Influencing rural beer tastes

This is a question: How can we influence for beer drinkers in rural Manitoba and Saskatchewan to change their beer tastes?

Well to me, there are a few ways. First off, there's education: As I've said in other beer articles, get to know what sort of flavours people like and suggest beers accordingly. Most rural folks aren't a fan of hoppy, bitter, dark, heavy beers. Mainly the reason being that their palate just isn't used to it. Secondly, push local options: At any given rural Manitoba vendor, you can find just about every Molson and Labatt's beer known to man, as well as a few Sleeman and Moosehead, and likely a Great Western beer or two. However, that's where the creativity ends. Rarely are there any Fort Garry, Half Pints, Paddock Wood or the like.

Here in rural Manitoba, we need a true local beer that everyone can relate to. Chatting with the folks at Luxalune who are starting up The Farmery Estate Brewery near Arden, MB (half hour east of Neepawa), they are going to be the first farm/estate based brewery done in Canada, which is pretty effing awesome!

Back in the day pre-prohibition, as travel was very prohibitive and mainly limited to railway, breweries and distilleries popped up all over the place, small towns, big cities and everywhere in between. They used local resources, local manpower and kept money in the very same community. Now days, quite often we don't know where our beer is coming from. For all we know, that case of Molson Canadian could be coming from Toronto or Vancouver.. how would we know?

I would love to see a change in the beer tastes of rural Manitoba, but we need education to push it. If more communities adopted a similar approach to an estate brewery like Luxalune's The Farmery or a small brewery that used LOCAL resources (locally grown barley and hops, all malted in town), then this could push for a beer revolution in a province known for its love of mediocrity.

Another thing is that advertising quite often trumps everything else. You see CLIT ads on TV 18 times a night during Hockey Night in Canada playoffs, but rarely do you EVER see a local microbrew advertising.. well.. Labatt has unlimited resources, that's why they're MAKING AN EFFING MOVIE! Local breweries generally can't afford to advertise on prime ad real estate on Hockey Night in Canada during playoffs or the like. Due to this, people recognize the brand (CLIT in this case) easier and are able to go out to the store and check it out themselves, and even demand their vendors to stock said beer. My own mother and her calorie-counting friends saw Molson 67 ads on TV when it first came on two or so years ago, kept requesting the local beer vendor to stock and here you see the beer stocked at this very vendor, and many others to this very day. I don't know.. maybe I'm just bitter and rambling.. I'm disappointed that I had to go for a Rickard's Taster Pack rather than pick up a Half Pints or Fort Garry pack.

One day I want to be able to go to a small bar vendor and be able to buy a 6 or 12 of a made-in-Manitoba beer. I'm not going to hold my breath for now, but I think one day we will see beer tastes go from whatever is advertised on TV (CLIT, Keith's, Bud Light, Canadian, Coors Light) to something that was grown within your own neighbourhood. We have an abundance of wheat, barley, clean water, and if every town had a brewery in the future, like how every farm town had a grain elevator (or 5) back in the day.

Oh and also, you rural folks - I bet you a beer that there IS a microbrew beer out there that is your cup of tea, just because you may not like stouts or India Pale Ales, there is something out there that will make your mouth dance! Trust me, I know it from first hand experience.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The Craft Beer movement is coming... People are slowly waking up and realising their beer could taste better....