Drunken Speculation

Session #81 – Women and Beer

sessionsTime once again to tackle the Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday: a monthly opportunity for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their unique perspective on the same topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts The Session, chooses a topic, and creates a round-up that lists all of the participants.

This month’s topic, hosted by Nichole (a.k.a Nitch) at Tasting Nitch, is Women and Beer: Scary Beer Feminists or a Healthy Growing Demographic?

And, instead of following the usual Beer Blogging Friday format of debating a topic or question, Nitch has invited posts on all matters concerning women and beer and vice versa.

So without further ado here’s my two cents worth…

Women and beer and the increasing number of women who call themselves craft beer converts/enthusiasts/[insert other appropriate noun here] is fantastic. In my view, diversity in anything is always a positive and it’s no wonder many companies in the last several years have started adopting strategies to greater diversify their workforces.

The craft beer industry also has much to gain from expanding on beer’s historically male-centric target demographic to include women – essentially doubling that demographic.

But alas, mainstream society is still against us girls and we’ve got to chip away at old biases and ill-conceived notions of women and beer. Whether in the realm of craft beer or larger beer conglomerates, marketing is clearly still geared towards men and for the vast majority is aimed at appealing to their masculinity. For instance, here is a [biased] selection of labels from Australian craft beers:

angryManTh

bettyLogo-MWBOkay, you catch my drift. Now do a quick Google image search of the terms ‘women and beer’ and you’ll see what I mean about preconceptions on the topic. It’s all about the skimpy outfits and the cleavage, man.

beer and women googleAnd then there’s the other common misconception that we girls only dig the blondes and the fruity beers. (I admit I’m partial to the fruity variety, but my love of beer doesn’t stop there). Try a search for ‘beer for women’ and see what the first images returned are.

beerforwomenSurprise, they’re blonde lagers, fruit beers and light beers.

No doubt I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know or at least suspect. But it’s important to highlight that women are gaining ground in this traditionally male dominated arena (scroll down the images and in between all the overt sexual imagery you’ll find some gems; in fact, I just bought a t-shirt) and doing great things here in Australia and no doubt the rest of the world too.

We’re not all bimbos like the majority of those pictured above and you’ll do well to include us in your marketing strategies. It was interesting to see that at my company’s monthly drinks a couple of weeks ago, roughly one third of the birds were drinking beer. One third! Imagine what that could be if beers were better marketed towards us.

So, conclusively, maybe you’re thinking I’m a scary beer feminist (a girl can dream!), but I honestly don’t see myself as that. In fact, it hasn’t been until this post that I think I’ve even mentioned my gender because I don’t see it as or want it to be an issue.

In any event, I tend to favour the latter ‘healthy growing demographic’ conclusion – and if breweries and brewers are to ignore this growth in the market, it will no doubt be to their detriment. Beer-drinking seen as a male pastime and a sign of a bloke’s masculinity is a thing of the past; now just to make that notion the predominant one. Keep at it girls!

5 comments

  1. I’m pissed that November came around so quickly because this is an excellent topic, and I think more scary beer feminists would be a great thing – if only to prevent lecherously sexist labels such as the porter above.

    • ammo

      Ditto, wish I’d had more time to gather my thoughts on this. Beerisyourfriend did a pretty good post if you’re interested.

  2. Pingback: The Session #81- Round 'er up! | Tasting Nitch

  3. Pingback: On sexism and racism in local micro-beer. « The Westbender

  4. Carolyn

    Hi Ammo,
    I agree that beer is becoming a favourite on the taste buds of most females I know. The white wine in hand seems to be phasing out of my circles and replaced with a pot or pint :). I’d also like to thank you for drafting your blog in a way that does not condemn any one brand in particular or use unnecessarily wordy language just to sound educated. I struggle with the idea though that the women depicted in these searches and decals are “bimbos” just because they are dressed in sexy attire. I don’t believe any woman would stop before they order a great tasting beer with a pinup and say, no, I don’t support showcasing women as playful and seductive. Also, look at Sharon Stone. Does her IQ get dismissed the second she poses for a sexy photoshoot? In relation to the Porter that Jack has slammed, I predict most women with the name Betty would instantly buy that beer and they’d do it for the same concept that Coca Cola banked on in their “share a coke” campaign. Sales were driven skywards because people were able to personalise the bottles with their own names. Beer is business. That was a good business move. The “My Wife’s bitter – a bit on the side” is just a pun. Sure I wouldn’t like that to happen to me, but I can still appreciate the clever use of the word bitter and how it ties in with their beer. I appreciate what you are trying to accomplish, but shouldn’t we be encouraging more delicious beers to choose from instead of squashing the small breweries with negative criticism? Thanks for your time.

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