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"Kerry Tyack says that's partly because Kiwis have finally got the hang of matching beer to food."

"What people are saying is, 'all right, if we're going to a classy do, we'll take a classy beer'.

...Industry experts say that has had a knock-on effect for local craft brewers.

...around 500 different beers now on the New Zealand market.

.....And for god's sake, don't fill the bath with beer and let it sit out in the open. Within half an hour of being in direct sunlight.

Anyone able to quantify any of this articles statements?


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I saw that article over the Xmas break and thought that it was good to lift the profile of beer, just like SOBA wants too, however I didn't spot the possible inconsistent comments, probably due to the state I was in. Anyway this article does seem similiar to this one from the Times of London.

interesting must say im a bit of a fan of matching food with beer...Citrus flavors, grapefruity Cascade hop, Awesome with a nice seafood dish...Roasted malts with a charcoal grilled steak...sauces with orange zest etc go well with Belgian wheat beer...I could go on all night hahaha... I do see more people turning up to partys with kinky craft beer 6 packs.. Are they matching them with food I think not..

I can't see how anyone could possible quantify any of that garbage.
Firstly, no supermarket within 50km of my house has anything other than mainstream beer (thats right Luke, the local Foodtown that once stocked Epic no longer does. Bastards). So to equate supermarket sales with an upturn in craft beer consumption is plainly stupid.
Secondly, Monteiths is NOT craft beer. Neither is Heineken. Nor Stella Artois. Someone, anyone, please inform Mr Tyack of that simple fact sharpish.
Thirdly, nothing I've seen over the Christmas break leads me to believe that everyday beer consumers are interested in anything other then Heineken. The booze shop I frequented at Whangamata was specialling their stock of macs summer ale off at $10 a six pack due to lack of interest. And they stocked Epic which I was pretty excited to snap up for New Years eve. I was pretty obviously the only one.

Foodtown decide to do a "re-ranging" for its supermarkets 3 weeks before Christmas which was to delist all craft beer and international beer, then re list them in a select number . or "trial" stores. With most of these beer being moved from the fridge on to the ambient shelving.

I suggest every time you go to the supermarket you ask for Epic, create some demand. It has worked at Mt Eden.

I'm not sure what the motivation was for this re-ranging in the biggest three weeks for beer sales in supermarkets for the year but I have some ideas.

Good to hear the Epic made it to Whangamata. Was it a Golddiggers store?
Yeah, Golddiggers. Great to see it, an oasis of quality in a vast desert of blandness.
Every shop in Whangamata - Golddiggers, Super Liqour and one more, I've witnessed specialling off of one or more flavour of Macs over the last year due to lack of interest. Shame that. Obviously a place where quantity rules over quality but I would've thought the seasonal influx of Aucklanders might lead to increased Macs sales. Sadly not.
I had an interesting situation at my work christmas party. Eager not to have to ponder over the chilly bin if it would be another Tui or maybe export myself with one of the other fine DB products, I took the initiative and selflessly volunteered to organise the beer for the shindig. I invested mainly in Coopers Sparkling ale and Epic Pale Ale as I thought they would go quite well with the whole summer time, outdoor BBQ thing. The reaction was spectacular. The sparkling ale received luke warm response, until some detected in dwindling twilight that there was (what horror!) yeast in the bottle. The reaction to the Epic was more startling, people were emptying out half finished bottle on the lawn and retreating to those tried but true mainstays, east indian pale ale and good ol' Ranfurly.

I will qualitfy all that by saying it was country NZ but I'm sure the same crowd at a wine tasting wouldn't have created such behaviour. My supposition is that beer is much more challenging to the palate then wine regardless of the food match.
Yeah I'd say it is more challenging, you also chose two particularly flavoursome and bitter beers. Great choices too, I would've thought with the right introduction punters would've really enjoyed them. Did you attempt to educate, say that this is what all beer would taste like if it weren't brewed by accountants, that the presence of yeast is an indicator of a natural and non-filtered product, that hops are all the rage on the craft scene? Or was it a lost cause... When I bring homebrew into work I pass around an email attempting to set my co-workers expectation on what style of beer it is and what flavours it's going to have. For those who bother to read it, it seems to work.

Perhaps more challenging is the will to self educate. People seem more than happy to do it with wine - research, read, search shelves for the right bottle, the right vintage. No-one gives a crap about beer to that extent. Why? It's cool to be knowledgable about the tastes and differences of wine. It's cool to merely be seen to be drinking the "premium" beer brands. Taste counts for nothing, brand image is everything. God it's so boring.
This I would say is a very typical response of the "great unwashed" in New Zealand. There seems to be a large percentage of the population unwilling to engage their brain (if they do indeed have one) to actually experience flavour or even any sensory experience in their lives.

I put it down to the legacy of the early settlers and the early migrants that came to New Zealand. There is still a sense of scarcity amongst mainstream NZ and an unwillingness to pay for quality. (and they wonder why they don't get paid as much as if they lived in Australia.)

It is all about getting as much as you can for as little as possible. This is reinforced by the large brewers who are by the way run by these same people, and whose shareholders are these same people. Until these people mature, which is unlikely to happen in a generation, and actually realize that by paying more, and enjoying what you have, you generally consume less.

For $18 you can get six Epic Pale Ale or 18 Tui, yet the Epic equivalent still has five times as much hop. And what pleasure is there in drinking 18 Tui in an evening?

Just take heart that there are a significant number of consumers out there that are purchasing "good beer".

What I say to these people is "it isn't about the beer, it is about them."
All that hop resin leaving a bitter taste in your mouth Luke?

I still doubt it's a taste thing. I think it's a brand thing. There are a LOT of mainstream beer drinkers who firmly believe that Heineken is top notch beer. That's the impression the ads leave you with. The best bars stock it. It costs more at the supermarket. It's "European". They sponsor major global events.

Most people I've tried to inform otherwise are a damn hard sell, the ad agencies spin a much better yarn than me - well to be fair they spend more money on it. And even if they are agreeable about what better beer is, next time they go beer shopping (at the supermarket mainly, lets be honest) they aren't going to be able to put their new learnings into practice are they.
To get them to believe in better beer to the point of driving many kilometers for smaller quantities of beer that costs significantly more (even if the beer really is great) is a huge ask.
These consumers get what they pay for generally. (not much) Most do use the advertising to make their decisions about brand, they don't have the capacity to make and informed or educated decision for them selves. Buying beer for the masses is the same as buying a car, or whiteware or any other commodity they buy. They don't deserve to be able to drink beers such as Epic.
"For $18 you can get six Epic Pale Ale or 18 Tui, yet the Epic equivalent still has five times as much hop. And what pleasure is there in drinking 18 Tui in an evening?"

For the first 12 not much but after that............

I tend to agree with Barry, particularly flavoursome. With some foods that accentuate the bitterness, I could see how some might prefer a sweet bland brown water to an Epic. The idea of some thing being alive in your beverage might also be a little disconcerting for the average Mr or Mrs drinker.

At times when I've been drinking with friends at pubs most are eager to try some thing a little out of the ordinary (through a little provocation mostly), after the first one though they often revert back to their "Premium lager", rather than trying something else. Its a hard road finding the perfect drinking companion.

I guess mainstream is "mainstream" for a reason, it's what people seem to like. Bland things seem to appeal to more people. I think part of the reason I like non-mainstream beer (and perhaps some other people do too), is that it is a bit out there and different. For some the fear of the unknown will always put them off, and beer can be pretty scary. :)

With mega swill the customer also knows what they are getting, it's always the same. With smaller batches there is always going to be quite a large amount of variability that is acceptable in the wine industry but not so with beer.

My beer sampled by colleagues gets rave reviews most of the time, as it's often easier to hand out a complement than criticism (good or bad, I've realised not everyone is a BJCP judge). I'm fairly certain that most would rather drink Heineken given the choice.

It's only beer and beer is meant to be enjoyed. If you enjoy drinking sweet bland brown water then drink it.
Sure I don't mind them drinking it, as the saying goes I disagree with you but I defend to the death your right to do it. I was being a bit selfish rather then trying to educate, but I was at least hoping for some adventure, but only received caution and cynacism (bloody aussie beer!). I didn't wan't to push it too hard as I'd only look like the social psychopath. However, sometimes I wish that the mainstream beer baseline was raised a little bit, at least produce something unadulterated and with some sympathy for the ingredients, and I'm not talking about steinlager pure. From realising the quality of the results from a simple homebrew set up it should be made criminal to produce something like Tui and call it beer! A bit off topic anyway. I suppose they are merely making what the mainstream demand, or at the very least are able to force down. Indeed the marketer is becoming more influential then the brewer....shame.


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