A certain pub owner served nothing but the finest beers -- Guinness, Smithwick's, Samuel Adams, Widmer, Rogue -- his selection was exquisite. Many years of prosperity had made him very wealthy, but as his clientelle aged his business was no longer thriving. Reflecting on this, he decided that he missed the packed houses and lively conversations more than he would miss his money, so one night he went out and posted a sign: "Free Beer". Still the crowds did not come.
For many nights he sat at his bar and puzzled over this. He discussed it at length with his remaining patrons. They didn't understand why people wouldn't rush to accept this generous offer.
One day he left his establishment and went out for a walk. He was amazed to find that his competitors had people in the streets handing out free beer to anyone who would take it. People in the public square chased after passers-by trying to convince them to try their beer. A sign announced a free beer festival in the park that weekend. He went to one of these competing businesses and found that they were serving Pabst Blue Ribbon and Milwaukee's Best, but the place was packed.
He returned to his own pub to consider what he had seen. His competitors, he reasoned, must be just as desperate as he was, having also resorted to giving out free beer, but they, having less money and more customers, couldn't afford to give away quality beer as he did. So he sat back and waited. Eventually the people in the streets would come to him.
But he waited and waited, and the crowds did not come. He decided that perhaps the common people lacked the refined taste to appreciate his beers. The beers his competitors offered must have more appeal to the common folk, he thought. So he put out a sign announcing a "PBR Night" once a week. A few new faces came in, and a few of them became regular customers, but he didn't draw the crowds he had hoped for.
Eventually, the man grew old and died, never having recaptured the great crowds he remembered from his glory days.