Time 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:
Okay, 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.
And 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.
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!