If you ever get to know me, you’ll find out pretty quickly I’m passionate about music. It’s what led me to get IHB up on Spotify and try to curate some fine beer drinking tunes. It’s leading me through some other fun IHB endeavors and such. So, excuse me when I’m flicking through the latest beer news and read this article on October: Does Taylor Swift make you Not Like Beer? Excuse me but what kind of BS is this? Is this really an article? I read through it and it’s pretty worthless clickbait. The article is a “guest piece” by OKCupid, which is journalism talk for an ad for OkCupid disguised as an article. It then proceeds to “analyze” that people who “allegedly” listen to Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino are unlikely to “self-identify” as beer snobs while those who “allegedly” like LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire, and Flaming Lips are more likely to be “beer snobs”. There’s more terrible lyric quoting and an awful DJ Jazzy Jeff reference but I’m going to stop all that right there.
Let’s start with the first problem. OKCupid is a dating site. So right out of the gate, everyone’s just trying to put their best foot forward. In an online dating profile, you’re going to put out the most neutral vibe so that you at least get someone to take you out. So, you’re going to pick maybe 1 or 2 of your favorite bands and then some more middle of the road choices. As a happily married man, I’m pretty sure if I started off my first date with my wife about how much I loved Phish and pounding beers, I’d still be single and lonely. Sure there may be other people who dig that but it’d have to be a 3rd or 4th date topic. So, the choices on a dating site are not going to be impartial enough data for this, just to start.
Second, let’s talk about branding and marketing. Every company has little boxes for you, Iron Horse Brewery included. Sorry, it’s just we have to have some way to make sure we’re talking about our beer to the people who like it, and those who may like it and haven’t tried it. Every company you interact with is doing this. They’re taking note of who’s drinking what, eating what, what they do on the weekends, etc. The marketing clichés of hipsters drinking beer is SO OVERDONE; we don’t even try anymore. It’s not worth the dollars and time to market beer to hipsters. We’ll maybe see what they’re into and maybe put out a style that’s becoming popular or maybe one that hadn’t peaked yet (I’m looking at you, Farmlandia) but overall, again, it’s just not worth the resources. So, in this article, it’s so lazy to be like here’s some hipster bands people like so we also know these people drink beer. (and this is coming from a long-time hipster, I like to wear pork pie hats and drink barrel-aged sours) But what of the other side? Do people that listen to current popular music not like beer? I also enjoy all of the popular artists mentioned above. I’m not totally turned off by pop music. I also like beer. I know other people that also enjoy plenty of these artists and a good indie beer. I’d also talk about the use of the term “Beer snob” but this blog is about music choices. That will have to come at a later time.
I guess the point of this rambling is if you like beer, you’re not going to (nor should you have to) shout it from the rooftops. Beer goes beyond lazy clichés and clickbait. We can run data all day and we’ll still try to target our marketing but it’ll never put everyone into a tidy box. I hope there’s people slipping through the cracks, drinking a Cozy Sweater on the low while blaring T Swizzle’s new Reputation album this Friday and sticking it to the man. For all those people, all I want to say is thank you and [you’re welcome].