Social media drinking reveals regional tastes
- At the University of Kentucky, Mathew Zook, associate professor of geography, and Ate Poorhuis, a PhD student, looked at a million tweets that included location-associated information and the keywords "beer" or "wine" to uncover regional preferences.
- The tweets, which were sent between June 2012 and May 2013, referred to a number of beer brands, primarily light and pale lagers, which the two researchers were able to map.
- Their findings were included in a chapter of the new book, The Geography of Beer.
“Beer, like many other social practices, may be millenniums old but the socio-spatial practices associated with it – checking into a brewery, posting a review, geotagging a photo – continue to evolve and therefore our approaches to data and research must also evolve to capture these geographies,” Poorthuis observed.
As for wine, the majority of tweets on that subject were sent by wine-growing regions such as northern and central California, Oregon, and Washington. Residents of both U.S. coastal regions were also found to tweet more often about wine, while people from several Midwestern states, including Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, posted primarily about beer. This type of information can prove very valuable for food marketers, distributors, and even producers.