THE BOOZE BIN
Guest Post By Colleen Mita
As a recent graduate of a certain New Hampshire institution with a well-documented affinity for frat basements and Keystone Light, I’m happy to be out in the real world where there is more than one kind of beer on tap. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about beer, but I know what tastes good to me and what kind of marketing catches my eye. Most of all, I’m willing to try just about anything in the process of determining what kind of beer I like. So yeah, I guess I’m your typical millennial consumer.
What kind of beer gets my attention? After spending my undergraduate career consuming mass-produced light beer with no flavor, I’m looking for something that’s been brewed with care, in small quantities. I’d really like to actually be able to discern flavor nuances while I sip, instead of just tossing it back to avoid the gross taste. Like many of my peers, I’ve become a fan of the microbrew. You can blame Dogfish Head for their amazingly cool integrated marketing campaign that really helped bring independent breweries into the limelight. And in case you were unaware of the current microbrewery trend:
So, why do microbrews appeal to millennials?
1) We like to feel we are part of a community, while still maintaining our independence. Many microbreweries are actively engaged on social media sites and offer brewery tours, fostering a sense of community. Our independent spirit is preserved by knowing we’re supporting small businesses, not giant beverage conglomerates.
2) We care about how things are made and where they come from. Coming of age in the era of sustainability and recycling, “green” values are near and dear to our hearts. Microbreweries source local ingredients for their brews, much like Abita’s Satsuma, which uses local Louisiana produce for flavor. Independent breweries are also more apt to create limited-run, seasonal beers, like Starr Hill’s Lucy, keeping with the current trend of seasonality.
3) Bottom line: We like our beer (and food) to taste good. Call us beer snobs, call us foodies; we don’t care. Before going out to eat, we look at digital restaurant reviews and menus to see what looks good, right now. We’ve begun doing the same kind of research before picking our tipple o’ the moment. Microbrews offer greater depth of flavor and more interesting food pairings than your average mass-produced brew.
And now, in true millennial fashion, I’m going to head home, crack open a bottle of Harpoon’s UFO, turn on last week’s episode of True Blood and nosh on a panini (made from grass-fed organic beef, vegetables from the farmer’s market, locally made cheese and homemade bread of course!).