I really don’t know what to make of today’s so called International Beer Day.
According to the official website, it was founded by a couple of San Franciscans in 2007 and is now a “global celebration of beer”. While it does seem to be spreading slowly, it seems to be have primarily adopted by unimaginative marketers as something to hang a branding campaign off rather than a true grassroots celebration of beer.
In my experience, based on a survey of my inbox over the last few years, celebration of it pretty much involves either or both of the two major brewing companies sending out a media release in which a PR flack has spent 15 minutes collecting beer trivia or commissioning a dodgy survey about beer, and then folding that into a media release saying ‘drink our beer on International Brewers Day’. No harm really, but hardly an international uprising celebrating the miracle of fermentation of grain.
Fortunately it hasn’t yet reached the capacity the a celebration such as St Patrick’s Day has to move huge volumes of liquid while simultaneously making beer the bad guy of street culture in the eyes of licencing regulators.
Enjoy a selection of PR releases from the past few years, including this year’s from Lion below, which not only includes the classic survey, but also the other PR standard, the world record attempt.
- CUB 2011 – “A devout beer lover is called a cerevisaphile (pronounced sir-a-vehs-a-file”
- Lion 2013 – “Beer myths busted on International Beer Day”
- CUB 2013 – CUB stopped sending their IBD releases through, but you can see the gist here.
Anyway, the stated aim of that day is that “It’s a day for beer lovers everywhere to raise a toast to our brewers and bartenders, and rejoice in the greatness of beer!” Worthy sentiments, no matter how the day is co-opted. [MK]
New survey reveals no beers before cheers
July, 2014 – With International Beer Day just around the corner on August 1, a new survey has confirmed that there is so much more to simply enjoying the nation’s most popular alcoholic beverage ((Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics – 21 July, 2014)) , with 75% of adult Australians embracing in a cultural ritual before taking the first sip of beer.
The top beer drinking traditions include saying cheers (56%), shouting a round of drinks for friends (31%), pouring a drink for everyone in the group before themselves (31%), looking a drinking partner in the eye when clinking glasses (20%) and saying cheers in a different language (15%). Women beer drinkers are more likely than men to say cheers, but guys are more likely to buy a round of beers for their friends.
The survey, conducted by Galaxy Research ((On behalf of Lion, the country’s largest brewer )) , enlisted more than 1,000 adult Australians to find out about their approach to beer drinking rituals and experiences in the lead up to International Beer Day, a worldwide celebration of beer, on Friday 1st August.
Aussie beer drinkers are an adventurous bunch with 92% of them admitting to trying out the local brew when overseas. In fact, 77% of adult beer drinkers have also experienced at least one iconic beer experience with the most popular traditions including toasting Australia Day with friends, adding some lime for the Mexican flavour experience or simply dropping into the local brewery while overseas to see how the magic happens.
The Beer Pilgrim, a lover and discoverer of beer, recently embarked on a journey to uncover the role that beer plays in the many cultures living in Australia, and discovered that while drinking customs around the world are incredibly diverse, the symbolism behind them is quite similar.
“Many cultures practice their own unique rituals while enjoying their favourite beer, but the common thread that connects many of them is the way that they are designed to bring adults together, and build a sense of community,” said The Beer Pilgrim.
“Having a beer has long been acknowledged as a social leveller, where people from all cultures can come to the table as equals, and enjoy an environment where openness and acceptance is embraced. So it’s not surprising that enjoying a beer has come through as something that brings adult Australians together, along with celebrating our diversity and national pride,” added The Beer Pilgrim.
Many intrepid Australian beer drinkers have also experienced an iconic beer tradition overseas, including enjoying a Guinness in Ireland on St Patrick’s Day (11%), attending Oktoberfest in Germany (11%), drinking a beer with ice in it to keep it cold in South East Asia (17%) and drinking a warm pint in the UK (20%).
“International Beer Day is a global celebration of beer, and is a day for adult Australians to raise a toast to this humble beverage. It is also a chance for people to taste a new nation, by choosing something a little different. If your preferred style of beer is a lager, why not try a hoppy pale ale or a stout, and if you always reach for a local brand, there is no better time to sample an international beer,” said The Beer Pilgrim.
The Beer Pilgrim is also inviting Sydney-siders over the age of 18 from all countries, cultures and backgrounds to come together and take part in a World Record attempt for the ‘largest beer tasting at a single venue’ on International Beer Day, Friday 1 August 2014, at Level 3, Ivy Sunroom, 330 George St.
The World Record attempt starts from 6pm and adult participants are asked to arrive by 5.30pm to secure their spot and collect a tasting paddle, containing a selection of three local and international beers to sample for free. (Limited to the first 350 people aged 18+).
For more information, visit www.merivale.com.au/whats-on/event/international-beer-day
Key findings of 2014 International Beer Day survey:
What iconic beer experiences have you taken part in?
- Toasted Australia with a local beer on Australia Day (49%)
- Enjoyed a beer the Mexican way with a lime in it (37%)
- Visited a local brewery while travelling (27%)
- Drunk a warm pint in the UK (20%)
- Drunk a beer with ice in it to keep it cold in SE Asia (17%)
- Had a Guinness in Ireland on St Patrick’s Day (11%)
- Attended Oktoberfest in Germany (11%)
- Observed Chinese custom by being served a drink first (9%)
Top 3 things that unite Australians:
- Sport (64%)
- Celebrating Australia Day (60%)
- Enjoying a beer with friends and family (59%)
Lion brings together great household brand names including Tooheys, Dairy Farmers, XXXX, PURA, Hahn, Berri, Speight’s, King Island Dairy, Boag’s, Yoplait, Wither Hills and COON.
We believe business success comes from investing in our people and brands and by constructively engaging our stakeholders. Lion employs over 7,000 people across Australia and New Zealand and delivers revenues in excess of AU$5 billion.
In addition to direct employment, we make a significant contribution to the Australian and New Zealand economies. We are one of the region’s largest purchasers of agricultural goods and an integral component of the retail, hospitality and tourism industries.
Our products accompany life’s sociable moments, whether it’s a family meal or good times at the pub with friends. Dairy, juice, soy and the responsible enjoyment of alcohol beverages are all part of a healthy lifestyle for many people and we aim to maximise the community wellbeing arising from the enjoyment of our products while playing a leading role in helping the community minimise misuse.
About The Beer Pilgrim
The Beer Pilgrim is Tim Charody, a beer lover who is not only thirsty for knowledge about his favourite drink but is keen to share his discoveries with Australian drinkers. Armed with a toolkit that includes a camera, passport and a love of beer, he is prepared to travel the world in his pursuit of information.
Bound together by a mutual passion for beer, Lion is supporting The Beer Pilgrim in his pursuit to discover everything there is to know about this humble drink, and subsequently help increase our knowledge of all things beer in Australia.
Follow his journey at www.facebook.com/TheBeerPilgrim