Say What (exactly)?

This article seems to go nowhere. Not sure what to even extrapolate…

Were way too many non connected questions asked of the survey participants? Were participants qualified? And to what end?

Craft beer is so minutely represented here (and then mass grouped) that I find it hard to believe this article holds any credibility.

Plus having done research on women and beer (which is continually ongoing) I find the gender inferences both ways, comments or sometimes blatant disregard staggering and sadly uneducated.

When you talk to a population about anything, you have to be more specific, hone in, not run all over the map. Information with no quantification is rather unusable.

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Sunday Funday at Stone

Sunday brought us to Stone Brewing in Escondido California. Once again Julie, PubQuest, and I conducted a Geography of Beer event. Here’s the announcement.

Geography of Beer event at Stone

Geography of Beer event at Stone

Thanks to those who attended  – Fiona, Mike, Phyllis, Marty, Karen, Sandy, Bob, Howard, Barbara, Allan, and the lot. Thanks to Greg, Stephanie, Kathryn, Cale, Paddy, and the crew who helped us make it a great event at Stone.

Once again, an event like this clearly shows that education, interested people and good beer make a great productive combination.

How’d it work?

  • We highlighted 5 beers, from 5 states – starting with Stone’s own Oaked Arrogant Bastard
  • We talked about the beers themselves
  • We discussed the state of the beer and the beer of the state
  • Along with engaging audience questions and the tasting – well, an hour flew by pretty quickly

Call upon either of us – Julie or myself – to line up your own Geography of Beer. Whether you’re a brewery, brewpub, brewhouse or private party.

It’s all for the love of beer.

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SDBC (In This Case It Stands For…)

Tyson at SDBC

Tyson at SDBC

San Diego Brewing Company.

A big fat pint of thanks to Tyson and all the fine folks at San Diego Brewing Company for their hospitality this past Saturday. Julie, my fabulous new PubQuest comrade, and I had an event at SDBC to talk about The Geography Of Beer. Here’s the announcement.

We did some brainstorming (she in San Diego, me on the road) to develop a fun and educational format for the attendees, Julie did a terrific job at working with SDBC to set up the event, and voila!

5 Beers, 5 states, education, fun people = Winning Combination. Hope to get back to San Diego soon.

When you educate, you bust myths, you open minds and taste buds, and therefore can realize more people enjoying your beers.

Let us know when you’d like to host your own Geography Of Beer – it’s one service we do to help serve the beer community.

Oh – and if you live anywhere close to San Diego, be sure to take in San Diego Beer Week.

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Thanks Ronnie!

Me before an educational event at Snake River Brewing - thanks Chris!

Me before an educational event at Snake River Brewing - thanks Chris!

A big shout out of thanks to Ronnie for generating some great conversation ala his blog. Read it here.

Clearly, some of the readers who commented get it. Clearly others do not. I’ll chime in in a few days…after more conversation has been had.

For the moment:

  • 1. What I’m accomplishing is authentically and accurately helping develop a market share for an intelligent market who is receptive and listening.
  • 2. If you read my blog at all, you know WEB is not about gender when it all boils down. If you’re getting that out of it, you should reread posts and pages. Do you criticize out Rick Lyke for marketing beer to men for his purpose??
  • 3. Conversation is the key to progress. I for one love the conversation that has been generated so far. Keep it coming!

Thanks Ronnie – see you Houston soon for a beer to two.

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Solar System

SNBC solar system

SNBC solar system

“We have our own solar system.”

Ha!! True enough – and said quite innocently and proudly (not arrogantly) by Terence from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

On the tour that Steve helped line up and Terence so generously gave us, we were highly impressed by the fact that the ‘solar system’ they have installed at their brewery provides the huge lions share of their energy needs.

How many other businesses can say the same?

They do it because it’s the right thing to do too. Not to get attention, not to show off. Quite the contrary.

It’s their culture that fits this kind of action and this action that fits their culture.

Beers up to you all SNBC!

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Standing Amazed

p1030175An enormous and humble THANKS to Alex, Danielle and the entire crew at Standing Stone Brewing Company for their hospitality, attention and good humor. They invited me to come to beautiful Ashland, OR last weekend on the trip to do some work together.

The crew, lead by Alex & Danielle, was very receptive, open, had great questions and in general it was a smashing success (ask them – they’re honest folks).

We covered:

1. The Customer Experience – customer service refresher & reinforcement; development of a Customer Service Committee (brilliant idea)

Sustainability wheel at Standing Stone

Sustainability wheel at Standing Stone

2. Beer – Women & Beer (educational beer dinner for female staffers and a few select guests only), Beer education for the whole company (FOH & BOH with a professional brew master as well), and a Beer Advisory Panel.

3. Long range planning

The facility is quite lovely, a comfortable size and has generous outside seating. Their sustainability practices are many and pride in what they do shows.

Are they perfect? No. Do they know that? Yes. That is exactly why Alex invited me in. To help the upward curve – to better serve the customer and in doing so, they better serve themselves.

The original Win -Win.

My stetson tips to Alex, Danielle, Diane, Rachel, Matt, Ashley, Michael, Anna, Javier, Carlos, Alberto, Erik, Adam, Alicia, Lindsey, Alison, Mike, Tim, Andy, Melza, Jeff, Ken, Rob, Karen, Don, Thomas, Meg, Sophie, and the rest. Hope to see you all again soon.



Gluten Free Tasting

p1030012Last night our good friend April held a tasting event for several fun lovers in Kirkland WA. Common denominator was gluten free. Got it. Easy to accommodate.


Because there are more and more choices for gluten free beers as well as numerous choices for hard Ciders.

Here’s what we had.

  • Course 1 Redbridge with soft tangy Chevre on a crisp soy rice cracker
  • Course 2Newton’s Folly Draft Cider with fresh Washington Honeycrisp apples, apple smoked garlic cheddar cheese on corn/potato/rice tortilla chips
  • Course 3 –  Fox Barrel Red Currant Cider with fresh spinach and mixed greens salad with local melon, pears and slivered almonds drizzled with Champagne pear Gorgonzola dressing.
  • Course 4Green’s Amber Ale with freshly smoked salmon
  • Course 5 Bard’s Gold with Dagoba dark chocolate

Mmmmmmm…. all tasty, all gluten free, all good.

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Last night 19 women came together at Snake River for a Women & Beer event. They crammed the room full because they were interested in hearing about beer, talking about it and enoying others’ company.

p1020853We discussed history of women in beer, taste palates, how the micro movement has been a very good thing for craft brewing, how I got where I am (poster child story) and a ton more. Oh – and the tasting was big education for many.

The cozy room SRB provided, the 3 – 5 ounce pours of beer, the interest and then the questions….Questions generally start coming about half to two-thirds of the way into an event. The questions are really engaging, indicate the intelliegence of the female beer drinker and are great fodder for discussion. Plus it helps me continue to learn more so I can better serve.

Last nights group definitely gave me some more good things to think about and educate myself in. Just how I like it.

So cheers to Lenore, Ali, Tori, Jill, Jackie, Ashley and all the others. You made the evening great. As I have always said, the guests make the party.

I’d wager that the patrons who were present last night (everyone) will be trying more different beer from now on.

Thank you for the opportunity to spend upwards of two and a half hours together (originally slated for one and half!).

Thanks to Snake River – Chris for inviting me in and Ali, Sarah and the entire crew for being game and having fun with it. It was indeed my pleasure. Be very glad to come back to Jackson anytime. Preferably when there’s snow on the ground…or when it’s warm…or….

To you readers (brewers and consumer alike) – this is an excellent example of how Women Enjoying Beer educates, informs, provides a forum for discussion, empowers, and in general has a great time authentically and accurately serving the female beer consumer. Call upon me when I may be of service.

All for the love of beer.

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Miss/Information and Ass/Umptions

This kind of quote scares me. It’s a perfect example of someone being totally off base.

I’m not saying opinions are invalid – yet uninformed or ill informed or prejudgment type statements are dicey at best.

How did the Faust’s  come to that conclusion (last line of the article)?

  • Did they actually ask a cross section of women?
  • Did they make this erroneous assumption themselves based on what they think women want?

It’s always disappointing to read or hear ignorantly stereotypical, uninformed statements.

One interpretation is that this Mr. Faust (and Ms. Faust?) sees most women at his winery drinking wine. Well…kind of goes to follow that that would be a case, yes? I would venture a guess most men visiting his winery would also drink the wine. Just like most people visiting breweries drink the beer.

I can help correct this incorrect mindset (and therefore increase your business) with a focus group execution of their specific market share, locals and supports who would (I guarantee) change his mind.

As an aside, Kim of Nebraska Brewing was at my session at the CBC this past spring so I know she knows that women do in fact enjoy beer.

Open your mind to the other 50.9% of the population (and business) and you’ll be richly rewarded.

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Myth Busting

Good article to read when trying to bust the myth of beer being unhealthy. So is zucchini in great quantities.

Here’s another. And another. And another.

Quantity and frequency are the key – to darn near everything. Moderation, savoring, enjoying, taking your time.

It would seem to be that anything is excess is, well, excessive and therefore not good.

I just wonder why, if the article is about ‘older’ women, they chose a younger women for the picture?

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What 'They' Know

How did you acquire the knowledge you have?

Think about how customers get the knowledge they have – after all, they’re quite human just like you (and of course me). And we all started at square one.

Respect that people may not know all that you’d like them to. What they know is what they’ve experienced.

Therein lies the golden diplomatic educational opportunity.

And that most certainly is valid. Make sure you build up, not tear down per your own preferences and opinions.

Like I’ve said before, be a geek not a snob.

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Pay attention to the customers’ frame of reference, not yours.

Not your industry lingo, jargon, speak or vocabulary.

heineken-customer-service-cakeSpeak customer – that does not mean dumb it down. Your customers aren’t stupid. It means stepping outside of yourself and simultaneously your industry language to dialogue with the customer.

The first step in successfully inviting the customer to join you in enjoying and understanding your beer is to make sure they feel like you two are on the same (grammar) page. Alienation with jargon is easy – and easy to avoid.

Careful. Like Mike says, become a student of your customer.

Industry speak is one of the easiest ways to turn people off and turn them away. Yes, you’re passionate about your beer – stay that way. Be a geek, not a snob.

But you’re not your customer. Pay attention to them, not you.

Familiarity breeds alignment.

It’s easy to do. So do it.

Photo courtesy of Flickr by craftyconfections

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What Does 'Local' Mean (#4 of 4 Series)

When you think in terms of local and regional goods, what do you think of?

What does it mean to be “local”? What about “regional”?

In focus groups, women say that buying local, more and more, matters to them. When pressed for what local means to them, we do an interesting dance.

  • “What does local mean to you”
  • That it comes from close by.”
  • “So is an egg produced by a chicken within 50 miles local?”
  • “(usually) Yes.”
  • “Farther than 50 miles??”
  • “No.”
  • “What about your beer – how close is local?”
  • (Run through similar questioning)

makes-beerAt the same time, because the conversation invariably turns to the fact that say hops is grown in limited areas of the world, then the definition is stretched to accommodate. And, knowing that, it’s perfectly fine with them.

They are telling us that local is a balance to strike – like everything else. Yes, they’d love it if all the ingredients were sourced locally, yet they realize that the crops are not necessarily available – so that is factored in.

Regional, well, that extends the definition even farther. If they want, say, a Midwest beer – wow! They’ve got a warehouse full of great choices. California? Same drill. Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota? It gets dicey simply due to sheer numbers.

So pay attention to how you advertise your ingredients. It can be a big plus – when a component is sourced close by. Just as importantly balanced out as buying organic. These are all conversations with your consumers and supporters you know. Talk it up.

Find out what it means to your patrons.

Photo courtesy of Flickr by Adrian Midgley

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Where Women Drink Beer (#3 of Series)

It seems that many people, regardless of gender, like to drink beer outside. Why is that?

Well, part of it seems to be regionally related. Said another way, people and definitely women in the focus groups, like to sit outside as weather permits.

Why? (feels like a 3 year old line of questioning)

Jennifer & Deidre enjoying a tasty beer outside

Jennifer & Deidre enjoying a tasty beer outside

Because in some areas of the globe weather is not always ‘nice’. Nice being conducive to sitting outside. I’m not talking about the enthusiasts who will drink anywhere, under any atmospheric condition.

I’m addressing the average consumer female beer drinker. They like to sit out of doors, or be outside, to enjoy their beer.

Why? Because beer is a social beverage and generally when you’re sitting outside, you’re with company. And the social element is a really really big part of drinking beer for women.

That’s why.

In areas where you can sit outside most the year round, well, it’s still important. Perhaps not as amplified as those who live in different climates – including those who sit indoors due to really hot weather just as much as those who sit indoors because of really cold weather.

So when you think about where women can and will drink your beer, think about context of location, time of year and where they can do just that – sit outside, drinking beer.

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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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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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