The Craft Beer Industry is a rapidly growing industry all over the United States and is growing rapidly in Louisiana. I have recently fallen in love with craft beers and I noticed that many of my friends did not share my same enthusiasm. I decided to conduct a survey of how people feel regarding their preference between domestic and craft beer. I also conducted several interviews with friends, coworkers and even random people I met in local bars.
In my interviews, I found that many people had different opinions. Some said they only drink domestic beer, while others shared my love for craft brews. The reasons for why people didn’t drink craft beers varied, however the most common variable was price.
Breanna Smith, a student at Louisiana State University and bartender at Big D’s Daiquiris in Denham Springs said she prefers craft beer, but the prices are sometimes too much.
“We only serve domestics at Big D’s,” Smith said. “It’s just too expensive for us to stock our shelves with craft beer.”
Brian Benton, a student at McNeese University, said he rarely strayed from drinking domestic beer because they are cheap.
“I’ve drank craft beer before when someone else paid for it,” Benton said. “I like certain craft beers, but I just don’t like them enough to pay that much for beer when I can get more beer for the same price.”
Benton was not the only one with this opinion. I ran into Bryce Dugas, a student at Louisiana Tech University, and he had a similar response. Dugas said he likes to try a variety of beers to expand his beer pallet, but he said he doesn’t get to try as many as he would like to.
“I love to drink craft beer, and I love finding new beer I haven’t tried yet,” Dugas said. “I wish I had the means to try more beer, but it gets expensive and right now I’m just a college kid who has more important things to spend money on.”
Cody Brown, a student at Louisiana State University, said if it weren’t for the prices he would drink more craft beer.
“I drink craft beer from time to time, but I mainly stick with domestic beer to save money,” Brown said. “I can get a 30-pack of Natty Light for the same price that would get me a six-pack of something like Tin Roof or Abita.”
Another popular reason for why people chose domestics was lack of knowledge of the craft brew world. Caleb Kerstens, a student at Southeastern Louisiana University, said he recently became a craft beer drinker after his visit to Gnarly Barley Brewery in Hammond.
“I never really drank craft beer because I didn’t know much about it,” Kerstens said. “I’ve been drinking Bud Light for as long as I remember, and I didn’t try anything else because I didn’t see a reason to.”
“I first experienced craft beer when I visited Gnarly Barley Brewery and I fell in love with it,” Kerstens said. “Now what I know what I’ve been missing, I doubt I’ll ever go back to drinking domestic beer.”
Blake Dupre, a student at Baton Rouge Community College, had the same reason as Kerstens.
“I didn’t know anything about craft beer until my roommates started putting it in the fridge,” Dupre said. Before that, I always drank domestic beers because that is what I’ve always drank.”
Brice Gaudet, a bartender for LSU Champions Club in Alex Box Stadium, said that sales for craft beer have increased since he’s worked there.
“I think it has to do with a lack of beer knowledge,” Gaudet said. “People see the display bottles and always ask me what a certain beer is.”
Gaudet said that he has noticed more and more customers are choosing craft beer over domestics.
“Craft beers are becoming more and more popular,” Gaudet said. “We’ve started carrying a larger variety of craft beers to increase customer satisfaction.”
I also conducted a survey and found that most people had the same reasons for why they didn’t buy craft beer.
According to this graph, most people do not prefer craft beer over domestic beer. However, most did not have a specific preference, and from their responses I believe the people without a preference do not know much about craft beer.
This graph shows that very few people actually dislike craft beer, and that a good amount of people love it. It also gives more evidence that some of the people who love it find it to be too expensive. Once again most people do not have an opinion, and from their comments on the survey, they said it was due to a lack of knowledge.
Unlike most of my interviews, the survey showed me that the main reason why people don’t drink craft beer is from not knowing about them. While a good number of people choose domestics for financial reasons, a lack of knowledge is the leading reason for why people my age opt for domestic beer.
The craft beer industry is becoming more popular each year and I believe one day it will expand enough to where people will be just as aware of craft beers as they are of domestics. However, the price variable will always play as a factor and will continue to be a reason why people my age opt to drink domestics.