Monday, August 1


I've been thinking about this whole Sam Adams, Jim Koch, bottles vs. cans issue that Dan linked to. I find it ridiculous. A fairly wise young fellow I once met said that the best beer he's ever had is the beer he's got in his hand. Consumers want that beer. They want it at the ballgame and on the plane. They'll be happy with a can. And he's holding out to the tune of millions of dollars?

Starbucks went through a similar thing years ago. Customers wanted nonfat milk in their lattes and Howard Schulz essentially said 'no way.' Why? Because a whole milk latte just tastes a hell of a lot better, and gosh darn it that's the way it's supposed to be. He eventually gave it a chance, to the tune of many many millions of dollars.

People want what they want, and pay for it. If that demand can be met, ethically and morally, and it's not being done, only stubborness and perhaps severe mental retardation are to blame.

- A.Ho -


The Primordial Stewardess said...

I'm reminded of a similarily wise statement:

The only diamond that's "too big" is on another woman's hand.

DM said...

Some things are worth holding up-if he feels there's a decline in the quality of his product by putting it in a can, then that matters.

I'm not saying your wise man was wrong. But I am saying that, considering who Sam Adams is trying to market to (beer snobs in general-who DO say that cans are inferior to bottles, overall) these kinds of things, in addtion to appealing to your market, garner you attention.

And there's no such thing as bad publicity.

A.Ho said...

Fiscally it doesn't matter.

Appealing to your market is a nice start. Serving your market is the recommended finish. People in stadiums and airports will buy Sam Adams. The playing field is the same for all the beers in these venues. Of course you want your product to be as good as possible, but sometimes it only needs to be the superior product.

A.Ho said...


Bottles are essentially outlawed in stadiums and airports. If our society outlawed bottles and cans became the next best option would Mr. Koch throw up his arms and say "Fuck it then."

DM said...

"People in stadiums and airports will buy Sam Adams. The playing field is the same for all the beers in these venues."

I disagree. Since beer costs upwards of 5+ bucks a cup-and I'm probaly lowballing; the actual price is probably closer to 6.50 or more, and that's for cheap stuff, the price of these things kicks in. Sam Adams at these venues-which are primarily served from taps, BTW so I'm not sure where you're going there-will push 8, maybe 9 bucks. People constantly bitch about how expensive stadium events are, and concessions are a part of that complaint. Yes they still go-but they do things to try and curb the costs as well.

People in airports can already buy Sam Adams-or any other beers, usually on tap, but even in a bottle and yes, post 9/11. I don't know as much about flights, since drinking while flying for me has been a bad idea.

You don't see the 'common man's' Jaguar, right? I think it's a similar thing. And when Anheiser Busch owns 2/3 of the marketshare (and I'm probably lowballing that too) anything you can do to appeal to more people-or make a better appeal to you target-is not a bad idea.