I’ve written about my love of beer before on this site. I love beer in all seasons. I love the crisp bitterness of the first sip on a sunny day. I look forward to special copper-colored autumn brews and in winter I fantasize about chocolate stout next to the fireplace. Beer is my weakness, my drug of choice.
However, given my genitalia, this is not what the beer companies would have you believe. No, as I’ve pointed out in
, to most beer companies being a woman means that I am a wuss, a prude, the harbinger of sobriety and early bedtimes. Or I am slut who carries beer to the menfolk on a tray, just below level with her heaving bosom.
I’ve noticed that here in Europe, the ads, though they may be less obnoxious, are no less sexist than their American counterparts. I brought this up to the owner of my local bar when he sat down with me for a drink one evening.
“It stems from the religion,” he told me cryptically, visibly irritated. “Who cares? Beer companies won’t change. Women drink wine. Men drink beer.”
I tried to argue. “I think, good sir, that if women can overcome extreme prejudice to get the vote they could at least get an advertisement depicting one of them drinking a pint of lager. Besides, there are plenty of small American breweries that don’t advertise using a woman’s boobs or a sports arena!” It was at this point he said something to the effect of “Bah American beer!” Then turned away from me and began speaking in Dutch to my male friend, from whom he apparently hoped to extract more sensible conversation.
I’ve realized recently that the thing that truly bugs about the beer industry is about more than just marketing. Because there are now slews of ways in which women are targeted as consumers, for light beer that tastes like dirty water. Women’s magazines profile beer you can drink “without guilt” and the last several years have seen the launch of a slew of women-centric beers made just for our delicate, sexy, confused palates.
Though I like their premise -- that beer has been under-marketed to women -- they are hardly breaking any stereotypes by calling it “chick,” making it light, and packaging it in a bottle with a pink label and what looks like a woman’s cleavage.
The homepage of this Maryland company’s website makes it clear that this is the beer a Bratz doll brings to a keg party, not the kind a beer-loving “chick” would buy for herself. I’m confused as to why a “100 percent chick-owned” company would do this.
In the website’s FAQ they address the question “Is Chick Beer Sexist?”
The women who drink Chick Beer do not define themselves by any beer brand. The women who drink Chick Beer enjoy being women. They’re strong, confident, self-assured, sexy and fun. They’re not trying to be one of the guys, and they aren’t afraid to wear pink, or a black dress. In short, they freaking rock.
In short, yes, sexist. Not toward “men” as they claim on the site, but by perpetuating the worst 90s-style stereotypes about their own gender through sweet, innocent beer.
Molson Coors Animee
I would expect nothing less stupid from the company that brought you this gem:
Animee was rightfully maligned in the press for it’s gender-specific “bloat-resistant pink beer” when it came out last year, and so far I have yet to see the effect of their marketing efforts so hopefully other big breweries are taking note: Women want to drink good beer not My Little Pony urine.
Over here in Europe, Carlsberg launched Copenhagen, a beer targeted at women who apparently don’t like real beer’s “aftertaste” preferring instead the subtle tang of white wine spritzers.
We can see that there are a number of consumers, especially women, who are very aware of design when they choose beverage products. There may be situations where they are standing in a bar and want their drinks to match their style. In this case, they may well reject a beer if the design does not appeal to them.
Yes, I like my beer to match my dress. That’s why over here in Holland I usually wear one of these out to the bar.
(Sarcasm aside, how awesome is this dress!?)
Another concoction from the woman-whisperers over at Carlsburg, Eve is light, sparkling and flavored like Lychee. Naturally.
Why do you all hate beer sooooo much? Whatever. Beer companies can keep making themselves look stupid until they get it. Until then you can find me at the bar drinking a pint of the heaviest, hoppiest, bloatiest concoction on tap.