More: How To Sell More Beer To Women

Here are more insights on how to sell more of your tasty craft brewed beer to women.

1. Samplers. Offering samplers or flights of your beers is a great way to educate in a very fun and high value way. Providing a sampler with at least 4 – 5 beers, small pours of 3 to 4 ounces each (MAX!) is an effective approach to helping educate your female consumers.

Offering samplers is smart and good business

2. Brewer Visits. Have the brewer available and around during set times, either regularly or sporadically for patrons to talk with. More importantly make sure the brewer is comfortable and well trained in how to talk to female patrons about their beers. Being confident with the knowledge and being able to talk to every day consumers is an important part of the experience to have in the bag.

3. Food. Offering matching foods, no gut bombs or deep fried everything. It doesn’t match the passion you put into your beer. Offer thoughtful smackerels or a full on menu; just offer something to eat that complements that fabulous beer.

4. Educate. Educating consumers is one of the single most effective and long lasting ways to garner new market share and keep the existing patrons happy and engaged. Educate in a respectful and consistent manner. Make sure your staff know how to describe the beers using everyday flavor descriptions to entice and invite. Ditch the industry jargon and go for universally understandable vocabulary.

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How To Sell More Beer To Women

If you’re a brewpub, multi-tap, bar or restaurant, here are 5 ways to sell more beer to women.

1. Sincere Greet. Every time you see a female patron be sure to greet her genuinely and with appropriate enthusiasm. Nothing fake or forced. Simply genuine we’re-glad-you’re-here professional manners. Knowing right from the start that she is wanted and welcome is the key.

2. Respect. Make sure you treat her with respect every time. Ask if she’s been to your place before and if she has – thank her and refresh her knowledge as it fits. If she’s visiting for the first time, make sure you give a brief and concise overview of who you are and what you offer. This is a great thing to cover at a pre-shift/staff meeting to help staff become comfortable and competent with this information.

Talk to the women at your establishment about beer

3. Timeliness. Ensure your service is well run and people get their beers and perhaps other ordered items in a very timely manner. Short staffed? NEVER tell people you are understaffed. You are telling them bluntly that you can’t handle what you’ve started and that’s bad. You best have Plan B in place to ensure proper levels of service. You’ve put lots of care and passion into your beer: this is not the place to scrimp and fall short.

4. Keep It Clean. Your establishment should be clean from stem to stern. She should be able to look in corners and see no dirt or grim, spilled foods or dripped pools of liquids of any sort. Cleanliness is the gateway to success and it’s one of the first and most obvious things noticeable by everyone who comes through your door. Your pride should be evident in the clean environment you provide.

5. Ask her what she wants. Make the assumption she knows what she’s ordering, what she likes, and let her lead. Train the people who work in your establishment, including yourself, to find appropriate ways to help her with the decision process – at whatever stage her beer knowledge is.

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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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2011 CBC Sensory Panel Presentation

This topic will come up again: Sensory. Yesterday I found this particular seminar to be a very useful and interesting one. Especially considering it was geared towards brewers and brewery operations and WEB is focused on developing and serving the female craft beer consumer.

Being in the education arena, the session given by 4 very knowledgeable sensory professionals was loaded with info on how to, when to, what to, and the like on setting up and utilizing sensory panels for beer in the breweries. Plenty of swirling info too – like if you are really small, then perhaps this is the best way; if you’re big, then try this. One resounding concept came across loud and clear: have a budget for the panel (as you should for everything – like marketing to women…).

Lauren (w/WEB sticker on her computer), Gwen, Whitney & Cathy

The 4 panelists were:

They swiftly presented and shared a ton of info on sensory panels and why each part is important as well as variations to keep it interesting for the panelists. We’re looking forward to re-reading the available notes post conference.

As fate would have it I saw them all shortly before they presented and finally met Lauren and Cathy and Gwen (although Gwen and I have emailed to and fro). Coolest part – Lauren has a WEB sticker on her computer! That’s what caught my eye and got me over to their table.

The Sensory experience is a huge part – if not the biggest part – of what makes beer delicious to us. Monitoring and knowing how to gauge the beer before it goes into any other glass is critical to the health of your beer and therefore your business.

This group is proof positive – with a full room of listeners – that women are into beer and that sensory is a very important part of the quality of ‘good’ beer. Thanks to them all.

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SF Women, Beer Wiki & HomeBrew

Kim putting final touches on the food to go with the beers last night

Cheers to Kim, Sarah and Kacie at Beer Wiki and our fine hosts at SF Brewcraft for a terrific women’s beer event last night.

We had a cozy full house at SFBC for a demo of the brewing process by Andre and Mike. Some good questions from the group for sure.

Then we lead a beer and food tasting, which was met with many nodding heads and smacking of lips. Here’s the menu:

Mmmmmmmm! Minds were opened, new vocab introduced, and a great time was had by all. Can’t wait to partner up again with the Beer Wiki crew –

Oh – and the guests? Well, they make the party! Thanks to Amber, Courtney, Dena, Paloma, Kristina, Maren, Emily, Maureen, and Ali. Keep learning, trying and digging into beer.

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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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Standing Stone Interview

WEB was recently asked to answer some questions for Standing Stone’s blog. Happy to do it – thanks for asking! Some of you may know I had the pleasure of working extensively with SSBC for 6 months last year.

SSBC What’s WEB about?
WEB Women Enjoying Beer is all about education and the delicious experience of beer. We are specialist in developing beer enthusiasm for women through education and events.

SSBC What led you to start specific meet ups for women beer drinkers?
WEB Let’s be clear – WEB is about ‘enjoying’ – not drinking.The meet ups are part of the who she-bang.  If women drink beer as part of their enjoyment, great! If they simply enjoy it through others, great too! We extol education, social settings and great value. You can be with others or friends who drink beer, and if you don’t or choose not to or cannot, you can still enjoy it with other as they imbibe.
SSBC Why do you limit meet ups to women? Do you even hold events that men can attend?

WEB Limit is an interesting choice of word, considering women have been excluded from the conversation (however unintentional or not) in the USA and UK for hundreds of years. Women Enjoying Beer is designed to foster enjoyment, appreciation and respect by all – specifically women since they’ve not been invited to take part. Research shows that single sex gatherings – of either gender – particularly for educational reasons is a much more effective format for many. It’s safer by removing any mixed company may engender in some people.
We do periodic event wherein men are invited – like our annual Oktoberfest Come As A Woman Event and various partnered events.

SSBC What do you typically do at a meet up?

WEB While we do vary the format sometimes (depending on the location and other considerations) in general: The women enjoy a flight of beers (small pours) with complementary paired foods in a fun setting with other beer enthusiastic women. The event gets rolling and rocking! Noise level seems to indicate enjoyment level and more than once I’ve had to get every one’s attention (again) by standing on a chair and ringing a bell – it’s a great things to see the energy and enthusiasm continue to grow and swell. We’re able to give Goodies at each event and we feature different beers for different seasons (styles, brewery, seasonality, and so forth). It’s an hour and a half+ of full on fun!

SSBC How do you see the meet ups changing women’s approaches to beer? (e.g., knowledge, appreciation, confidence, enjoyment)

WEB WEB has a strong core following, with several women recruiting others to come along, therefore building and spreading the beer evangelism. Like any time you educate people on a topic, they become more and more confident participants and then ambassadors. When you educate, you empower, build confidence which flows over into other areas of life, and keeps the momentum growing. Increased participation of women in beer, particularly craft beer, for sure helps breweries grow and develop more sustainable market share.

SSBC What other events do you hold for women been enthusiasts?

WEB WEB holds WEB events, partners with other interested businesses in events, and speaks at events. Everything from festivals to neighborhood bars to professional audiences to breweries – that’s where we show up when called. One program we offer that gets requested often is HerStory: Women in Brewing. It’s a historical look at how women have forever been involved in brewing. Surprising, fun, and though provoking for all .

SSBC What’s your advice to women to start navigating the world of beer appreciation?

WEB Start! Start sampling, tasting, hanging out in places that are beer rich with friends, at homes, and where ever they are comfortable. Beer is an affordable luxury that is myriad in choices and availability. Be fearless!

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Survey Time For Women Who Enjoy Beer

It’s time for another round of “What Do Women Want From Their Beer?”

If you’re a woman and engage in beer in any way, WEB would be very appreciative for your input to these questions. You can send them to me directly at Ginger@WomenEnjoyingBeer.com

If you’re a man who knows some women engaged in Beer (odds are high!), any forwarding this set of questions to them is also greatly appreciated.

1. Why do you drink beer?

2. Why do you like beer?

3. What kinds of beers do you like?

4. What would compel you to try a beer you haven’t tried before?

5. What do you want from your beer? Conversely, what don’t you want from your beer?

6. What kind of beer education or social beer opportunities would you like to take advantage of?

7. How do you want the beer companies to address/acknowledge you as a female beer drinker?

8. What kind of atmosphere do you prefer when you drink beer?

9. What do you think about present beer marketing and advertising as it relates to you as a woman?

10. Does size matter for your beer?

Women Enjoying Beer conducts research which provides the foundation of knowledgeably serving the beer community specializing in developing and serving the female beer consumer from the consumers perspective. We’re the industry leader by staying current and relevant, as per this ask.

Thank you for your participation in the conversation which will help propel the mission forward.

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100th Anniversary Celebration of International Women's Day

Tuesday March 8th is the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day.

In honor of all the women who have historically been and presently are engaged in this incredible beer community, here are a few suggestions Women Enjoying Beer would offer to help your supporters and brand enthusiasts celebrate.
Celebrate International Women's Day

1. Where possible, offer women special pricing on their beers. One local establishment here is offering 23% off all menu items all day. 23% is the discrepancy of women vs. men’s wages.
2. Hold drawings for all kinds of small and big goodies throughout the day for women only. Beer, swag, tours, featured blog posts, and the like all send a great message that women matter.
3. Highlight the women in your beer business. Whether you’re the owner and founder or the janitor, they all deserve to be noticed for their contributions. Post simply signage, pictures of them or whatever you may find appropriate.
4. For retailers and distributors, how about featuring the beers brewed by women/involving women (no sexualized labels and so forth though – that’s counter to the whole idea).
5. Impromptu sampling for the day for all legal aged women.
6. Encourage women to rally round your brand by offer two fer’s (obviously, if applicable/legal/appropriate). 2 Pints for the price of one, a featured beer paired with a menu item, and so forth.
7. Tweet/Facebook/blog/social media the heck out of your appreciation for the 50.9% of the population that helps make your brand possible. Women outpace men in being active on social media.

This is about awareness and action, not reverse discrimination. Here’s an opportunity to really show you value the female craft/beer enthusiast.

Whatever you do, do it with respect, fun and appropriateness and you’ll get more women involved in craft/beer.

Cheers –

Ginger

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Women, Beer, and Social Media

Johanna Blakley has it nailed. Relying on old school (read: outmoded) demographics to reference in driving business is based on presumptions. Presumptions that are incorrect and out of date and unuseful.

Watch her talk here.

The traditionally gathered data and methods of this gathering are outdated and somewhat impotent, so be careful who you ask and listen to for demographics.

WEB’s research would echo her ideas as well: it’s not about statistics of an age group or anything else that has been conventionally paid attention to. It’s the preferences, the psychographics she references that matter.

23% of any age range on any topic is irrelevant if you don’t know the why beyond the stat. Is that good enough for you?

Or are you ready for some new math?

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Why Stories Like This Make Me Crazy

Read this. Then come back.

Okay – let me tell you why this drives me crazy (via all the hundreds of women who have shared and talked with WEB). And not good crazy either.

1. Beer does NOT need to be sexed up. Any more. At all. Anywhere. In fact it needs to get sex removed from it. Can we please get over sex in marketing!!??

2. Beer is brewed for genderless enjoyment – or it should be.

Women Enjoying Beer (Photo by Kate Parks)

3. Yes, women and men taste differently. How could they not? We’re all wired differently, we’re all physiologically unique. But beer should not be solely brewed to appeal to women. It should be brewed to appeal to all beer enthusiasts.

4. “Mistress” as a label for one of her beers is not helpful; it’s counter to women getting equal shrift. Who still does not get that words used in labels and titles need to be considered from the vantage point of someone else – not the one naming the widget or beer or whatever. It matters. And last time I checked, no self respecting woman wants to be subject to a mistress situation.

5. This is partially true: “There’s definitely a market for craft beers for women.” You have to start in the marketing level, not at the brew kettle. ALL beers are for women when they are marketed properly. There are literally thousands of beers ready and waiting – surely you can find a few that appeal to you no matter if you’re female, male, or any other gender classification.

6. “It has citrus layers, complexities and characteristics” Last time I checked with beer drinkers, ALL genders appreciated these things. Being orchestrated for only one gender is not the point.

So called gender-specific beer is missing the point; in fact it isn’t the point at all. Everyone wants to drink what they like – so all internal plumbing aside, keep trying beers new and different to you.

I guarantee you’ll find one – most likely more than that – that you’ll return to.

Geez….sadly this isn’t an isolated incident or uncommon way of thinking.

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Magazine Reinforcement

I’ve read several magazine articles lately pointing to a common theme. When you educate women, you fulfill a societal call for bettering the world. Lofty? Yes. Realistic? Yes again – especially within these articles. And it’s happening worldwide.

The Rotarian’s The Virtue of Small Change by Jon Conroy and Fast Company’s Separate and Equal by Kate Rockwood are just two examples.

The connection being that when you educate women, you empower, you progress, you flourish better, quicker and more completely.

This may seem a stretch to some so I’d ask you to compare women educated in beer to the success of your beer business.

If you were to capture just a single percentage more of the only 25% of women who drink beer, if you only got say 5% more drinkers, how would that affect your beer business? How would that affect the ancillary businesses surrounding your beer business? Going farther, how does that impact you community and the world at large?

It’s a big thought that’s easy to start movement on.

Seeking out a ‘new’ market segment, that Kelly & Clipper City also understand, is the first step. “I am in total agreement with your assessment that women are a hugely overlooked market segment…“, says Kelly.

Authenticity, accuracy, realistic goals. It’s all attainable and all within your reach.

Be part of the solution and you’ll help the entire world do better. Think big starting small. Tip the domino.

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10 Questions

If you’re a woman, I’d invite you to cogitate and send me your answers to the below 10 questions.

If you’re a women and you ‘don’t drink beer’, you’re still encouraged to answer them. Why women don’t participate in beer is as important to the goal as why women do.

bottling line at Sierra Nevada

bottling line at Sierra Nevada

If you’re women and this isn’t your bag (thanks for reading anyway) and share all you like with women you may know who do want to discuss it.

If you’re a man who knows women who want to talk about beer, any forwarding is always greatly appreciated.

If you’re a man, your turn is coming.

Here they are:

1. Why do you drink beer?

2. What do you like about beer?

3. What kinds of beers do you like?

4. What would compel you to try a beer you haven’t tried before?

5. What do you want from your beer? Conversely, what don’t you want from your beer?

6. What kind of beer education or social beer opportunities would you like to take advantage of?

7. How do you want the beer companies to address and acknowledge you as a female beer drinker?

8. What kind of atmosphere do you prefer when you drink beer?

9. What do you think about present beer marketing and advertising as it relates to you as a woman?

10. Does size matter for your beer?

Thanks – Swamp me with contributions!

All ‘answers’ are valid because they’re yours.

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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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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 "Women" & "Female", Not "Ladies"

One immediately recognizable constant in the work I do is that women tell me they do not like being called Ladies. It’s old fashioned (in a not so good

What not to do

What not to do

way), fuddy-duddy, feels like a cheezy bar is advertising to get men who’ll troll if they host a “ladies night”.

So don’t do it.

Use Women and/or Females. Not girls (underage, under 12, infantile, condescending), not broads (harsh, cheap), not babes (do I even have to say why??).

Women, Females is accurate – appropriate age connoted, respectful, universal, not insulting to anyone.

Simply relate it to the important females in your life – whether you’re a female or a male. Would you treat them with disrespect? If the answer is no, then turn it about when you advertise and market.

This is really important – pay attention.

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Can Can

styled-earrings-made-from-a-recycled-aluminum-beer-can1One Myth I’m out to bust with my research and work in women & beer (consumer angle) is that cans are bad for flavor.

I feel compelled many times to climb on the soap box, or barrel as it were, and say “No!” try it, you’ll like it…Drinking blindfolded would help.

This post is a great example of how you can help bust that myth.

The great thing to promote for canned beer is that the planet benefits more – recycled aluminum cans take 95% less energy to recycle, are lighter weight (good for shipping and transporting therefore reducing emissions), and are acceptable to pack in/pack out to outdoor enthusiasts.

Use these pieces of information to help promote canned beer. Women will respond.

Photo courtesy of Flickr by Urbandwoodswalker

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Great Combination

This past weekend I had the pleasure and privilege of hosting a beer & food tasting. The groups are always engaging, enjoyable and fun.

Why?

Well, because the audience I am targeting – female consumers – are so interested in being heard ala beer, that they are engaging, enjoyable and fun. They wanna know.

One combination I like to feature is an IPA with sharp cheddar cheese – and when in season – grapefruit as well.

cascade-hopsThe citrusy flavors and aromas of a good solid IPA pair beautifully with these food goodies. American beers that utilize Cascade hops will for sure find this to be true.

It’s eye opening, an ‘Ah-ha!’ moment for all who try it.

Message today – pair common foods with your beers. The educational opportunity is huge. Its take home value is also huge.

Fancy is fine later. Start basic (not condescendingly though).

Don’t you want their business?

Photo courtesy of Flickr by portlandbeer.org

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Bad Stereotypes

Granted, I don’t know of any good stereotypes…Generalizations are different. Stereotypes set up backwards, thwart progressive thought and hinder forward movement.

Plus small minds have always ticked me off. They tend to be narrow, selectively ignorant and mean spirited.

In any event, Allegra McEvedy is right on per this Times Online. Sent to me be the very fortitudinous and  sharp Rhonda Kallman (co founder of Boston Beer).

“McEvedy, a keen drinker of Guinness, feels very comfortable holding a pint. ‘The stereotypes around beer annoy me and get my back up. It is a fantastically crafted drink, but the most important aspect of it is taste and environment. I like to drink Sagres lager, London Pride, Guinness in winter, or Doom Bar beer in Rock in Cornwall. All of these have wonderful flavours — just like a glass of wine.’ ”

She’s English and the women there drink a much smaller proportion of beer in the UK (13% vs. American Women at 25%+).

Message du jour: get past stereotypes, in fact – throw them out, out, out!!! You only do yourself a disservice, never mind the victim of the stereotype.

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