Focus Group Information Series

This week I’ll offer insights per specific focus group input.

Let me first say, by now I’ve conducted numerous focus groups, all women (men are next), age ranges from 21 – 80+. The majority of those who have attended focus groups so far have seemed to be in their 30’s to early 50’s. The data I collect is qualitative psycho graphic – meaning the information is based in how people

Focus Group Beer Samplers await

Focus Group Beer Samplers await

feel, what they value and so forth.

Beer is an emotional “thing.” It evokes strong feelings – both of enthusiasm and otherwise. Qualitative data WEB collects is reflective of how people, specifically women, react to beer and interact with it.

If you want numbers, I can give them to you as well. For now, I’ll use words such as majority, minority, most, fewer, etc.

Judith Langer, The Mirrored Window, sums it up well. Paraphrased she tells us qualitative information goes way beyond demographics, attitude and behaviors. It involves body language, voice variations, emotions. It’s about how people live, what they think, how they live, what they value.

Why Women Enjoying Beer?

  1. Because of the people involved in the beer industry. They are, almost without exception, engaged, progressive, thoughtful, fun, intelligent people. That makes me want to contribute to their further success.
  2. Because I am the poster child of who your market is (I was there 7 years ago) so I can speak to the journey of beer discovery and therefore am a good resource to help grow the female market share.
  3. Because the consumer angle needs attention. It needs to come right from the consumer, not from industry experts”, pure unadulterated information. The female consumer, at 50.9% of the population, will and does significantly impact beer sales.
  4. Because it’s about opportunity. Females able to enjoy beer and grow their knowledge and therefore their patronage, breweries to accurately and authentically develop that segment of the market. Gender is incidental in many ways – and still needs to be addressed.

So tune in this week, share it forward. There’s way more where this comes from.


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Rob & TBC

Rob would most likely get along well with Cheryl and Kelly at The Better Cheddar in Kansas City. Here’s why.

Beer goes with cheese.

Deidre, Cheryl, Ginger & Jennifer (Kelly unseen) at The Better Cheddar

Deidre, Cheryl, Ginger & Jennifer (Kelly unseen) at The Better Cheddar

Here are your instructions:

  1. Buy beer.
  2. Buy cheese.
  3. Pair and eat.

You can get more sophisticated – asking a specialist is very helpful (see afore mentioned folks). And it will certainly streamline the tastebud festivities.

It’s that simple.

One thing Women Enjoying Beer offers is private tasting events (I’ve got lots of great specialists to tap into and help me best pair) as well as assist beer businesses to organize and host these types of events.

And that’s simple too.

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Maybe you already know of Darcy Quinn and Rubicon (and friends). Teri was good enough to connect us – thanks (she’s good at that).

Here’s an excerpt from an email I just got from Darcy (she signed off on being blogged).

I am the Director of Sales and Marketing at the Rubicon Brewing Company, a co-worker (great friend) and I started the Women in Brewing simply because we love beer.

We just celebrated or 3rd Annual WOMEN IN BREWING event back in late April.

The Women in Brewing is an event to bring recognition to Women in the Brewing industry while raising $ and awareness for Sacramento’s local Women and Family abuse charity, WEAVE (

We invite (female) brewers to our event – held at the Rubicon- to showcase some of their special recipe(s) and hard to find brews.

Some of the (women) make the journey to the Rubicon to hang out and chat with event goers and enjoy a day in the sun with their fellow Brewsters.

This event is not a competition nor is it a “brewfest”, it is a regular day at the Rubicon Brewing Company pub, we just have some fabulous “brewed by women” beer on tap to taste in sample – goblet – pint.

We are not able to serve Homebrew beer due to ABC and State laws, but the RUBICON does hold an annual brewer for a day competition where homebrewers are able to submit their beer for tasting by our brewers, owner and beer lovers… the winner then gets to brew her(/his) recipe on our system…lotttts of fun.

Cheers to Women in the Brewing Industry,


Authenticity rings true here.

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A Very Tasty Style

Reading about sour beers makes my mouth water. They’re one of my favorites – and apparently many people all over are discovering them.

p1020517They’re complex, delicious, surprising, a great food complement, refreshingly different than a lot of other styles, gorgeous in their appropriate glassware and just plan incredible to drink.

Nate apparently agrees.

Next time I to get to California, you can be sure I’ll be looking up Patrick as his brewery specializes Belgians, a very tasty style which is apparently and generally the parent of sours (someone correct me if I’m wrong).

I like to pair a sour with a rich chocolate or fruit dish. Try it today – after all, beer is and remains an affordable luxury.

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Feel Free To Rant, Bryce

I raise my pint to Bryce today.

Of course women like beer. Why wouldn’t they?

p1020526Of course women are to be marketed differently than men. You market differently to men than you do women, yes? And you market to kids differently than you market to adults. You market differently to …well, hopefully you’re getting (if you’ve not already gotten) the  picture. It’s a no brainer if you’re using your brain.

And of course, you have to start marketing to a segment – yes, it starts small – to see progress. Every segment starts small. Saying women is a small segment is a HUGE mistake – they’re 50.9% of the population. Last time I checked, that was a majority. Want a piece of that marketshare pie?

Like I stated in Boston at the CBC presentation: it’s about a business opportunity. It could be brunettes or people with dogs. It’s a market segment.

Treat it like any other market segment you’d go after. Authentically and accurately.

Bryce, the next beer’s on me. Thanks.

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Phil It Up

Phil & Larry

Phil & Larry

One of the most crazy fun people I have met and love to run into is Phil.

I had the pleasure of meeting him a number of years back now and saw him at a festival this spring.

What a treat!

Seeing Phil, now having met his equally fun, beer enthusiast wife Mary, and drinking good beer together. Fundraiser, family, and nice weather. Good Combo.

Phil has colorful stories – tells them well – and has a great laugh, positive energy, and is an overall upper. Ask him about some goat stories sometime.

Thanks Phil! Coming for a visit any time soon??

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Glaring Omission

You tell me what’s missing from what would otherwise be a clever and well done video.

Hell (yes, this pisses me off), Sam’s in it and his wife is his partner.

I KNOW there hundreds of non-represented people per this video…It flabbergasts and appalls me.

ESPECIALLY since in the video they say there are approximately 750,000 home brewers. 3 quarters of a million people for hop’s sake – did it occur to anyone that there is more than one sex?? Obviously not.

ESPECIALLY since it states in the video “men & women craft brewers”…

How about Susan Ruud? Or all the others like Jennifer Helber (Lab Science Etc.), my friend Jen, Canadians, and those in the Iowa Brewers Guild??

This is why stereotypes, inaccurate ones at that, perpetuate.

Who, in the production of this video, missed it??

“A fat lot of crap” is right. Geez.

If you have any females in your life that matter to you at all, you are grossly remiss in thinking about the other 50(.9)% of the population.

A small percentage will only grow when they are given representation and the opportunity to grow.

Pay attention.

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Can Anyone Send Me Some??

p1020266One of my favorite beers happens to be Full Sail’s Session Lager. The last time I had it was when I took an (all too) brief trip to Oregon this past spring.

Alas! While I appreciate and respect that the beer is not available in the state I currently reside in, and I know it’s a pain (with some legal mish mash thrown in) to get the beer here…I’d LOVE some of their new Session Black.

Can or would anyone be willing or able to get me some?

…my mouth is watering…

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Did I Pass This Forward Already?

Education & Beer

Education & Beer

If I did not, here it is. Fal Allen’s exhaustive list of terms.

Even if I already did, it’s important to remember: The customer is not the expert.

Give them education or give them bad beer (with apologies to Patrick Henry).

KEY HERE: A lot of people do not know what “Craft” beer means. Explain it to them, help them learn and distinguish. At the same time, teach them what non craft beer is as well. Turn about it fair play in the education arena.

I’m not saying customers are stupid; I’m saying that you have to educate, constantly – your own staff too. Customers are smart – they know what they want to know and sometimes do not know what they don’t know (you know??).

Give it to them.

Photo courtesy of Flickr by sarasita

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Let Me Ask You…

Why do you do what you do?

Why is it important to the people you serve?

Why does the existence of your organization matter?

What does growth mean to you?

How are you proactively searching out clientele?

Are you putting yourself in the customers shoes?

How can you make business better?

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Focused On Kansas City

Today is the 2nd day of a series of events in Kansas City for WomenEnjoyingBeer. After an announcement posted on the Brewers Association Forum asking for volunteers, willing breweries and other enthusiasts who may be interested in participating, here we are.

WEB will be collaborating with Boulevard Brewing for a focus group, hosting a private event (tasting pairing/recreational – group of  friends), and collaborating again – this time with Gordon Biersch for a focus group.

Looks to be a fabulous line up!

Deidre with a good beer

Deidre with a good beer

A hearty, glass raised thank you to all who indicated interest, offered to collaborate or help, and enthusiastically are wanting to further the idea of real women drinking beer.

The response speaks to the fact that there are lots of engaged people – professionally and personally – who are interested in women & beer.

Let’s recruit more.

KC is a big beer town in many ways and I am very excited to be there. We’ll be back in fact in September again – so if you missed it this time, get in touch, tell me how you want to work together – business wise or personally.

Look for St. Louis or your city soon as well as men’s focus groups. Tell me what you want and we can make it happen.

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Parke It

Enlightened folks are numerous…at the same time, unenlightened folks are just as numerous.

If you’re a brewery or brewer,

  • How do you go about enlightening consumers?
  • How do you teach them, offer them education to enjoy your beers & learn about them?
  • Appreciate them in moderation?
  • Come back for more?
  • Spread the word?

One enlightened folk who I really like is Steve Parkes. Not only does he have a great smile and common sense, he’s sharp, tuned in and switched on to the relationship of women and beer.

“There’s been a lot of talk over the years I’ve been in the industry (26 and counting) about how to lure women into the fold of regular beer drinkers… Of course my wife enjoys beer but she knows exactly what she likes and is not likely to fall for gimmicks.”

Gimmicks be damned. It’s not about gimmicks. It’s about authenticity and accuracy, asking women what they want – just as you’d ask any target market if you know what the heck you’re doing to get the answers you need (not just the ones you want).

Smart women, smart man. I can’t wait to join you both for a beer –


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What Women Want

Since my speciality is authentically and accurately marketing beer to women, I get

Minneapolis Focus Group, May 2009

Minneapolis Focus Group, May 2009

asked over and over “What do women want?”.

While I am unable to answer that question on the big scale, I am able to offer some insight on the female consumer beer front.

So far, I’ve identified over 30 categories, specifically (and growing) that women are talking about in relation to beer. Everything from health & beer (needs a ton of enlightenment) to where women drink to flavor & taste issues.

Get in touch when you want to find out how to better reach the 50.9% of the population that happens to be female.

There’s potential coming out your mash tun.

One comment

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Coming Right Up!

If ever there was a good idea, this is it. International Brewers Day.

The Oberon Sun is shining on Laura

The Oberon Sun is shining on Laura

See Jay’s blog (he naturally includes women), see the post ala last year’s kickoff, and enjoy a good beer with someone who also enjoys a good beer.

Better yet, include a friend who is hesitant or not as familiar. The best bet is to just try it. A mix and match 6 pack is a terrific way to start (low commitment, good variety you select yourself). A sampler or flight offered at pubs is also a fabulous way to try and learn. (Although this link author totally neglected women.)

Partner good beer with good food and good company and you’ve got a winning combination.

As the old Life Cereal ad extolled, try it – you’ll like it!

p.s. here’s another one coming up…

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Regular Jill's

dalla-fort-worth-airports-askylinkTalking to people comes naturally to me. And for the most part I’m glad to strike up a conversation with another person when opportunity seems ripe.

Take Tara and Aud for example.

I met Tara when I sat down at the Chili’s bar in the Dallas Fort Worth airport a few months back. She was friendly (should be as a tender) and seemed relaxed and glad to be there (she told me she was). She answered my questions (hadn’t had Shiner, why wasn’t the local beer on tap, did she like her work) and made my experience pleasant. Late plane – not a big deal when I can have a beer while waiting.

Aud – met her at the same place. She’s from California – where I was headed – and was relaxed and seemed fine with our informal conversation. Smart, engaged, loves her work, beer enthusiast (likes the Pales).

Information – like great people – is everywhere. You gather it formally or informally. It’s all relevant, all telling, all interesting.

Message today = Good real women exist everywhere and they want good beer.

Who have you talked to lately?

Photo courtesy of Flickr by Jimmy – Lin

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It’s worth the effort.

Piece Brewery & Pizzeria. This is where the classic combination (stereotypical or not) is right on.

I had the distinct and full palate pleasure to enjoying tasty beer with hot tasty pizza a short bit back. Can’t wait to go for more.

What makes it great:

  • Overall experience
  • Happy, knowledgeable server
  • Fresh made, hot flavorful pizza
  • Fun atmosphere – watched part of the Cup playoffs…haven’t done that in years.
  • Quality beer, good variety
  • Beer, pizza & hockey turned on its ear.
  • Good value, clean place

Maybe Jennifer and I can find a good place in Kansas City…I bet we can.

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Do It Right – Or Don't Do It

This could be said for a great many things. I bring it up today remembering a brief interchange with David Walker this past May in San Diego.

“If you’re going to make a chair, make a chair.”

A chair is not a chair...

A chair is not a chair...

Okay – chairs…beer…women…Huh?

The overarching idea I took away from the exchange is that we can relate it to anything. Said another way, if you’re going to put effort into something, make sure the goal and the effort are worth it.

Chairs, beer, widgets. Quality & attention to detail pays off in everything.

Besides, women are paying attention. So are men.

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