Women and Beer: Fact Versus Fiction

Forget the stereotyped notion that beer drinking is a male phenomenon. More women worldwide are drinking beer, particularly light ales, than ever before. The fact of the matter is that modern women no longer play a passive role in beer consumption or, indeed, in beer advertising.

Women and Beer Advertising

Do you remember those traditional, cheesy advertisements featuring an attractive female bartender obligingly serving beers to an exclusively male clientele? Of course, these stereotypical ads featuring young blondes with generous cleavages and ingratiating smiles successfully sold a lot of beer.

However, those were the days when male punters did most of the beer purchasing and advertisers needed to appeal to the male ego to boost sales.

Today, such cloyingly traditional ads are unlikely to appeal to the new generation of discerning female beer consumers. Consequently, beer advertisers are being forced to rethink their strategy, generating surprising results.

Several new advertising campaigns, for instance, feature women taking the lead, ordering the beer and displaying their (often superior) knowledge of which brew is best. Going by statistics, these new-style ads with the broader female appeal are beginning to sell more beer.

Innovative beer advertising agencies have done their research: women and beer is a winning combination. Ads that depict raucous males drinking beer and giving a bartender babe a hard time are passé.

Women and Beer: The Facts

Here are some facts about women and beer:

  • The sale of beer to women is a growing market.
  • Women currently account for 25 percent of beer consumption in the USA.
  • Women between the ages of 21 and 30 are drinking more beer than women in other age groups.
  • Beer drinking among women in the 50-plus age group is on the increase, a fact that has not gone unnoticed among beer advertisers worldwide.

Women and Beer Appeal

Women beer drinkers are a discerning bunch. They demand more of their beer: more flavor, more complexity, more fruitiness, fewer calories and lower carbs.

Above all, women want a beer with more style and character. Research shows that women who enjoy beer tend to prefer lighter versions with lower alcohol content. Popular options include lambics, hefeweizens and light ales.

Targeting the Female Beer Drinking Population

In response to demand, trend-setting brewers around the world are constantly introducing new brews that will appeal to female beer drinkers without alienating existing loyal male customers.

Results to date are encouraging, with a new breed of advertising campaigns that emphasize equality, contemporary attitudes and successful social interaction.

Out are the ‘babes and booze’ spots in advertisements that appeal to a wider, genderless, international audience. Savvy beer advertising campaigns are pandering big time to their expanding female clientele. The overriding message is that women beer drinkers are at last being taken seriously.

Women and Beer: Back to Basics

Aside from being consumers, women have a history of brewing beer as well. A quick glance at the history of brewing reveals that women dominated the scene in early times: evidence has shown that women brewed beer in ancient Egypt, during the Pharaonic period.

By the 1700s, women brewers were commonplace throughout Europe. It was only during the Industrial Revolution, when commercial brewing was introduced, that men began to take over from women as master brewers.

Today, however, more and more women are returning to the business of brewing beer. Certain forward-thinking breweries headed by women are giving this hitherto male-dominated industry a run for its money. The evidence is in the sales. Female brewmasters are constantly coming up with new beers that have huge contemporary appeal for both male and female consumers and are flying off production lines.

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