Jul. 04, 2012 - Issue #872: The Beer Issue
Insulting ads and embarrassing beer won't entice female beer drinkers
It is not news that men drink more beer than women, making the less-beer-bellied sex an elusive target for beer companies. Consequently they try to make beer for women, but on the whole don’t do a very good job of it.
Case in point: the new release from Molson-Coors, Coors Light Iced Tea. It is supposed to be a blend of beer and tea for a quenching summer beverage. Except that someone forgot the beer. The aroma is tea with lemon and honey. The flavour blends a tannin-y tea, hints of lemon and an overall sweetness. It tastes more like a carbonated iced tea than a beer, quite frankly. How does this attract women to beer?
Then there is Uptown Girl, a recent arrival to Alberta brewed at a Wisconsin discount beer brewery. Fruit-flavoured beer in small bottles (207 ml) marketed directly at women using the most sexist stereotypes possible. It presents images fixated with make-up and slinky dresses, girls partying in a night club and an aversion to anything with real beer flavour.
I am insulted and I am not even a woman.
The reality is that women can like every kind of beer. But I am well aware that there is a significant population of women who require some persuasion to enter the world of beer. So allow me to try some good alternatives—beer that might appeal to the unsure but not embarrass even the most ardent beer geek.
Think iced tea might actually work with beer? Well it can. If that combination interests you pick up a can of Mill Street Lemon Tea Beer (which I reviewed last year: bit.ly/teabeer). It finds a way to blend tea and beer without scrimping on either. Very summery.
Many women like fruit beer, which is fair. But to my mind most are sweet and boring. However, there are some good examples out there. Alley Kat’s latest seasonal is Brewberry Blueberry Ale. It holds on to its beer credentials while still offering a light, fruity quality. If they want something a little darker, Cannery’s Blackberry Porter does a wonderful job of accenting the earthy sharpness of blackberry.
I have turned many a wine-accented woman onto beer by offering a glass of Duchess de Bourgogne. Duchess is a rare Belgian beer called Flanders Red, which is a tart amber ale that reminds many of red wine. It is un-beer-like enough to spark interest yet still appeal to a guy like me.
My instinct is that there is a beer out there for every beer-skeptical person, male or female. But I am quite certain that the way to win them over is not with insulting and sexist advertising, but to offer decent beer to drink. V vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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