The importance of Storytelling

| april 29, 2013

Telling an inexperienced beer drinker they should try a certain beer because it’s got ‘X’ hops, ‘Y’ IBUs or multiple types of ‘Z’ malts is all very well and good but it’s probably more a feel-good demonstration of your beer smarts rather than an effective way to coax someone into trying more expressive beers.

After all, high alpha acid Columbus hops or dehusked Carafa malt may mean something to some of the more initiated beer drinkers among us but for the vast majority it all makes about as much sense as Sean Banan running for the post of Swedish Prime Minister.

Facts and figures ARE important but like toast without butter they can leave a dry taste in the mouth. They only tell us a bit about a beer. To really switch the lights on you’ve got to tell a story.

Storytelling is one of the most powerful techniques a brewery has to sell its beers. Tell someone your IPA is brewed using 6 different types of US hops and you may raise a drinker’s eyebrows. Tell them your head brewer (who happens to be called Bertil) flew all the way to the States to see the hops being harvested for himself and got stopped at customs on the way back with a kilo of Cascade in his luggage and that same drinker will be putting their hands in pockets reaching for their credit card.

Storytelling is important and it’s something I believe the Swedish beer industry needs to get better at, particularly in a rapidly expanding market where more and more brands are competing for ‘share of throat’. It’s the breweries that tell the best stories that will build the best communities.

A wonderful example of storytelling is the new video above which tells the story of Åbro Head Brewmaster Lennarth Anemyr’s trip over to the UK to brew a special edition pale ale  with John Keeling, Brewing Director at the famous Fuller’s brewery in London.

It’s so beautifully shot (at 11:12 in the sequence when the keg rolls from London to Vimmerby is stunning) that I felt engaged, homesick, inspired and intrigued all at the same time. I haven’t tried the beer yet but watching this video makes me want to find out how the story ends.










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Category: Articles in English

Comments (3)

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  1. Roger Karlsson skriver:

    It don’t end well! The Video is the only good thing about it.

  2. Wow! Many times even new micro craft brewers like us get a bit tired during the nights, to keep on telling our stories to skeptical bar owners and customers. This will be a reminder not to desist!

    Cheers from Baja, Mexico.

  3. BeerSwedenJoel skriver:

    Thank you Rodrigo and keep it up! /Joel