In the pursuit of perfect homebrew, failure still makes beer.

NO BOYS ALLOWED! is kind of overdoing it.

This made me a little upset/uncomfortable tonight.

Oh boy. Here comes a rant.

Now, I’m not one to say who drinks what beer. I love my craft beer and I want other people to appreciate it, but I’m not going to force it down anyone’s throat. You like what you like, and if you don’t want to try something new, it’s your choice. That being said, the premise of “Chick Beer” is as follows (from the mission statement off the website):

One day, we were in our local store looking for an interesting beer to take home, and thought “Isn’t it strange that out of hundreds of beers, none are designed to appeal directly to women?  In fact, most are clearly marketed to men.” […] After two years of effort, Chick Beer is our answer. Chick is a craft-brewed light beer that doesn’t taste like a light beer.  It has just 97 calories and 3.5 carbs.  The taste is soft, smooth and full-bodied.  It’s the taste that most women prefer.  You’re going to love it. […] We also decided that this Chick would be anything but subtle: Bright pink packaging with a purse; LBD on the label; and an over-the-top feminine font; just to be absolutely certain that no one could mistake it for dude beer.

I get where you’re coming from. But let’s be honest: it looks like a thinly veiled marketing ploy for beer feminist superiority complexes. Out of *hundreds* of beers (try thousands of styles, brands, and breweries) you really have narrowed it down to the taste that most women prefer? Amazing.

Their marketing scheme targets the 25% of the 5% of total sales that are craft beers (see their “trade” page). Let’s get this straight: there are NO gender differences in craft beer marketing. Macros like InBev and MillerCoors may be guilty of it (albeit their commercials are funny to me), but they’re the only ones; I’ve never seen anything pushing craft beer, the market in which Chick Beer classifies their product, towards the male consumer. In fact, I’m 100% sure that homebrewing and craft brewing are strongly supporting female participation in beer culture, what with all-women homebrew competitons and other girl-powered brewing stuff outlined in this BA article. If someone has an example of a craft beer marketing scheme directed solely towards males, I’d be interested to see it.

Don’t get me wrong – I love the “new idea” in the beer world. It’s an industry which is alive and growing and can shoot off in any direction. But this beer company is undermining a lot of legitimate, non-discriminating women in the beer world. By over-preaching girl power, the site gives off a snooty, we’re-better-than-all-you-boys attitude that is frankly quite juvenile.

In my humble, libation-laden opinion, Chick Beer has good intentions but is going at it all wrong. They’re trying to create their own “NO BOYS ALLOWED!” club instead of joining a club that’s actively accepting members of all genders: the craft beer movement. They’re trying to convince women that they don’t need men and their stupid man beers, so buy their low-cal crap instead. I guarantee it’s just Budweiser Select in a pink bottle. But I’m just ornery.

I agree that there is no targeted marketing towards women in the beer industry. But there’s no evidence of actually pushing women away! On an intimate scale, female beer lovers are welcomed (if not worshiped) by awestruck men who see ladies as hopheadded as they – hell, I’m impressed and excited by my lady friends who can throw back a Black IPA or a Dry Irish Stout or a Farmhouse Saison. My girlfriend is a huge fan of lambic and kriek beers (and it’s so unbelievably attractive).

I’d charge the leading ladies of craft beer, including The Beer Wench, Ginger Johnson, and lots more to give their opinions on this topic. In the meantime, I would hesitate to condone the sale and consumption of this beer in any self-respecting beer store or watering hole. Ladies, drink whatever you damn please, but remember this: beer elitists, no matter what their gender, don’t make many friends.

UPDATE: The Ladies of Craft Beer and their followers have already exhausted this topic for me here. Guess I’ll raise a glass to not doing my research before posting. But isn’t that what a blog is for, just unhindered, knee-jerk reflections on topics of my choosing?

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3 responses

  1. amrita

    i would probably hate it.

    September 21, 2011 at 12:28 am

  2. It’s always great to help spread the word about topics to discuss- thanks for the shout out!

    Cheers

    September 21, 2011 at 1:07 am

  3. AWESOME

    October 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm

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