I have took recently to using mainstream drinkers to test out giving beers I like and see how they react when given a “craft” version of the beers they normally drink. For example, when a lager drinker visited a month or so ago, I served up Meantime London Lager and William Bros Caesar Augustus. I didn’t mention what they were getting, it was just given, on this occasion the beers were enjoyed and it shows that not a lot needs to be done to get people drinking good beer.
Last night I visited a friends house who is a Boddingtons Drinker normally but appreciates a good beer, so I decided to take a range of local Yorkshire beers. On offer were 3 different single hop beers from Mallinsons varying from citrus lead to a dryer bitter hop (for the record they were Centennial, Brewers Gold, Nelson Sauvin), the Chocolate Stout and Eye Pea Ay from the same company and Naylors Black and Tan. I served the single hops beers in order of decreasing citrus flavours, mixing in the other 3 beers over the night.
Over the night, he enjoyed all the beers, deciding at the end of the night that her prefers the drier hopped beers, that the black and tan reminded him of Old Peculiar (not had it in a long time, so cannot verify this observation) and after initial wariness about the Chocolate Stout he really liked it, actually not really noticing the chocolate element. He also mentioned the unfiltered nature of some the beers and accepted it.
Subtle education is key to converting people over to the smaller brewers, not being told, but being given the chance to try the beers with no commitment.