The Problem With Beer Companies

Is that most of them think they are doing great. They can’t make enough beer to meet market demand. They are up to the tops of their rubber boots just making the beer and getting it to market. So what’s the problem?

Shannon, 3rd Generation Distributor, one of our valued client partners.

Shannon, 3rd Generation Distributor, one of our valued client partners.

What they’re not thinking about is that with women as the dominant everything buyers (across categories) will be the future of their brands.

According to Gallup, the majority of men who drink alcohol drink beer. They also state that of women that consume alcohol only about 25 – 30% drink beer.

So why are companies and supposed beer smarties saying “we should look at Hispanics” or “we should look at 21 – 35 year old men.” I’m absolutely convinced that in order for the “small craft” brewers to get to the desired goal of 20% market share by 2020 the answer is Women. How could it be anything else?

With 70% of women not drinking beer, it’s an avenue any beer business must sincerely explore and address. Start with how the human population first divides – by gender, not ethnicity – and you’ll come out ahead. People are people, women and women, men are men. Everywhere.

Morgan & Sarah, Left Hand Brewing, valued client partners

Morgan & Sarah, Left Hand Brewing, valued client partners

Once you know how and why a woman makes a decision, THAT’S when you can make progress. Beside WEB, no one is asking these questions, in specific very few beer businesses are considering women as a powerful population.

Thank you to the clients and customers we have already worked with, who call us ongoing for our insight and expertise with their increased business success, and those who support us. (Please visit our Endorsement Page to see what some of our fantastic clients have to say.)

When you support WEB, you support women. And you end up being more successful yourself.

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Why Gender In Marketing Beer Matters

There’s ongoing conversation about whether or not women should in fact be recognized and actively marketed to for beer. While it may seem like a silly question to some, frustrating for others and “huh?” for yet others, I think it’s important. Here’s why.

At the center of the issue is that any population that has not actively been invited to converse and be involved in a conversation needs to be invited. Women here are the said population, beer is the said conversation.

IMG_1112Recently I was contacted by a respected and sharp colleague about writing a column for Valentine’s Day about women and beer, specifically which beers to suggest for women who currently don’t consume. In the stream were 6 other people I know in the professional beer arena and so ensued a query: Should this instigator write about this topic? Is the writer, who in this case is male, qualified to write such a piece? And if so, then what are our thoughts?

Responses were varied, with common themes, which is common in doing this sort of ad hoc research. I commented right away. He’s precisely the right person to do this. Thoughtful, exercising quality journalistic professionalism….and incidentally a man.

Feminism isn’t about gender. It’s about equality and respect and having everyone participate in progress.

One of the goals here is to make the connection of women and beer so obvious that it’s no longer an eyebrow raising, patronizing facet of our society. At this time it’s still firmly entrenched so change we must actively pursue.

Think it’s already there? Think again. When you’ve got people in breweries marketing Double D Blonde, Tramp Stamp and dozens of others with highly sexualized images to go with them, then yes, Virginia – there’s a massive problem.

  1. Is this beer quality to begin with? If so, then why pander to a hormone raging teenage boy level name and graphic. Totally ridiculous, tired (as another write stated), and completely eliminates not just women. It’s insulting to women (reduced to bodily parts) and men (you’re too sex driven to think of anything else) alike.
  2. Why are the women and men in the companies not completely squashing these ideas? Products that have these labels should not be allowed to do business until they partake of meaningful and lasting gender respect education.
  3. “Small” brewers in America are the worst. So no – small isn’t best. Small is small. And in this case small also means small-minded thinking.
  4. I’d hedge a bet that everyone involved in all these brands has a female in their life they care about. Why are they totally dissing her and not seeing the obvious connection here completely baffles me.

One of the colleagues in the stream pointed out that she’d rather have people say holy shit you know a lot about beer,” instead of gee, you sure know a lot about beer for a girl.” I agree. I find it curious that someone who is tired of hearing about gender in beer calls herself a girl. This is precisely why we need to keep talking it out. It perpetuates permission to call a woman a girl instead, thereby indicating she’s under 18 and infantilizing her person.

Out as in, all women and men need to demand full respect in titles and names – yes they matter. Huge. Girls, chick, broad, bitch, and babe are all damning words and do not connote full respect, are not clever in the world theatre and only help stagnate progress. Correct someone when they use girl instead of woman.

There’s a relatively enthusiastic group in the community that uses Girl in the first of three words in a title. While they may preach that they are about education, the very fact that the first word in the title of the name is denigrating is seriously regressive. I expect to hear from one of them, following the post, as I have little time for someone who tells me “F*** you, we can call ourselves what we want,” “get off your feministic high horse” and so forth (they do that). Undiplomatic, unclassy and most importantly closed and narrow-minded. If you’re going to be belligerent an unseeing of the damage you’re doing, I’ll have no part of it.

It’s both amusing and tragic at the same time that there are those who think disrespectful labels and titles are acceptable and keep using them. No you can’t call yourself what YOU want and not push your own myopic and selfish feelings on the rest of the female population. It’s not about you, it’s about all of us.

Left Hand does it right: Ales 4 FemAles

Left Hand does it right: Ales 4 FemAles

We have to be fully aware that if we all want full dignity and respect, then the titles and labels we use in any public arena must reflect that. You can still exercise cleverness as it fits, like Left Hand Brewing’s Ales 4 FemAles – as long as respect is intact. A4F hits the target, retains integrity and respect, and communicates what the group is about.

It’s a well documented fact that in societies where women are fully respected the culture is healthier, happier, and more successful in many ways than those who do not fully respect women and females. Rather ironic that America, one of the greatest countries in the world and clearly a World Leader, is *still* so far behind on gender equality.

You can respect women, men and beer simultaneously. We all should.

I hope we go somewhere with this idea, collectively as a group, since there will be strength and great varied opinions in this rank. In the meantime the writer has my full support, which he had before.

Stay posted…watch to see what happens.

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Left Hand is All Right!

Many thanks to the hundreds of guests that joined us at Left Hand Brewing for special Ales 4 FemAles events the last two nights.

What an incredible group of switched on, tuned in, flavor and fun loving beer people! T’was a thrill and honor to be part of this tremendous series that Cinzia & Sue started years ago and that Morgan adeptly runs now.

Cheers to Left Hand & Ales 4 FemAles!!

Cheers to Left Hand & Ales 4 FemAles!!

Here’s what I love about Ales 4 FemAles:

1. They’re about education first

2. They understand that addressing a specific segment of the population, in this case women, requires a dedicated effort

3. They have a ball bringing topics to the participants that enlighten, engage and promote education.

4. There is no chest beating of “We are Women, hear us roar!” – that’s not the point, and they understand that. It’s “We Love beer, pour us more!”

Monday and Tuesday were in the co-ed series realm which is all good too. Single sex education has huge and proven value. Mixed crowds for the right scenarios are equally productive.

I appreciate, laud, and admire Left Hand for this effort – all while remaining ever committed to high quality beer, taking care of their crew, and being a very active part of their community.

This is what beer is all about.

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Tasty Trifecta Event last night at Oskar Blues

Beth and Luke of OBB - such huge help!

Thanks to the entire Oskar Blues Crew for a fantastic event venue and help last night. Chelly and were able to offer a unique women’s only Beer & Cheese & Dessert tasting event at their taproom. Beth, Luke, Burc, Melissa, Dale and everyone else who makes the place tick – pints up!

Thanks equally to the fantastic group of women beer enthusiasts that came out – judging by the conversation and laughter level, I’d say it was a success! They had the choice of 6 different beers from both Oskar Blues as well as tasty Left Hand Beers. One the food side, Chelly selected delicious cheeses from a favorite cheese monger and sweets from Living the Sweet Life – both in Denver.

Chelly (l) providing helpful information for the event

We lead them through  a simple how to taste exercises to warm them up and get them started – then off they went!

The evening closed with Beth, the taproom manager, leading a tour of the brewery – newly expanded and looking fabulous for our great guests.

Cheers of course goes to Left Hand brewing and their crew for pitching in three uber yummy beers for the event as well.

Hats off to Ingrid, our intrepid and dedicated volunteer assistant for the night – well done!

And my own personal thanks to the incredible Chelly for her partnership. She has excellent judgment.

Now – on to more GABF events….Cheers!

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Gastravaganza in Denver – Delicious Beer & Tasty Street Food Event

Wow! Who’s up for a Gastravaganza in Denver Colorado September 18th, 7- 9 pm?!

Gastravanganza!

Details and tickets available here – on Chelly’s site.

Chelly’s Denver Gourmet Tours and Women Enjoying Beer is collaborating and partnering with terrific breweries and street food vendors to offer a totally unique and tasty adventure.

Our terrific Featured Beers will come from Avery Brewing, Wynkoop Brewing, Breckenridge Brewery, Left Hand Brewing, Del Norte Brewing and Odell Brewing.

Fabulous tasty Street Food will be from Steuben’s, Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs, Gastro Cart, Brava Pizza, and Cake Crumbs Cupcake Truck.

We’ve room for up to 300 – so sign up today. It’s happening the same week as Denver Beer Week and Great American Beer Festival (a don’t miss beer event).

Cheers – see you there!

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