Professional Beer Community Members:

When will be the right time for you to think about women as a market share, as the ones who make 80% of purchasing decisions and are the majority global population?

When you started your company did you wonder where you’d grow, who would support you, and how you were going to get there?

I am constantly mystified by the lack of professional beer community members’ inaction to engage women as a full fledged market segment. Are you “so busy” that you don’t want to make time to think about the future? You’re already buying commodities and products years in advance (e.g. hops, equipment) to fuel your breweries and business down the road. Who’s going to buy all that beer?

Saying you’re too busy is an excuse. We all have the same 24/7/365. And we know what it’s like to wish for 35/8/400 just like you do. So do all the women out there you’re not yet paying full attention to. All market segments start small first.


As consumers, as supporters of your brand, as your survival – and of the survival of the entire industry. Heck, how about as integral family members that support the brewers directly? Don’t they deserve attention and action?

If you are stuck on the idea that only men, the current already 70+% of the male population, that is already engaged, is going to fully support the industry, think again.

With the mercurial growth of the craft beer community AND the enormous not-slowing-down global population, you’re going to have to see the light sooner than later if you want to survive.

Here’s a familiar story:

“I wanted to respond to your request [WEB had been asked to consider it previously, it wasn’t a cold call] and let you know that while we think your insight would be helpful for our members, as the newest XXX group/chapter/organization/arm, still trying to get a little breathing room in the treasury, we cannot afford the requested terms at this time. I have seen some of your work on the BA forum and New Brewer, and hope we can make it work down the road.”

While it’s ‘nice’ to know we’re getting noticed, what’s not happening is people really truly seeing the short sightedness of not taking action now. Did you have the money to open your brewery without taking a loan or money from supporters? You borrowed on your future. “Helpful”? How about critical. “Hope” is empty. Action speaks. And women are listening – although they’ve little to tune into right now.

The Craft/Beer Community (all supporters there-in too) would be wise to echo their roots: Look past the next few years of simply trying to meet demand (of which you’ve created and apparently wanted…). You didn’t start or get into your business to only think about the next week, month, or few years, did you? Well, did you??

Like Hugh Sisson told me at the CBC last year, why aren’t more people taking advantage of finding out what they can do per marketing beer to women?? Great question, Hugh.

Now’s the time, actually yesterday was even better, for all professional brewing community members to be seriously interested in what’s going to happen 5 years from now when you haven’t fully pursued marketing your beer to women.

The craft beer brands will be even more saturated with choice and you’ll start cannibalizing each other with existing buyers.

You should be frustrated that not more than the paltry high 20 something % of women are enjoying your beers. Would getting only 25% of your grain order be satisfactory to you? Or only selling an average of 27% of your beer that’s ready to go?

Regardless of what your brand looks like and appeals to now, liken it to equipment maintenance. You know you need to get the filters changed and certain things checked by professionals periodically, yes? The same follows here. Securing the right expertise to ensure you’re headed in the right direction with relevant, timely and current information is as critical as getting your grain on time.

Does this sound like a rant? Maybe. Just know WEB is the voice of hundreds and thousands of women all across the country who want to engage in your beers. It’s the voice you need to listen to now.

It’s frustrating to be sitting on explosively useful information that can fuel your long term success and yet no one is interested in it.

There are some enlightened souls throughout the industry (too few) who grasp and understand how important this is: marketing craft beer to women properly. It’s frustrating to be at the voice for a very large group whom your (you, not me) business depends on and have that voice be all but (still) ignored. Women are speaking up to WEB because they want to be heard, they have something to say, they want you to listen…and….it’s not happening.

The time to start saving for retirement isn’t when you’re close to retiring. It’s decades before. Your investment needs to start now.

What are you waiting for?

Categories: Education & Training, Marketing, Something To Think About, Women and Beer
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