I have been doing a lot of research and reading lately on women in craft beer. It started with my Ignite Fort Collins talk, but I have continued exploring this area because it is so interesting to me. I have yet to meet a woman involved in beer, whether it be by brewing or just attending events such as Beer Bettys, that is not an amazing, strong, smart woman. I want to know what makes these women gravitate towards beer now. I want to know how we lost our ancient role in beer in the first place.
I have come across several great resources and many knowledgeable women. Ginger Johnson at Women Enjoying Beer, Teri Fahrendorf of The Pink Boots Society, Julia Herz of the Brewers Association and so many others. There is also something else I keep coming across, Chick Beer. Dubbed “America’s Beer for Women” it is a premium light lager that comes in a pink labeled bottle and a six pack meant to look like a purse. The creators of Chick Beer decided to make it because they were upset that no beer was marketed or made for women.
I find several things wrong, and just plain offensive, when it comes to Chick Beer and it’s marketing claims. I figure the best way to address these, is a nice bullet-ed list of rants.
1) Stop advertising yourself as the “first beer made by and for women”. First, you didn’t make the beer, you contracted a MALE brewer to make the beer for you. Not to mention, women have been making beer, and making beer for women, for thousands of years. Grumpy and bleeding out with aunt flo? Have a red beer! Giving birth? Here is a groan beer! Kid just turned one? Time for a mother beer! Not to mention you do not make your beer for women, you make it for teenage girls who love the color pink and do not care what they drink as long as it gets them drunk.
2) You claim on your site that women like flavor. Then next claim that you use “soft malt and low hops” to create your beer. Ironically, those are the ingredients that create flavor in beer. I am sure you would know that if you actually made beer.
3) Your low malt and hop bills create a “flavor that is soft, smooth and full-bodied. Yet Chick Beer magically has just 97 calories and 3.5 carbs” It doesn’t “magically” have only 97 calories, it has 97 calories because you didn’t really put anything in it but water.
4) You say you chose to make a light beer because “70% of women drink light beer”. Have you ever stopped to think why that is? That maybe women are generally under educated as to their options when it comes to beer, specifically craft? That they too have bought into the “male dominated beer market” and go for the mega brands? My guess is that the only market research you did was which shade of pink to use. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
5) Now, this statement, I just don’t get the logic of… “We decided to turn the pejorative Chick upside down, and to use the word as a statement on the strength and power of women”. You really showed the strength and power of women by making a beer even lighter than the light American lager and having a man make it for you. Then slapping a pink purse on the label, just to be sure men know it is a women’s beer. No one will miss the point of your “I am chick, hear me roar” statement now! You might have been better off paying for the old Zima packaging rights. Or hey, maybe of used the word c**t, if you really wanted to shake things up with a derogatory word.
6) On your “Chick Story” and “FAQ” sections of your website you call people who do not like your beer “uppity” and “snarky”. Then paint me uppity and snarky! You can also paint me smart, independent and educated. Resulting to name calling on your advertising to those that disagree with you makes me feel like the creators of this are in arrested development and stuck with the mentality of a 15 year old.
7) Your beer is not about “having another choice” . You made almost the exact same beer as the mass marketed american lager. You created a beer to keep women under educated and in the dark about the vast array of beer options.
Thankfully, this junk is not distributed to my state. I know a few managers at liquor stores and I doubt they would give up valuable shelf space in the Napa of Beer for a product such as this. Most people can see through a pretty pink package.