one to me and I thought it an intriguing concept. From what I gather, having locals’ blindness means you’re blind to what is outside your own definition of what is local (chime in if you can help me out here). When we think of beer, it would seem that some people shun their own locals’ blindness when a local brewery chooses to sell to another company.

Does that make it less local? I don’t think so. Does it change the business? Well of course it does; how could it not. Yet if it’s still in the same locale, it can still be local to many.

That’s why I think it’s a sticky, overused and oft-misused word.

I notice when local is used and, all the same, I don’t get too caught up in what is advertised as local; it’s always been a global economy. And as long as we use salt in our diet, drink coffee and tea, and want beer in our glass, we’ll participate in the agricultural and product-creating world at large.

Cheers to local, whatever it may be for you.

Here’s a good read as it relates to focusing your dietary intake on local.

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