If you can’t take the truth, then stop reading. If you can take it, be my guest.
Below is a contact I received recently from a brewery in planning.
I’m starting a brewery and want to find a brew or two that is [sic] especially tasty for women. What types of beer tend to be most appealing? Witbiers? Lagers? I hear you have done research and asked questions to women about what kinds of beer they like best. If you have this info, I’d greatly appreciate it!
And it’s perfect to discuss the fact that there is no such thing as a woman’s beer or a man’s beer. I’ll say it once (here):
EVERYONE LIKES FLAVOR
If you choose to not recognize and understand this and start here, then we’re all doomed to perpetuated bad myths, stereotypes that hold everything back and sexism (both ways) in relation to beer.
Let me be clear – WEB isn’t about gender: it’s about opportunity afforded to all, by all, in a respectful and equal playing field world.
1. Think of flavor as a human pursuit, not a gender oriented one.
2. Appeal is in the tastebuds of the EDUCATED taster.
3. Education is the absolute key to progress. Self education and education provided by brands, distributors, and retailers. Go get it!
4. There are myriad books, journals, and publications (both online and hard copy) to help educate consumers and pros alike.
5. Women Enjoying Beer is a full on business; it’s how the company can afford a living for the team. Never ask a service provider for free work. Yes, we can help anyone who is interested in actually using the qualitative information we gather from women all over the country. And yes, you get to pay for it since it’s one of our products – just like you get to buy a beer if you want to enjoy it.
We ask all sorts of qualitative questions in our research. We’re very unconcerned with what brands and styles women like in a vacuum. Meaning – you have to qualify what styles you make as they relate to your brand, what food you’re serving (if you do) and foods you recommend to pair (which everyone should), where the beer is served, what people are doing/have just done/are going to do/currently doing. There is not, nor will there ever be, a single type of beer for any gender.
WEB has chosen to delve into WHY more women aren’t enjoying beer (and why they do) which is a wonderful Pandora’s box of responses. There’s no such thing as a singular answer, since every aspect is different for everybody. Sure, there are patterns and common threads. About 4 of them.
6. If this was a woman: why would you possibly want to keep the “she-only-likes-this/these-kinds-of-beers” syndrome going?! If this is a man: shame on them for not realizing everyone likes flavor – just like if it is a woman. Of course I know, yet for this argument it’s neither here nor there. It’s unbelievable either way.
The obvious lack of market research is mystifying and appalling (whether done by the founders or hiring someone like WEB). Every brand needs to do research before they open and ongoing while they are open. Period. I shudder to think of how this person looks at females in general.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Women hold themselves back. Mentality like this, which I’m not saying if it’s male or female, is scary and will only make the next generations suffer in many ways coming up. All genders can do something about it.
Think I’m being too dramatic? You should read some of the super passionate input we’ve received. WOW! Reports based on the 2012 Women + Beer Survey will start coming out soon, available for purchase.
Who’s offended – mildly or outright – at sexist labels? If you’re the one who says “it doesn’t matter to me/pertain to me”, this is an incredibly apathetic and dangerous attitude. Who has these labels in obvious eye-shot of an audience that is uneducated and not versed in soft porn and how damaging it is? No, it’s not that far a leap.
Everyone can do something about killing sexism, starting with beer – whether you consume it, buy it, or neither. This is a terribly ignorant query. Really?!
A much better query would be something along the lines of: When do women enjoy beer? Why do they enjoy the styles they do? Where do they enjoy beer? And so on…. I doubt men would appreciate being forced into categories as well.
As you can tell, this really gets me going. EGADS!!! This should get you going if you have any females in your life you care about.
We have so much distance to still travel for the extinction of sexism in beer to actually die.
Please do your part: start with a genderless flavor conversation. Assume respect for all genders who look at your brand. This is where every brewery will make progress, every consumer gets equal respect and brands will stop using sexist labels.
The best brands want nothing to do with including any kind of gender references and implications, graphics or images on their beer. Beer should be high quality and be sold on its merits – nothing else.
We get asked “what beer brands are bad at sexism?” I always turn the question around and point out examples of the really smart brands that focus on the beer and classy design, which appeals to everyone. FYI – in this case I reference brands like Boulevard. Sierra Nevada, and New Belgium. This facet is one reason they’re so successful. One of these days though I’m going to let ‘er rip and publish a post on poor brand choices.
Until then, I’ll keep breathing and forging ahead. It’s obvious with thinking like this that WEB needs to be around.