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Old 06-04-2012, 05:30 PM   #1
Jun 2012
San Diego, California
Posts: 1

Hey guys I'm new to this forum so if I screw up any formatting or protocol I apologize in advance.

I'm a college student currently conducting a little research project for my marketing internship looking at the difference between northern and southern craft brew cultures and I was wondering if you guys could give me a little consumer feedback.

1) What do you guys feel is the largest difference between northern and southern California craft breweries? (In terms of style, culture, etc...)
Ex: South (Stone, Ballast Point, Karl Strauss) vs. North (Lost Coast, Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas)

2) Do you feel there is any difference between northern and southern craft beer enthusiasts? (Habits, knowledge, preferences)

3) When purchasing craft beer, do you normally stick with a familiar beer, or try something new?

3) Are you more likely to try a new beer at a social setting (bar,event) or on your own time (groceries)?

4) What about a new beer would make you most likely to try it? (Reputation, Advertising, Label Design etc...)

These are just some preliminary questions to get the ball rolling and I would love to keep the discussion going with you guys. Thank you very much for your time.

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Old 06-04-2012, 08:01 PM   #2
SC_Ryan's Avatar
Dec 2007
Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 769
Liked 29 Times on 23 Posts

1) The only real difference I see is that geographically, the norcal breweries are a little more spread out. I don't even know if you can count that as a "difference"

2) No

3) I have my 20 or so staples but I'm always seeking out something I haven't tried

3b) Either, no difference.

4) Probably style. I'll be in the mood for a type of beer then see if there's anything available I haven't tried. Obviously, I think everyone will seek out a specific beer they haven't tried if they hear a ton of rave reviews. I know the person who orders the beer for my local BevMo and I'll often ask her what's new and tasty when I go in.
Oh no! Bitter beer face!!!

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Old 06-05-2012, 05:35 PM   #3
May 2012
Oakland, CA
Posts: 20
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I lived in LA for 6 years and have been in the Bay Area for almost 4 so I've spent time both drinking and brewing in SoCal and NorCal.

1.) Water is probably the biggest difference but my pallet can't differentiate the types yet if going blind tasting. Naturally NorCal has much more water from the Sierras than SoCal (although North San Diego county is wetter than I ever realized). Tap water in LA is undrinkable vs. Oakland/SF its delicious! When I homebrewed in LA I always bought jugs of water vs. Oakland I have used all tap for recent brews (just got the 2011 water report statistics).

2.) Haven't noticed a difference, all good people

3.) Try to grab new local brews as much as possible, but I personally have both NorCal and SoCal staples when craving a familiar taste. 60% - new trials; 40% - staple pruchase.

3b.) Social I'm more likely given the beer scene in my part of Oakland has everything under the sun. Groceries I'm less likely but still spend more time debating over beer than produce, meat, grains, etc.

4.) I like reviews on BeerAdvocate and other sites. I hate to admit it but the labels do help me and I've had good luck with good labels, especially up here in the Bay.

With regard to styles, obviously you see all types in both regions but the main styles I've seen higher proportion of are below:

-California Commons (Steam)
-Barrel aged


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