survey reveals 75% of Beer Geeks Don’t Care to Save on Brew

There’s a bit of spin happening in this press release that summarizes the findings of a recent survey conducted by  Here’s the beginning of the release (emphasis mine):

One in four beer drinkers say price matters when it comes to craft beer. A recent survey of 1,000 craft brew enthusiasts conducted by looked at attitudes and trends of beer buyers. While 95 percent of craft brew drinkers confess to having purchased an “exorbitantly high” beer on occasion, there seems to be a rising number of craft beer fans who want “an honest brew for a fair price.”

“Truth be told, we were genuinely surprised so many people cared about beer price when buying craft brew,” admits SaveOnBrew founder, Mark Davidson. “There’s a perception of craft beer drinkers that it’s always ‘Spare no expense. Find me the best.’ Yet, our survey found that to be simply not true.”

Hold on a minute, Mr. SaveOnBeer guy.  You said “simply not true” when you should have said “overwhelmingly correct.” If 25% of craft beer buyers are price sensitive, that means that 75% of craft beer buyers do indeed have a ‘spare no expense, find me the best’ attitude.  If this were an election, that would be a landslide. 

Add in the fact that 950 out of the 1,000 people surveyed (that’s 95% for our readers who studied New Math) have purchased an “exorbitantly high” beer on occasion, and I think it’s clear that prices isn’t the driving factor in craft beer buying decisions.

I get it that your web site is designed around the idea that people want to Save On Brew, and that you went through the time and expense of running this survey, but don’t lead with a weak statistic just because it’s the one that most benefits YOU.  Instead, why not lead with one of these other compelling stats:

Other survey findings include the following:

  •     56 percent of craft brew drinkers buy beer from a specialty shop they know carries a great selection.
  •     89 percent of craft beer drinkers say it’s often “difficult” to find the beers they are interested in.
  •     Price aside, craft beer drinkers rate: Drinkability, Freshness, and Accessibility high on their wish lists.
  •     They ranked factors like Label Artwork, Name and Uniqueness lower on their list of values.
  •     97 percent of craft brew drinkers said at least one of their purchases was directly influenced by a blog, ad, or social media post this year.

Wait, none of those stats are compelling, are they?  Except for the last one, which makes me feel like a power playa.  That’s right, bloggerz rule!!

Anyway, I found it funny that this press release so blatantly bends the truth right there in the first two paragraphs, especially when you consider that the survey happened on, a website dedicated to thrifty beer buyers.  If only 25% of THAT audience cares about price, what do you think that statistic would look like on BeerAdvocate or Rate Beer?




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Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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17 Comments on “ survey reveals 75% of Beer Geeks Don’t Care to Save on Brew”

  1. July 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    Price does matter to me, but I also “spare no expense” on occasion to get a very particular beer I’m itching to try or restock (I have a slight JW Lees addiction). The survey wasn’t well-crafted. Saying price doesn’t matter opens the flood gates to needlessly increased pricing by some, which sparks increases in competing brand pricing, which raises prices on the whole. Yes, I love craft beer, but I certainly will spare the expense in many cases, particularly when I can brew my own that taste as good if not better than most on the market (IMHO, of course).

    • July 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

      I think you’re right about the nature of the survey. If you made beer geeks choose three items from a list of ten, each representing what’s important to them when they shop for beer, price probably wouldn’t make the list for most.

      But you ask them straight out “does price matter when you shop for beer” and my bet is most people would say “yes.” Who doesn’t want to save money (besides that nasty baby who hates Jimmy Fallon)?

      I think it’s a poorly constructed survey with really mediocre results.

  2. July 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    Truly a spin-a-rama. ‘We didn’t get the results that we wanted, so we’ll make it look like we did’ I get this type of BS all the time at work from people who have marketing degrees and think they know better (as opposed to actually working in the field and having experience).

    Truth be told, price rarely influences my decisions about buying beer; half the time I don’t even look at the price tag until I’m loading it into the fridge at home. I’m lucky that the Wife and I have good paying jobs and no kids, hence disposable income.

    Although 20 years ago I would’ve been scrutinizing every price tag trying to get the most out of every penny.

    • July 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

      I consider good beer to be an affordable luxury, so much so that I’m in the same boat as you. Plus now I have beer magically arriving at my door from breweries all over. I NEVER look at the price of that stuff! 🙂

  3. July 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Firstly, what the hell is Don doing in that picture?

    Secondly, I personally don’t want to spend a lot of money to load up my beer fridge. But having said that, price is the very last thing I look at when shopping for beers I haven’t had before. Also, I think that this whole conversation goes back to your “stretch beer” and “go-to beer” themes. We beer geeks buy good standby beers for the long-haul but treat ourselves to more expensive brews on a regular basis. Our choice in this regard is often informed by recommendations on this blog–which is why I have an order in for a bomber of Lychee Sour right now.

    • Don
      July 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

      Yeah, why am I on the front of this post?

      • July 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

        Because you’re so disappointed!!

        • Don
          July 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

          oh, ok.

  4. Don
    July 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Beer Geeks, may not go out of their way to save, but if they can buy more and save a little, they are all over that. For example when I go to Brewforia for a pint, I typically sit at the bar. The bar is right next to the pay station. You’d be amazed how many people come up with three beers, and when the cashier tells them if they buy 6, they can get a 5% discount, and if they buy 12, they get a 10% increase, and if they buy a case they get a 15% discount. I’m amazed at how well that strategy works. I’ve seen people who were going to buy 7 beers go get 5 more, or even on occasion those who were going to buy 3 go back and buy 9 more. I’ve also seen people go to the limits of their imagination to get 24 beers to get the 15% discount. So I’m thinking that everyone loves a bargain, even if it costs them a lot more!

    • July 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

      I agree – EVERYONE loves to save on somehting they love, and beer is fairly durable, so it’s smart to stock up and save. It goes to show you how weak the design of this survey must’ve been.

      If you ask a beer geek “do you want to Save on Brew” none are going to say “NO, CHARGE ME MORE!!” If your website is all about saving on beer and your survey says that 75% of respondants don’t care about saving money when in actuality 100% probably do, then you built a stupid survey that doesn’t help your business.

    • July 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

      Case in point. My supplier was recently trying to unload Magic Hat’s Howl Black Lager. For some reason it just wasn’t moving–this is often the case around here w/ black beers. Anyway he knocked the price down by 50% and I bought ’em all. What a deal, I really like the stuff but it won’t be available again till this coming winter. Anyway, I took a sixer to a neighborhood 4th of July B-B-Q and those who tried it loved it. Quote: “Wow, where did you get this stuff? I’m gonna save the bottle so I can get some for myself.”

  5. Brendan
    July 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    Massugu nailed it. In the summer, I go to Yuengling Premium, $14.00 for a case of cans – reliable, tasty enough, frugal (not cheap with its nasty connotations) enough for a hot day.

    However, I’d have no trouble with spending more than $14.00 to try out 2 six-packs of something new and highly-rated.

    • July 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

      I always enjoy Yuengling for what it is, but I rarely pick any up. Mostly because the last time I picked up a twelve pack, eight of them went untouched for a looong time. Good stuff in a pinch, but the mood never really struck. Still, you got me thinking, Brendan…

  6. Brendan
    July 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    The funny thing about Yuengling is that you can order “a Yuengling” in any bar that carries it and get a Yuengling Lager 100% of the time.

    The lager is OK but I like the Premium (beer snob alert!) (really, premium, at $14.00 per case?) better. I can’t stand the Lord Chesterfield’s Ale and it looks like Yuengling now brews 2 light beers (is it the Apocalypse?). The brewery tour is amazing, if you are ever in Pottsville…the biggest brewery in PA – even biggger than Boston Beer Company’s site in Breinigsville.

    • July 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

      I prefer their Porter and Black & Tan.

  7. Diss Content
    July 11, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    The most I have spent on beer, in general, was in the wilds of Alaska (code for not Anchorage or Fairbanks), but I remember everything there warping my sensibilities about prices. I heard plenty of noobs say they could buy a case in the lower 48 for less than what a six pack cost, but that was the end of the protests. So in this situation, value had a factor of 4 X over somewhere in Kansas. The massive price delta, I was told, was due to transportation. Could that be true?

    In the above situation, since the logistics represent such a large premium with the product remaining fixed (12 oz bottle), I would have expected many living in the Last Frontier to be drinking some premium craft brews since the price penalty would be vastly attenuated by shipping. Nope, it was the land of Bud, Miller and Coors just like in the lower 48. Thus making me ponder the value question even more.


  1. 99 Pours » Blog Archive » Should I seek out discounted beer? - July 29, 2012

    […] no expense. Find me the best.’ Yet, our survey found that to be simply not true.” The Beer & Whiskey Brothers blog called them out, saying: “Hold on a minute, Mr. SaveOnBeer guy. You said “simply not […]

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