Sunday, March 26, 2017

WEEK 100---Promoting Craft in ASIA--we all can be influencers

This is week 100 of the newspaper column--could be 100 or 101/102 since there's 1 or 2 missed post on this blog.
This is a very general look at how far/near craft been moving in Asia --though the reality is that craft is still very very small in terms of overall beer market consumption in terms of volume--as well still very much unheard of by most people who drink some kind of alcoholic beverages(never mind if its beer or not).
简单说,啤酒世界可一分为二,绝对大块那个是MACRO BEER-大厂啤酒,另一块小小的就是CRAFT BEER
对喜欢CRAFT BEER的人们来说,这是一直以来市场消费的真实情况,CRAFT只是小众玩意,就算有那么多好喝的不同类别风格啤酒,可是市场上消费者不知道还有其他选择的话,再怎么好喝也没用。
Something we all who love craft beer(and mead) here in ASIA must admit is that--with market basically surrounded/conquered by the big boys of MACRO BEER---craft movement will not move if majority of the people who buy beer DON'T KNOW there's alternatives out there in the form of craft beer.
No matter which cities yo live in ASIA---the market is "owned" by the MACRO big boys--the majority only know beer in the form of BEER--the 1 question facing everyone of us who love to promote craft culture--introduce more people to craft beer is--HOW THE HELL DO YOU LET MORE PEOPLE KNOW there's something so delicious out there in the form of CRAFT BEER? that each and everyone of us has got a CHOICE--that you don't have to drink shit beer all the time.
Maybe these scenario would tell-tale a little?
1) In Asia--most people would seek for good food/delicious food--feeling proud of what their city has got if there's something famously delicious--but the common scenario is such that--people would go out of their way for food--but never beer.
Generally--people who seek out for good food-be it foodie/critics or gourmet food seekers( and so on)--would always only think of pairing their food with wine, at times fine spirits--but never beer--beer has been looked upon as nothing more than thirst quencher--easy--simple-cold-nothing complicated( lacking in class) to warrant a proper dining table treatment. 
1) 亚洲饮食文化中,就算最注重美食的美食家-食评人,都只关注葡萄酒威士忌之类,完全不觉得啤酒是需要注重的酒类,长期的错误观念让绝对多少人觉得啤酒只是喝了胀气的酒精黄汤水,甚至觉得喝啤酒没品味,跟美食搭不上关系。
Question is--if you think taste profile in your food is so important--how the hell not when it comes to drinking a beer?(stereotype is such a scary thing- that even foodie thought beer is just BEER)
2)The sub-culture thingy--it's basically everywhere--TV shows /drama/movies/even songs/ literature/comics--there's plenty of scene where drinking beer is basically binging, to get shit-faced --it's basically saying you just need to gulp it down--in big volume.
2) 亚洲次文化中,"不醉无归" "喝到趴下"是很多人觉得理所当然的,喝酒嘛,当然要尽兴。在一般大厂啤酒销售点,几个人围在一起喝"啤酒塔""一桶桶的瓶装啤酒是最常见画面,"劈酒"更是平常事。就那样,啤酒一直被误解成牛喝的东西(牛饮)
The idea of tasting/savouring a beer--that's quite alien to many--people would either laugh at that idea--or thought you are just trying to be fxxking pretentious?
3) BEER is relatively something cheap and easily accessible--it's a fact that many MACRO big boys has got "local" breweries in many part of ASIA--that would mean already cheaper cost of production PLUS tax incentives in some cases.
3) 很多大厂啤酒在亚洲城市都有设厂大量生产供应本地需求,因为是"本地厂",抛开原本就是用料简单低廉,当然还有税务优惠,价格肯定比进口CRAFT廉宜,也因为那样,不少消费者一听到入口啤酒价格,在不了解质素味道层次能带来巨大差别味蕾享受情况下,心理上很快抗拒,觉得啤酒只是啤酒,为什么要多给钱?
Some Asia cities like KL where i live--if you want American beers--that would mean sorry ass weak Ringgit to pay for strong USD in exchange rates + import duties + GST ...
Even in cases where say a craft beer is perhaps only 5 ringgit higher than a bottle of MACRO--there's still this perceived value in most non-craft drinker's mind--that BEER is something cheap--why pay more? it's just BEER....
So how the hell can we spread the words--let more people understand they have a choice when they drink a beer next time?
 "INFLUENCER" is the word.
Think back of the time when you first started having your first few craft beer--did you started on your own? or there's someone along the way which triggered/started your quest for even better beer?
It's quite a natural act for geeks wanting to share info/knowledge with new people--and what better way can someone new to craft beer to start than having a geek or someone who knows some craft beer places to drink with?
Next time when you go out with friends--especially friends who know nothing about craft beer---when it's time to order a beer or two--why not ask yourself and your friends--is that all BEER can offer? what about CHOICES of beers? what about flavours?what about varieties?

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