How women drinkers could save the male-centric beer industry

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by thebeers, Nov 30, 2023.

  1. thebeers

    thebeers Grand Pooh-Bah (5,363) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    Alienating marketing and sexist attitudes have long made women a second thought in the beer industry. Now, companies are waking up to the reality that inclusivity is lucrative.”

    Full article:

    A few noteworthy quotes:

    • Kate Bernot, a beverage-alcohol reporter who has written extensively on demographic shifts for Good Beer Hunting's Sightlines, calls inclusive marketing an "economic imperative". She says, "The cool cultural norms today are not heteronormative, gendered cultural norms anymore. I think women – and many men – are thrilled to see a smarter, fresher take. It requires companies to work a little harder."
    • "We looked at rating data from [ratings website] BeerAdvocate and found that the majority of the top 10 beers for users who identified as female were sour beers versus high-ABV IPAs and stouts that rated highest for men," says Hankinson. "That inspired our portfolio of fruit-forward beers that are low in bitterness … "
  2. Orca

    Orca Grand Pooh-Bah (4,441) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
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    I am all for taking a more inclusive approach and not actively alienating a potentially large consumer demographic—it’s good for beer and it’s also good for both men and women. But I also have to wonder whether this is a bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario: Do men drink beer more than women because breweries target them with male-centric marketing, or do breweries target men with male-centric marketing because they’ve always drunk beer more than women? I don’t know.
  3. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Pooh-Bah (1,912) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois
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    Where industrial beer is concerned. Talk to the ad-men who created the innumerable range of campaigns which affixed the gaze. Figure that women were not really part of the work-space in a lot of these industrial scenarios until the men were dragged off by some yahoo in power to go and kill each other. Figure that an awful lot of patriarchal nonsense led history by the nose, and force to this moment we are in now. Women have been encouraged by other women to see the I can do this value of it. And actually can make better beer than them, and also be inclusive and not rely on the usual range of dick and butthole jokes which so many things in brewing submit to.
    lomeister and richOutsidePhilly like this.
  4. DCH

    DCH Pundit (955) Jun 12, 2013 New York

  5. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Pooh-Bah (1,912) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois
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    I 'enjoy' listening to people trying to sound above their capabilities.
    bubseymour and woodchipper like this.
  6. StephenisDunks

    StephenisDunks Initiate (157) May 7, 2022

    Not trying to be sexist or anything but from what I've seen living in Maine at least women seem to either be very open to craft beer or tend to hate it and drink stuff like white claw instead.

    To be completely fair we have a lot of women working in craft breweries in maine who love beer. It's hard to say for sure if liking beer and gender correlate.

    Tons of men also seem to not care for craft beer and just drink bud/miller/coors all day. Wouldn't really consider those people beer fans either.
    bubseymour and SP23 like this.
  7. Orca

    Orca Grand Pooh-Bah (4,441) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
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    I don’t think it’s sexist to observe that more men seem to drink beer than women—meaning that if you visit any brew pub, tap room, whatever on a given day more than half of the patrons are likely to be male. That’s not to say that lots of women don’t also enjoy (and make) great beer. I think we would all benefit if even more did.
    readyski, pjeagles, DCH and 2 others like this.
  8. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Grand Pooh-Bah (3,850) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    Geez, the catastrophism in the beer industry press is getting really tedious. I don't see any evidence in the article that the beer industry requires "saving"

    Why can't they just write a story about how cultural currents, economic demography, and a more diverse producer base is set to shift the American beer landscape? There's interesting threads to pull on here, but he framing of the story as a failing beer industry weighed down by its own misogyny and exclusionary marketing looking for a savior in traditionally marginalized consumer groups just makes for a shallow and boring story that doesn't seem to be much more than a native ad for Talea brewing.
  9. ATL6245

    ATL6245 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,160) Aug 16, 2018 Georgia
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    The beauty of a free market and competition is, if there is a market for something someone will fill it and there doesn't need to be an "us vs them" mentality about it. Most of the breweries I frequent have a good selection of beers that "don't taste like beers" in addition to traditional styles. It is certainly no exception to the rule for me to observe women selecting traditional beers and men non-traditional ones. I just hope breweries don't completely forget about us declining traditional beer drinkers and continue to offer a broad selection of those beers because I prefer and enjoy them.
    Shanex, dcotom, Chaz and 1 other person like this.
  10. Orca

    Orca Grand Pooh-Bah (4,441) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
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    Well, to play devil’s advocate, this article is from the BBC, not the beer industry press, and the writer appears to be a woman (or a dude named Lillian) and she quoted a number of other women familiar with the industry. So I guess we could take a typically male approach and disregard what they are saying out of hand, or we could consider that maybe they have a valid point of view (even if it’s not exactly a “sky is falling” scenario—after all, media tends to exaggerate by its very nature).

    I’m not saying we need to accept every complaint at face value without question, or that we shouldn’t question the motives of articles that feel biased—but I guess it also doesn’t hurt anyone to engage in a little introspection from time to time and ask if what thet are doing might be seen as alienating by people outside the “majority” group.
  11. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Grand Pooh-Bah (3,850) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    I'm not disregarding the insights or perspectives presented in the article. I'm saying that the apparent effort to shoe horn the story into the "industry on the brink of failure" framing of the article creates a scenario where the perspectives aren't really explored. None of the women within the industry that were quoted seemed to give any hint that the industry at large was on the brink of collapse and that they saw themselves as saving it. Rather, they all seemed to suggest that they felt that their involvement served the purpose of creating entry points that appealed to more people and to people who historically have had a difficult time feeling welcome.

    The story, as told by the industry people from historically unincluded demographics, seems consistently ring that same bell. That they are part of a vanguard of expanded markets for the historically male and European beer consumer in the states. And that's what all the women quoted in this story indicate as well. So what's the value in framing the story as "women just might save the industry"? Does that respect the perspectives of the women quoted in the article? Does it promote introspection?

    It doesn't seem to do either, to me. It seems like it disregards the people quoted's perspectives in favor of offering a click bait title. And while the story goes a different direction from the title it ultimately feels like the very interesting perspective and contributions of people like Averie Swanson and the women behind Talea gets marginalized in pursuit of keeping the story focused on the idea that women are an "economic imperative" for the industry.
  12. Orca

    Orca Grand Pooh-Bah (4,441) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
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    All fair points. As someone who has worked (marginally) in journalism I’ll say that in my experience, media has a tendency to mold the story around a preconceived narrative. The pressure comes from the editor (or whoever is setting/managing the writing assignments) to do a story from such-and-such angle. It’s probably only gotten worse in the many years since I was doing this kind of work.

    On the other hand, media outlets are at least vaguely aware of the “boy who cried wolf” concept—within reputable media (I’d include BBC in this category) credibility is currency. These two dynamics are often in conflict, with the more sensational headlines designed to garner clicks but then the actual story needing to reflect (with minimal distortion) a recognizable version of observable reality.
  13. Shanex

    Shanex Grand Pooh-Bah (4,466) Dec 10, 2015 France
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    This is a recurring point and assumption from many males beer drinkers, women generally don’t like bitterness and hops and would instead go for fruit-forward beers, more palatable brews. Case in point, I also know guys that just don’t like beer for the bitterness, the taste or whatever.

    I don’t really know if the beer industry needs saving (meaning it’s currently dying off?) which seems fairly hyperbolic but I’m all for inclusivity, both in women running a beer store like in my own wasteland for a town as much as other underrepresented demographics in the industry, discussions we've had previously on BA.
    woemad and ATL6245 like this.
  14. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Grand Pooh-Bah (3,850) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    That's my problem with these stories generally (the "sky is falling" reports) but especially with this story. I read the body of the article and find a couple of people with unique perspectives but neither of them really gets explored.

    The women behind Talea, with their apparent business model of first discerning female taste preferences and building a brand around that, and Averie Swanson, with her approach to brewing of striving for unique and interesting flavors that combine with packaging and serving choices that encourage sharing and communal experiences of her beers, both lend themselves to interesting insights into the role in and impact on the beer market played by people coming in from traditionally under represented groups.

    That story, about a once niche market that was dominated by a narrow cultural group which has grown so much that it's become mainstream and is now subject to all sorts of interesting forces as it folds in myriad other cultural groups, is actually interesting and surely full of unique angles to explore. Instead, we get a story about how women are a valuable and undeveloped consumer segment. I guess the latter story makes sense in the business press, but placed in the "features" (like this one) or "culture" or "food and beverages" sections it just seems lazy
    woemad and Orca like this.
  15. thebeers

    thebeers Grand Pooh-Bah (5,363) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    I didn’t read the article all that closely, but my recollection is that the “beer industry needs saving” theme was more in the headline (which authors typically don’t control) than in the article itself.

    I agree with you in taking a skeptical approach to that assumption… although the article did quote someone saying they had data (from Beer Advocate!) suggesting that women rate sours more highly than other styles.
  16. RKP1967

    RKP1967 Savant (1,126) Sep 26, 2010 Virginia

    But do we want our lovely women developing beer guts like us?
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  17. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Grand Pooh-Bah (3,850) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    You're memory is correct, but it also felt like the article could have been more interesting if the framing of women drinkers as little more than financial respite wasn't there.
    Shanex and thebeers like this.
  18. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Grand Pooh-Bah (3,185) Jul 27, 2013 Texas
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    That article makes me want to throw up in my mouth.

    And then chase it down with a beer.
  19. puck1225

    puck1225 Grand Pooh-Bah (4,585) Dec 22, 2013 Texas
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    My wife used to be a Michelob Lite lady. But now her standard is Yellow Rose, damn it, and she is pickier than me!
  20. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Grand Pooh-Bah (3,850) Mar 12, 2013 California
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