A Beer Of the People, By the People, For the People

This month Sam Adams launched a new project that invites its fans to crowd craft a new beer via Facebook. That’s right – fans of Samuel Adams on Facebook can now interact with the age-old Patriot brand and suggest different levels and options for color, clarity, body, malt (sweetness), hops (bitterness) and yeast (finish/ complex flavors). The interface was exceedingly easy and has also probably helped them gain more of a Facebook following (me included). However, you can only participate up until February 5th. So you better HOPS to it… okay – that was a bit of a stretch, I know.

The results of this collaborative recipe will be available for tasting at this year’s SXSW festival on March 10th. That only gives Sam Adams a little over a month to get it right, but they’ve committed to doing it all the same.

It’s not the first time that beer, wine, and spirit brands have looked to their fans for suggestions for their brand. Last year, Liquor Direct asked for a new name. And they didn’t go to a new agency to help them accomplish that brand-altering task. They went to their fans.

Heineken is another company that experimented with its brand with the help of the crowd. In order to give its brand a kick in order to celebrate its 140th anniversary, the invited designers from around the world to create a new bottle label for the commemorative bottles to be released in December 2012 (winners to be announced in March). The contest just ended and I’m interested to see what the designers have come up with.

And just recently, Middle Sister wines collaborated with their fans (also through facebook) to create Middle Sister Sweetie Pie (a red table wine) and plans to continue to keep the vineyard conversation going in just that way as they moved forward as well.

How do you think alcohol and crowdsourcing mix? Is there any way to really influence something’s taste in the crowdsourcing realm?

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