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Friday, January 30, 2009

Early Signs to Watch

Earlier this week, I posted an unscientific poll about whether the recession has affected your beer drinking. In a word: yes.

The bad news: slightly more than half of you have already altered your drinking habits due to the recession. The good news: almost none of you have been forced to abandon good beer to save money.
47% - My habits haven't changed
16% - I buy good beer, just less of it
11% - I go to pubs less frequently
11% - I mainly buy beer on sale
10% - I drink fewer expensive imports/specialty beers
_5% - I've resorted t faux craft or macro like Pabst
I am surprised at how many of you are already altering your habits. I don't know if craft breweries should be at a full panic yet--like me, you clearly still want to be drinking good beer--but this could be the canary in a coal mine. I'll do the poll again this summer and see if anything's changed.


  1. An interesting question is how do posts like this, or media reporting in general, affect behavior? Being in the minority 47% my first reaction is, maybe I should be changing my behavior too. Something I'm sure no brewery wants to hear.

  2. Polls can effect impressions, I think. Part of my motivation was to learn whether I needed to start rallying the faithful to buy local craft beer or not. So far I'd say the answer is not, but it's something to watch.

    Drink more local beer!

  3. I think a pie chart makes the poll scientific...especially a color one.

  4. Thanks, Patrick. To add even more science, let me note that there were 219 responses.

  5. My unscientific observation from my neighborhood is that people are satisfying their passion for craft beer in these tough economic times with beer coupons, beer bar specials and, of course, happy hour specials.

  6. At some point, largely due to the recession (had it not been for the recession we would have never really considered our love of good beer a potential problem), my boyfriend and i realized that we could buy in bulk (kegerator) and save money vs buying by the case/six pack/20oz. When buying half barrels the cost between delicious craft beer and icky domestic beer is minimal. So we bought a cheap small fridge off craigslist and made the initial investment in the kegerator kit and for about a year now have been enjoying delicious craft beer (from a young local brewer) on tap. I suppose that's a change..but it's a change to avoid giving up good beer.

  7. I am new to the blog but I think there is potential for problems in the near future. I rarely buy 6-packs of craft beer at full price anymore. It is funny you mention the macros such as Pabst as an alternative. I routinely keep a case of Schlitz on hand for the easy drinking beer. Laugh if you will, but the reformulated Schlitz is actually very good and is a much better beer then a standard budmilcoors. I can buy a case of Schlitz for about the price of a good 6-pack. It's hard to argue with those economics.