• Africans drink 7 litres of commercial beer per year.
• Chinese drink 35 litres of commercial beer per year.
• Americans drink 70+ litres of commercial beer per year.

(minute 7)

From my own little corner of the Earth, it looks like home-brewed beer is growing in appeal—as are micro-brews and wines & ciders made from fruits with a little more natural variation.

So it’s interesting that—just when my crowd is being led by Pied Piper Pollan away from Corporate Consistency-topia into the Land of Natural Individual Variation—those climbing up the Ladder of Disposable Income might drift the opposite direction.

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I was going to try to make an alluring mathematical comment on this story, but I’m out of steam. Here are the mathematical concepts involved in this story:

• "direction" — implies ∃ beer space, ∋ beer vectors
• this is a perceptual space — what are the dimensions? Is it linear?
• how would you mathematically model variable-versus-consistent beer tastes?

Maybe as a contour plot / heatmap of confidence intervals? Or a Schwartz distribution?

I wouldn’t assume that the variation is Gaussian. Whatever the taste / smell space looks like, a lot of the variation in homebrewing is due to creativity (discontinuous leaps to elsewhere in the space) — not just to production “errors” (which might in fact be normal).

PS Tusker Beer rules.

(Source: economist.com)

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