Walking The Beer Art Walk

Beer & Art go well together

Beer is truly a universal beverage. Art lovers love beer – did you know that?

Last week found WEB at a local gallery during the monthly First Friday art walk. Like some other communities around the world, the local gallery association encourages the members to host once a month Art Walks from gallery to gallery. It’s a moving casual  cocktail and noshing see each other get some mild exercise kind of event. And usually lots of fun, though not overly revenue bearing for the galleries.

Enter: enlightened gallery owner and manager. I got a call from a connection wherein the manager told me she and the owner wanted to change up their art walk a bit and perhaps offer beer instead of wine.

It may seem like a minor change to some, a small decision, yet it was a smart step for them. They felt like they wanted to do something different while still fitting the bill.

Results: A smash! These kinds of events, especially in communities like mine, engender repeat participants – and exactly who you are after in marketing any product or good, beer or art. Getting people to return to see again, consider, think, buy and support is what it’s all about.

The gallery manager and owner were very easy to work with, we made it smooth and seamless for them and they have a successful sales night. We served a beer, incidentally, from a brand new brewer which was aged in wine barrels from a local winery too. It was an easy thing to ‘sell’ since the patrons were accustomed to wine. Almost everyone who approached the table to get a small to sip tried it. There were a few hold outs for wine – less than a hand full out of a few hundred people.

And I firmly believe (partially based on focus group input) we had more participation simply because it was different. I’ve had women in focus groups flat out state that if the art walks offered beer, they’d go. Proof positive happened.

New art show, new beverage, new smiles. Beer and art bring people together. We love them both and we’re hoping to get back to do it again.

Think outside the frame.

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Raft & Craft 2011: Year 2, Day 1

loading the gear

Beer and outdoor activity. What a good combination. It’s important for people to think of the two together. Good health includes consumption of many things: fresh air, nutritious food and drink, and time spent in active pursuits.

It was with a special relish that I accompanied the rafting company down the gorgeous Rogue River in mid-July. The rafting company has changed hands and the transition has been seemingly very smooth and we were glad to have once again partnered to bring beer to life on dry land after a day of white water rafting.

The crew of guides from ROW Adventures was spot on: high standard of safety, concern of guest comfort, and lots of fun to be with. Peter, Jonas, Kayla and Mikey – all competent and personable guides with ROW – really made the trip outstanding for the entire party.

boats at the ready

This signature trip idea started in 2010 with Joy Henkle, then owner of White Water Warehouse, the previous rafting company. That inaugural Raft & Craft trip was one of learning, fun (again!) and much beer conversation. (2010 Day 1, Day 2, Day 3)

There may be naysayers who want to divorce good health and outdoor activities with alcohol of any sort. To that I say: Moderation. In everything – exercise included.  You’re only allowed to critique it after you’ve tried it, not before.

The first day found me picking up Jamie Floyd, co-founder of Ninkasi Brewing. Ninkasi was one of 2 featured beers last year and they were receptive to being involved so Jamie also joined the fun. We drove in the earlier hours of the morning to Morrison’s Lodge to get the crew the beer and matching foods for pairing for the 2 nights we’d be out. After we offloaded and met the crew, we headed to the landing for the safety talk, gear loading and getting into the water.

guides prepping the first tasty lunch

Mother Nature decided that overcast and slightly rainy on and off was the order of the day for weather. It didn’t dampen a terrific cast of guests and we all had a ball, paddling, looking around, riding, eating, and in general getting into the great out of doors.

Once we landed later in the afternoon at our evening’s lodge – Black Bar – we all unloaded and settled into our cabins. A shower felt good and I set about prepping for the tasting.

Around an hour+ after landing, everyone reconvened at the lodge for a name game outside and then all settled inside the lodge for the evening’s entertainment and fare.

Both Jamie and I shared info with the guests and they in turn had some good questions. There’s no doubt in my mind that Jamie is uber passionate and knowledgeable about beer and it was a fun evening.

great guests make the party

Here’s the menu we selected:

Because I love to food shop and got caught up when I was procuring foods at the store, we also put out medjool dates and walnuts for people to play with.

Suffice it to say: no one went hungry or wanting for anything after the tasting and then dinner was wrapped up. I dare say, some waddled back to their cabins with contented faces and stomachs.

Tomorrow: Day 2 of the 2011 Raft & Craft

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Worth Repeating: No Such Thing As A "Woman's Beer"

KPAM radio in Portland Oregon called me yesterday to be part of the show because they were discussing “women’s beers”. There’s been some coverage lately of companies doing campaigns with products they think are geared towards women. Beer ‘made’ for them.

Hogwash.

While I’d agree with Kristy on this point: “Women are an essential part of future growth for the beer industry and can no longer be ignored.” I’d totally disagree on this one: “We need to repair the reputation of beer among women by launching products that meet their needs.” [Caveat: this is all in the UK.]

Photo by Kate K Parks

Needs? Really – what are womens’ needs for beer? How about this: Fresh, quality, variety.

WEB can tell the American brewers: DON’T DO THIS!!!

Making quality beer is the right thing to do. American brewers: keep brewing what you’re brewing.

The problem that almost all beer professionals still have is that they don’t see that focused female education is the answer to getting women into beer.

It most certainly isn’t making a special batch of something. Start by asking them what flavor they like (then matching what beers are available), then talk to them about why they drink beer AND why they don’t drink beer. Therein lies the answer.

Psychographics will give you all the answers you need to help properly market beer to women.

It incenses and insults women when you pander to them by making a beer especially for them. Seriously, this is not the point at all. In fact if you think this, you’re so far off that you may as well close shop.

You’ve got to know the market your pursuing before you try to sell any product, good, or service. Read Marti Barletta’s book Marketing to Women. It’ll give you all the ammo you need to ‘get it’. Then when you’re ready to hone in on marketing craft/beer to women, call me.

Think about the converse: there isn’t a “man’s beer” being marketed just to men. That’d be ridiculous. To know what people want is important, yes. First you have to find out why they do (and don’t do).

Remember:

  • Women influence 80% of purchases, across all categories.
  • Females comprise over half the global population.

If you’re not understanding this, you’ve got a huge problem.

FYI: I’ve posted on Molson-Coors before. Every time I do Kristy chimes in. They’ve yet to invite WEB to help them in this arena.

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Frequently Asked Question: What Kind Of Beer Do Women Like?

Variations:

  • What’s womens’ favorite kind/s of beer?
  • What kind of beer do women like/drink?

Read closely. It’s the same answer as any beer enthusiast should give. The favorite is the one in front of them.

WEB gets regular contacts from students in college and grad school, doing projects or papers on beer and women. Some are marketing students, some are in other disciplines. All are curious for free information. Another one rang this week (always happy to get phone calls by the way).

Here’s the deal: Women like beer. Are you getting that?

If you’re any kind of beer business you better start doing something about it now. Some of the coming changes in the world are for the worse and now is absolutely the time to be earning female beer market share with a solid marketing plan; not after the schmidt hits the flan.

Why market beer differently to women? Because (and watch the sarcasm here) they’re different than men consumers. You don’t market tampons to men and you don’t try to sell elder care to teenagers.

Identify who your market target is, do some research on their beer and buying habits (this is critical) and then start developing a plan. Put a time value on plan development and then start.

All effective plans need maintenance and revisitation. Work that into the plan so you can nimbly adjust as need be. I guarantee there will be surprises, good and not so hot.

What kind of beer women likes depends on everything. Find out what those ‘everythings’ are.

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Fighting Beer Racism

Light in color only - until you try it

How many times we’ve heard the myth perpetuated: “I don’t like dark beers.” “I don’t like light beers.” “I don’t like beer.” And so on….have you heard any of these?

These are all easily changeable statements WHEN you find out why the brain attached to the mouth that is offering this nugget is stating it. The psychographics – The Why – of peoples’ reasoning puts the value in finding out what consumers like and don’t like. Unless you know The Why, all other data is benign.

Since marketing craft/beer to women is our speciality, we’ll expound on a few of the actual meanings behind these curt and abrupt sentences.

1.“I don’t like dark beers.” Color in beer comes from the ingredients. Somewhere along the way people have built this really strong and inaccurate bridge to the the 2 thoughts that dark has to mean ‘heavy’ (another most unfavored descriptor). Dark simply means it has a dark color. That’s it. If you’re in the beer business you MUST help shatter this myth of dark color = heavy experience. When women say this they may mean they have not liked the darker colored beers they’ve had before (for myriad reasons), they may be uncomfortable in drinking another dark colored beer because they had one (!) before and didn’t like it (again, for multiple reasons), or they are a beer racist which can have a few points of origin.

Dark in color only - until you taste it

2. “I don’t like light beers.” Again, the correlation to what light means is the staring point for helping educate women and beer color. Do they mean light flavor? Light color? Light body? Education is the key to soundly shattering these color racism myths. Take every single opportunity to talk about what ‘light’ can mean with women and men in relation to their beers. Because it’s almost a crime in some beer snob circles to be caught drinking a light colored beer under the assumption that they are wimpy, inferior or otherwise “not craft”(which is a load of compost), some enthusiasts are not going to order them. This is the wrong kind of peer pressure to apply to beer enthusiasm. Like what you like and don’t judge others.  This comment can come from a woman who simply does not like the flavor of the light colored beers she’s had, perhaps has drank a skunked beer in some setting that happened to look like other light colored beers available, or have other emotional experiences that conjure up the ‘no thanks’ reaction.

3. “I don’t like beer.” This is perhaps my favorite response to women whom I listen to and talk with. There’s the lean in – they get just a smidge closer and lower their voice slightly and utter this phrase like it’s a confession. I smile and ask them why, what kinds of beers they’ve had, and we take the conversation from there. This response almost always comes from a few consistent reasonings. They have a bad beer memory (self induced or otherwise), they are allergic, they have alcoholism in the family and stay away from all alcohols, or they simply have not had a beer they have enjoyed. Here again, once you know The Why you can engage in a conversation about beer. And they don’t even have to drink it to enjoy it.

All of these are great entrees into beer conversations. Whether women like/drink/hate beer or not, there is a fascination that cannot be denied and must be talked about.

We’ll keep talking with women, finding out The Why and offering educational moments of enlightenment. The story could start “it was a dark and light bodied beer…”

What are you doing to fight beer racism?

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All Ale The Ladies Beer Pledge

It takes so little to make people happy.

Quality beer, lively company, fun atmosphere, and terrific hosts. When I say ‘little’ I don’t mean minimally or small things. It’s the effort part. Let me explain.

If you’re going to do something, then you’re going to put effort into it, right? And if you’re going to put effort into it, you may as well make sure you’re doing yourself, the effort and all related resources to good use. Otherwise, don’t bother. Plus – women don’t like half-baked attempts.

All Ale The Ladies 2011, The Black Squirrel (DC)

At the All Ale The Ladies event Sunday last (6.5.11) in Washington DC, everything was spot on. Yes, it was crowded (how many dozens of women wanted to come that got turned away!?). And the energy was off the charts!!! The energy compensation alone made the squished-in-a-small-space-college-party-feel totally acceptable.

It was a distinct pleasure to be a featured guest speaker – in great company, might I add – as well. In honor of the women in attendance (and a few sporting men), during my brief spotlight turn I spontaneously had the entire room raise their right hand and pledge:

“I am a Woman/Who enjoys my beer/

And no one else can tell me/What beers to like or drink.”

It’s almost needless to say that there was a huge and uproarious ‘Cheers!’ to the pledge when we were done.

Really, it’s simple: get engaged participants in the same room (women), serve them right (fresh quality beer and food), take care of them (service again), thank them for coming (external customer experience), thank the generous hosts (internal customer experience), talk about beer (education), treat them with respect as consumers (no-brainer for too few), and you’ll hit it way beyond out of the park. Try the next county.

My sincere gratitude goes out to the following for inviting me to be part of this event. And for putting together and executing such a successful and impactful evening of Women in Beer:

Thanks from the bottom of my glass and heart! Hope to see you all sooner again that later.

Here’s a whole slew of fabulous pictures by Heather McAndrews to enjoy.

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Shattering Miss-nomers: There is no such thing as a "Ladies Beer"

  • Ladylike
  • Feminine
  • Beer
  • “What kind of beers do women like?”

photo courtesy Kate K Parks

Let’s shatter the misnomer some people think (women don’t like beer) here and replace it right now: WOMEN LIKE BEER.

Women of all kinds like all kinds of beers. Women like beers they’ve had already, they like beers that haven’t had, they don’t like all beers they’ve had nor will they like them all either.

The key is to remove beer racism. Remove any thinking or preconceived anythoughts from the idea that there is such a thing as a ‘Ladies beer’ (and kill the term ‘Ladies’ too while we’re at it).

All people will engage when given the chance in anything they may be interested in. Women are part of these ‘all people’. Don’t think of craft beer as a drink for just men, as some brewers have clearly and mistakenly communicated over years and years of time and advertising. I seriously doubt that the bad ad progenitor actually asked women “would you like to be portrayed as all jiggle and no brain” in past campaigns.

Okay – I take that back. Do it if you don’t respect women or want to insult the females you care about in your life (family, friends, colleagues).

There is no such thing as a ‘woman’s beer’. Just like there’s no such thing as a ‘man’s beer’. Anyone who even remotely thinks that (or that idea is the answer) is seriously misinformed. Or pandering. Or both. However well intentioned – they are misinformed. This kind of thinking sets movement in a reverse motion, not moving forward.

The next time someone asks me, “what kind of beer do women want/like/enjoy?” – I’ll smile and tell them the answer I give myself: The One In Front Of Them.

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Clearly The Wrong Move for Carlsberg

It’s worse to be neutered than controversial.

Check out what Carlsberg brewing is doing. It’s not gender neutral. It’s abuse of the beer in the bottle. Clear bottle = almost certain degradation of the beer, whether intentional or not.

They need to refresh their own memories that clear glass will not protect from light damage. And they need ot fire the folks who think this packaging is “gender neutral”. Seriously, who are they really after: the customers who nothing about how to protect beer or those who really just don’t care.

Are they calling it ‘gender neutral’ by really mean hoping-to-appeal-to-women? Egads, I hope not. Women are smarter than that. So are most men. American women: DON’T petition to get it over here…it’s a long ride for the beer and we’ve got high quality a plenty stateside already without importing a negligible package.

If that is what they truly think will sell their beer, then they need to call me. I can help them ‘clear a few things up.’

The key is and will always be education. Design is only going to be effective when people understand where the product is coming from in the first place.

Sounds like potential pandering with a side of ignorance, please.

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Still Not "Getting It"

Here’s (yet) another example of the mark missed in marketing craft beer to women.

Here’s what’s good about it:

  • Dedicated effort aimed at women and beer
  • Professionals who happen to be women are involved
  • Apparently wanting to cater to women

Here’s what’s still off about it:

  • Call/label/title them ‘Women’ or ‘Females.‘ Research shows that these two terms are universally acceptable. “Ladies Night” – what does that make you think of? A bunch of intelligent beer savvy women or a dark dingy bar with questionable men lying in wait for the women to show up… Do you host “Gentlemen’s Nights”? Get rid of Ladies Night.
  • Pink is for barbie, Victoria Secret and Breast Cancer.** Female consumers, once again based in research across the country of average women, don’t want their products pinkified. We don’t market men’s products with baby blue. Remove the color from beer. Maybe we should call them ‘boys’ instead to keep up with ‘girls’ groups…..
  • “…two women were brewing a beer that will likely cater to many female customers. The light, lager-style ale is low in alcohol and hops…” Likely?? Really?? Did you ask them first?? I’m almost speechless. Who says that women want this kind of beer? The inference is dangerously off. Seriously, this is what sets us back the most. All people enjoy all kinds of flavor, whatever your gender is. Yes, women and men enjoy a lighter bodied style of beer sometimes (for some it’s never, for some it’s always) but to intentionally perpetuate this bad and incorrect stereotype for all women is wrong and insulting. Lump your own tastes or what you may think your local market share is but don’t put all of any thing in one box. It don’t fit. Do the research to really find out the correct answers. I can tell you first hand that many, many West Coast women want and demand a hoppy, bitter beer…

The majority of the population on the planet are female. Women directly and indirectly affect fully 80% of purchasing decisions. In all categories.

If you want to build market share in any business, good or service, wake up and smell the beer. Ask women what they want before you assume or put your own opinions on them with out asking them first. Seriously, how is this not obvious??

**Hundreds of female consumers all across the country share they do not want products marketed to them in the color pink. They state clearly in research focus groups  that the use of pink is effective and appropriate for those brands that already own it: Barbie, Breast Cancer, and Victoria Secret.

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Facing the (Female) Facts

Let’s face it, the Craft Beer Industry – the beer industry in general – has tended to overlook the female side of the market.  The point is not so much marketing TO women, but in making sure they are included in the party. Ginger Johnson is not only adept at educating brewers to open their eyes to this under served market segment, but in giving brewer’s practical ways to tap this enormous market potential.

Hugh Sisson, Founder and General Partner for Clipper City Brewing Co.
Brewers of Heavy Seas Beers

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Is Your Antennae Up?

Do you know what you should be listening to? Are you aware of what people are saying? What they may be thinking yet don’t have an opportunity to remark on are aren’t confident enough to do so?

Can you see the future? Where's your focus?

It’s time to raise the antennae.

When you are paying attention and – better yet – looking forward, you can see the future. Or at least get a glimpse of what just might be around the corner.

Having all eyes and ears and noses open will allow you greater receptivity. For instance, I’m been amazed (happily so) this week of all the responses and ‘likes’ on this article on CraftBeer.com (thank you by the way if you liked it)

The amazing part is that so many people, both women and men, are commenting YET there’s still so much to be done. And even though people say “yea, yea…we get that”, they really don’t.

If they did, our phone would be ringing non stop.

The old adage still swirls because it’s true: Actions speak louder than words.

Raise the flag, pay attention and see what’s coming.

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Women Enjoying Beer Is Not A 'Club'

Here’s an example of a relatively common email query that Women Enjoying Beer receives.

From Ryan: My mom has never liked beer, but now she is taking an interest in it. Is there a chapter of yours down here in LA?

Our response: Good afternoon Ryan –

Thanks so much for the reach out. Glad to hear your mom is getting into beer – do you enjoy it as well?

Women Enjoying Beer is a business that is twofold: focused on consumers (education, research, events, etc) and helping beer oriented businesses properly marketing craft/beer to women (consulting, training, education, speaking, etc.). We most certainly partner with other businesses to host terrific women & beer events. We’re not a club or chapter organization though. This is a full time, full fledged business to develop and serve the female beer enthusiast.

So – no, we don’t have chapters (we do have a regular meet-ups where we live in S OR). Yes – we certainly do events all across the country and globe with partner businesses interested in creating more female beer enthusiasm, some of them repeated because of the success therein. For example we were just in San Fran for the Craft Brewers Conference and did a few events there. Always looking for more venues and requests to get to the women who are enjoying and learning about beer (men too!).

Hope that provides enlightenment and the answer.

One way to learn more is for your fine Mom to share her email address with us – we send out periodic emailers with info, events, and other beery information. The contact information is always safe and secure (never shared, sold, rented, borrowed). She can get in touch with us here. We also have fun WEB Beer Gear to show beery pride and give as gifts. A new shipment of shirts just arrived last week as well – we’ll have the colors and pictures up soon.

Again, thanks Ryan.

Ginger Johnson
Women Enjoying Beer (R)
Bringing Beer To Life
515.450.7757

WEB is leading the Craft/Beer Industry in Marketing Beer to Women
Listen to BeerRadio Wednesdays 5 – 6 pm, Pacific Time. Streamable/archived at KSKQ.org

www.womenenjoyingbeer.com
Twitter @WomenEnjoyBeer
Facebook Women Enjoying Beer
LinkedIn Ginger Johnson

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Why We Do What We Do at WEB

Have you ever stopped to look at the people enjoying beer? Meaning, have you paused long enough to look around and see what genders are savoring the beverage we call beer?

Addressing the 300 - 400 audience members in Boston, CBC 2009

Well, about two and a half years ago, I had reason to pause. Someone encouraged me to submit a proposal to the Craft Brewers Conference (for 2009). Okay – I thought. Great! Yet what do I have to offer the beer community that they will find of value? At that time WEB (Women Enjoying Beer) had not yet launched so, while I’m full of ideas all the times, I’d not considered a specific direction into beer as a profession.

So I sat myself down and said, “Self, what can you offer the beer community?”. Self set to brain dumping on the computer and before I knew it, two complete proposals lay before my eyes. One was “What About the Other 50%?! Developing & Serving the Female Craft Beer Consumer”. Alas! It was selected and Women Enjoying Beer was formed. 300 – 400 people showed up to hear more. Obviously it struck a nerve. Or at least made people curious.

What did I see at that point? Opportunity.

  • Opportunity to work with people I wanted to be around and had whom I had gotten to know. Knowing that who I am is what I do, I only wanted to put energy into something that was truly worth the investment of my life.
  • Opportunity to fill a need – properly marketing craft/beer to women from the consumers’ perspective – that no one else on the planet was doing.
  • Opportunity to support the rather remarkable craft beer community and progress women.
  • Opportunity to exercise my true passion for business, education, fun, and beer.

I’ve said many times that WEB is not about women and not about beer. That’s not totally true. Indeed, if the players at the table were already equally represented gender wise, it’d be a non issue. As it is, it is. So it’s time to address the 50.9% of the global population that is female and their relationship with beer.

Rainbow of change

What do I see now? An opportunity of a magnitude that is perhaps overwhelming to some. Not us. My colleague Kate and I get into it daily to progress the agenda of getting more women and beer businesses educated: it’s about beer at its core, education and the experience around beer and inviting a minority participant to fully engage. We’re the only one on the planet specializing in this arena: serving the female consumer and the beer community starting with her perspective.

What I see in the future is that women ARE the way to growth for the craft beer community. With 70+% of men engaged in beer and only 27% of women; with the craft breweries in the USA over 1700+ and breweries in planning 600+; with not wanting to cannibalize existing market share; with wanting to develop new beer enthusiasm. Women are the answer.

I see smart, responsible education and fun based progress. Women Enjoying Beer recently got our Registered Trademark from the US government. While some may shrug and say ‘so what’, we see it as another small validation of our goals, business, and increased future success.

Women are the future of the viability and success of craft beer. If you’re a business and you’re ignoring women intentionally or unintentionally, you are most certainly going to miss the boat. Female consumers must be brought in. Marketing and developing women to engage in beer…well, that’s everyone’s opportunity.

We know why we’re around. Why are you?

Written for BrewPublic, originally published 4.16.11 by the fabulous Angelo De Ieso. many thanks, beer friend.

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Domesticate This

Words are powerful, used, misused, abused and changed all the time.

Today this post is brought to you by the now incorrect and waaaaaay to often used term: Domestic Beer.

AAAAAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

If I see one more menu with ‘Domestic’ – ‘Imports’ – ‘Micros’, or hear one more person say “Our domestic beers are…” or read one more list from anywhere that has “Domestic Beer” as a title, I’ll slash a grain bag.

Time to kill or redefine "Domestic Beer"

Why does this bug me so much? Because it’s no longer an accurate and relevant use of the term per beer.

When you want to make change happen, it first starts with common understanding. Understanding starts with a clear, up to date communication and an understood base of appropriate and applicable terminology.

While Domestic (Lager or whatever) may have been applicable at one time, it’s more than expired. And anyone who cares about beer should be working to change it.

Domestic = indigenous to or produced or made within one’s own country; not foreign; native

So, be still my craziness. Correct this where you see it, work to change it. Right now we have well over 1700 breweries in America alone. They are all Domestic Beer.

And don’t give me that “you know what I mean.” No, that no longer holds any beer. Change the terminology and the misnomer dies. And die it must.

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Who's Your _________

1. Customer

2. Consumer

Who are you after and why? Keeping in mind there are internal and external of each. They all demand your attention, time and respect.

Women are the consumers AND customers to court

For us:

1. Customer = Female beer consumer, whether currently partaking or not; latent population is an area to never overlook. With over half the global population being female, we have plenty of customers to engage.

2. Customer = Beer businesses, be they breweries, distributors, retailers, bars, restaurants, brewpubs and so forth. If you fit here and you sell beer in some fashion, then you’re our customer.

3. Consumer = Female beer consumer, whether currently partaking or not; latent population is an area to never overlook. With over half the global population being female, we have plenty of consumers to engage.

4. Consumer = Beer businesses, be they breweries, distributors, retailers, bars, restaurants, brewpubs and so forth. If you fit here and you sell beer in some fashion, then you’re our consumer. Not only that, you need WEB to help you drive forward successful marketing strategy and tactics.

It’d be arrogant for any beer business to think that the upcoming and continued growth for craft/beer will only still come from existing consumers.

Arrogant and dangerous and shortsighted.

Photo by Kate Parks, Copyright 2011

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Finally! Women Outpace Men With Beer

Did you hear?? Women have FINALLY outpaced men per beer. Let me give you some highlights:

Women are now the biggest and most educated consumer of beer, craft beer in specific. “We like to keep encouraging men to drink beer since they are lagging behind,” says one female beer enthusiast.

More and more breweries are pandering to men in their advertising which raises the ire of women. “Sexism really has no place with craft beer labeling and marketing. We don’t like it or appreciate objectifying men on beer labels and wish it would stop,” says another beer loving woman.

Women are encouraging men to get into the beer business. For too long women have dominated the brewery scene in the USA and the UK, hogging the limelight and not allowing men to really engage. Once again, women don’t like this trend and are trying to figure out how to solve the issue.

The variety of beers women drink has shrunk. “Nope – we don’t want any more variety of those ridiculous seasonal beers that breweries make. Just give us plain old beer.”

One recent grad of WEB University recently told us that she just wants to be able to relate to the common man and what women think they/he wants from his beer. “It’s really simple: we know what men want yet they aren’t drinking it – we don’t get it…..it’s unfortunate and sad that we women are always looked to for what men want from their beer.”

Most of all women are really disgruntled that they are being constantly invited into the beer conversation with well done and appropriately designed marketing techniques from breweries all over the globe. “It’s exhausting to have to be the aggressively sought after market share, especially since we [women] consume well over 70% of the beers made globally.” Give them a break already!

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April fool.

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Renee, Maureen and Jack

Maureen Ogle, Renee M DeLuca and Jack McAuliffe were all present at the CBC last week. It’s apparently rare for Jack to go to a big event and the crowd, I think, was appreciative.

The 3 of them made up a panel session following the lunch time break on Saturday. It was one I circled right away for a few reasons.

One – Maureen is a dear friend, historian and I really enjoyed and reference regularly her book, Ambitious Brew: The Story Of American Beer. In fact, she humored me when it came to market a few years and let me host one of her book launch parties. Success was had by all. Maureen has literally hundreds of stories that did not get into the book and she’s very enjoyable to listen to.

Two – Renee and I have tweeted a few things back and forth. Knowing that Maureen thinks she’s pretty special makes me want to meet her too. She’s Jack’s daughter as well and is passionate about beer as well. Hope to get to know her better.

Three – Jack is commonly revered as one of the key founders of the modern Craft Beer movement. He started New Albion Brewing when there were well under 100 (under 50?) breweries in the entire US of A in the 60’s/70’s. His efforts, while the brewery didn’t make it, certainly forged ground for other founders ala Ken Grossman.

Listening to these 3 highly intelligent, fun, and passionate folks was well worth it. The audience felt the same too.

They got a standing O.

Beer history stands to tell the future beer people much. If you’re one of them, pay attention, read up, go forth with your eyes open all the way.

p.s. More women need to get into the breweries. No reason why not.

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Picking Up Money

Do you notice and pause when you see coins on the pavement? Does it matter what kinds of coins they are? Do you notice or pause to pick up bills on the pavement?

Wednesday morning found me $10 ahead. A ten spot had found its way into a common space in my town, laying in the landscaping of a public area at about 530 am. Of course I picked it up to take home with me. Note also that I stop for pennies and all other coins as well.

Do you see the coins all around you?

It’s curious to me when talking to others about this very thing – what will they stop to pick up. What’s “worth their time” per the pyhscial act of noticing and picking up a small item from the ground surface.

Many won’t bother picking up pennies or coins less than a quarter.

Think of female beer consumers this way. They are waiting to be engaged. Every woman can represent a coin that otherwise gets overlooked, or passed up.

What happens to money when you put it in the bank or in an interest bearing account? It grows to your benefit, yes? That’s exactly what the female beer consumer can do for you. Invite her into the conversation (pick up the coin) and see how you both grow.

Equate the investment to making and taking the time to engage women in your beer brands and they will reward you ten fold+.

Never assume that in passing by an opportunity it will present itself again. Stop to pick up that precious coin today.

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Including Women in Your Marketing

How do you get more female market share into your beers? Be sure to include the words “women”, “females”, “woman” in your written words – online, offline, and in person.

Here’s an example that totally excludes women:

What about women skiing? This is a perfect example of a sexist saying and leaves out that 50.9% of the population that helps your business survive, make it or break it.

It’s never been appropriate to use catchy sayings that exclude, however intentional or humor oriented. You’re still being exclusive. And exclusivity will never gather more interest because being exclusive inherently leaves someone out of the conversation. On purpose.

Are you really interested in exclusion to the detriment of you business? Especially when you are hit in the face with the fact that 80% of purchases are made by women.

This company ad is doing a great job at alienating women. Is that what they wanted to do? Is this what you want to do – exclude women beer enthusiasm?

Then don’t use exclusive language. Think. Ask. Act in an educated fashion.

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CAMFA Series #1: Color

CAMFA is a program Women Enjoying Beer created and developed to help teach internal (within your company) and external (consumers) customers about beer. Educated beer sellers, servers and tenders as well as educated consumers are a boon to us all.

Today is the first of 5 in this series to dig a bit deeper on why CAMFA is important, can make a big difference in the knowledge base of your internal and external clients and therefore support and grow business.

CAMFA C = Color

When people think about color of beer, hopefully it’s more of the ‘colors’ of beer – plural. Beer color comes from the ingredients and primarily from the grain used in the process. Of course the other ingredients can play a part as well, albeit much more nominally.

When WEB hosts events, speaks, and educates, we encourage people to not be a beer racist. That is – to not judge your beer by its color. That’d be just as bad as any other color racism.

Color can give us some ideas of what MIGHT be in the glass, what flavor/s we MAY encounter and enjoy, or be indicators of other characteristics of the beer experience we’re going to engage in.

That said, color is only color. Color is not necessarily flavor or body or mouthfeel or alcohol content or aroma. WEB feels it’s very important to make sure people don’t always equate certain colors of a beer with anticipated or expected flavors and so forth.

Would you agree that someone asking for a ‘dark beer’ may or may not really understand what they want? Are they making the assumption that all dark colored beers are robust, high in alcohol or otherwise all lumpable into the same narrow definition? That’d be incorrect, shortsighted and opportunity missed.

Don't judge your beer by the color

The same goes for ‘light beer’. One thing about using the word ‘light’ in beer descriptions is that there is a misnomer that light beer is only light color and light flavor hand in hand. Once again, implementing beer racism of any sort, dark to light and back again, is something the beer community needs to continue to work to change.

With all the chatter and discourse, writing and blogging that swirls around craft/beer these days, to pigeon hole any kind of beer because of its color is doing yourself, your tastebuds and of course the beer a disservice.

What a great idea it’d be if we all drank our fresh, high quality beer – no matter what it was – from opaque vessels or were blind when we partook? Then we wouldn’t have any beer racism.

For now, be sure to educate on what color of beer means, how it got there and how diverse your beer can be no matter what color it is (in relation to other aspects of the beer experience).

Tomorrow: CAMFA Series #2: Aroma

Recommended Resource: Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines

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