You see it in advertising all the time, wine and high quality spirits are the cultured, immaculately dressed set with the pearls and expensive cars in the "high class", expensive settings, and beer is the tailgating, short skirted waitress crowd.

With the advent of home brewing, micro breweries and increased interest in higher quality and craft beers, is there a way to change the social perception of the beer crowd, or should we simply relegate ourselves to being the lower class cousin?


Standards and qualifications will play a big role in how we can change the perception of beer. Wine has had the Sommelier since 1907. Beer now has the Cicerone (of which I can not find a date when the certification program started). Just look at the Wikipedia difference between the Cicerone and Sommelier.

Remember, wine has the "low-brow" wines that are just a cheap way to get drunk.

As the craft beer industry continues to boom, we need to have more sophisticated conversations about beer. Talk about the subtleties that vary in like-beers, to be able to accurately describe mouth feel, know why head retention is critical, and grow as a community that is willing to take the time to teach those that show interest. Nothing will turn away a curious consumer like a bunch of beer snobs that act snobby.

Beer will always have the beers that are associated with rednecks, tailgating, insert other disparaging term here. But as a community, we also need to embrace "those types" of beer. People love them, and we don't need to change that. The people that love those beers might also be willing to branch out into other styles. Unless you are trying to convince them by attacking the beer that they love and belittle them for not having an expanded range.

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  • Mmm...I was looking for more along the lines of HOW it can be changed, not just an assertion that it WILL change. – JohnP Jan 22 '14 at 13:58
  • Ah. sorry to not answer your question appropriately. Let me try again. – BryceH Jan 22 '14 at 13:59
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    I hope this version better answers your question @JohnP. – BryceH Jan 22 '14 at 14:20
  • Awesome, more along the lines of what I was looking for. I'll leave it unaccepted, I would like to see a few more answers as well. – JohnP Jan 22 '14 at 14:22
  • Very nice answer. – Andrew Cheong Jan 22 '14 at 17:09

Grohlier correctly mentioned the Cicerone program, but I think the next, big step will involve engaging the "cultured" crowd-- literally getting the beer into their hands.

One possible next step is fine-dining. Beer paring dinners are becoming a popular thing in my area, and there is at least one beer-centric fine-dining restaurant that I'm aware of. The "cultured" crowd sees wine as going hand-in-hand with food; invariably, at a wine tasting event, the host will comment, "Can't you just imagine this with a nice lamb rack"? Beer can absolutely play in that same field, and as more restaurants or dinners offer a beer option, or are beer centric, the perception of beer will change.

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  • This is a good point. I come from an area that has several breweries and an affluent Beer (mostly) and wine store that supports homebrewing needs. – BryceH Jan 22 '14 at 16:08

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