Thursday, July 22, 2010

Women drinking beer

Did you know almost one in three women in the US drinks beer!

I moderated the panel Beer According to Women at the Craft Brewers Conference (Boston, April 2009) which presented a point of view from women who brew, market and promote beer. Teri Fehrendorf who founded the Pink Boots Society inspired me to submit a panel presentation, Candice from Beer Advocate and Jodi from Stoudts joined us for the panel discussion.

I am on the Pink Boots' consumer education committee and prepared the material below for a meeting during the Great American Beer Festival in Denver in Sept 2009. My focus was ideas for getting more women to enjoy craft and artisan beers. I've added a few updates and links for online surfing. Grab a craft beer and enjoy the journey!

Photo above: an article mentioning me, Carol Stoudt and Julie Bradford from the mid-1990's about Women and Beer. 15 years ago women drank 25% of beer consumed in America, today its 31%. Women drinking craft beer is a growing segment of an growing marketplace!

Women & Beer
Consumer Education and Industry Networking Notes,
i.e., how to get more women to drink craft beer...

Prepared by Sebbie Buhler, Rogue Advocate
for the Pink Boots Society meeting during GABF, 2009.

Background: The panel I moderated, Beer According to Women, was blogged during the Craft Brewers Conference in Boston, in April, 2009. I used the questions asked to a panel of women in 2002 as a reference and inspiration for my panel.

During NYC Beer Week on 9-15-2009 a panel & tasting event Women in the Beer Industry: from brewers to bar owners was held at the French Culinary Institute on Sept 15, 2009. Maggie Fuller of BeerEthos moderated. Sorry to have missed this one. In June, 2010 I attended an spoke at the post SAVOR event in DC, which Tammy Tuck organized and called All 'Ale the Ladies.

Blogs, websites, and clubs focused on women who drink beer...
Know and communicate with the media (online and print, tv and radio). Blog and get blogged!

What I blog about --
Pink Boots Society -
Stoudts Brewery -- Carol, Jodi, Elizabeth, Laura, Grete -
CandiceAllstrom's blog post about my panel --
Carolyn Smagalski - The Beer Fox --
Cornelia, Beer Drinker of the Year! --
Suzanne Woods (Phila)... I
n Pursuit of Ales
Ales 4 Females (CO) Left Hand's womens club --
Ginger Johnson (OR) -
Lucy Saunders's Cooking with Beer --
and her BeerCook website --
Lisa Morrison in PDX, and what she's done --
Tiila's Women who Love Beer (SFO) --
and a shout out to Tiila from the Beer Wench!
Aleuminati --
Maggie Fuller (NYC) --
The ladies at the Cambridge Common / Lizard Lounge (Boston) --
Ms Wort Hog, An Oregonian in Kansas City --
Brewmnaster Jenny Talley's blog --
Julie Johnson Bradford, editor of All About Beer --
Julia Herz, Brewers Assoc -- maven of press and all things networked.
All 'Ale the Ladies - an evening in DC June 6, 2010. Thanks to Tammy and crew for organizing this.
Girls Pint Out - There are several chapters in the US, I first learned about the Phoenix chapter from Mo, we met in DC at ChurchKey.
Drinking with the Wench: Ashley will be the chief blogger at the Beer Bloggers Conference.
Go.Girl.Magazine: Megan took a beer appreciation course at Wellesley College and had a beer epiphany, and headed west to Seattle.

ChicksLoveBeer - these gals in NoVA reached out to Rogue and are on my radar!
Naked Pint - Christina and Hallie's unadulterated guide to craft beer-
Ladies Beer Tea - An annual event during Philly Beer Week -
Alison Grayson's video For the Love of Beer - check it out!!

We've come a long way baby... spread the word!

Women were the original brewers... in many cultures and on many continents (chica)!
Fast forward to the 21st Century...Brewster Tonya Cornett of Bend Brewing Co was the first woman to win the prestigious Brewer of the Year award at the 2008 World Beer Cup. Not enough people know this, especially women.

Check out this 1994 article on the California Queen of Beer homembrew competition. Barbara Groom at Lost Coast is one of the West Coast women brewing pioneers!

Fast forward 15 years ~ participate in and support local homebrew competitions for women! Queen of Beer, a BJCP and AHA Sanctioned will be held October 2010, for information contact or visit
Allied fermentables... American Cheese Society
Get to know your local cheese makers, taste and pair their cheeses with your beers, set up tastings in your brewpub or their retail store, if they sell wine, ask them about selling your beer!
Invite the cheesemaker to co-host a beer and cheese event at a restaurant working with the chef on menu ideas.

Check if your gourmet retailers do tastings or have store sampling opportunities, Whole Foods and other grocers who have culinary education programs and classes. Encourage them to host an event for Women Beer Drinkers.

Focus on Women’s Events and Charities
I pour beer at several breast and ovarian cancer fundraisers which often showcase Women Chefs and tend to be very wine focused, beer is always appreciated! Some groups I network with: Ovarian Cancer National Alliance - Turn Up the Heat annual fundraiser and tasting event with Women Chefs from DC and environs. SHARE - Breast and Ovarian Cancer Support Network, 2nd Helping of Life Benefit. SHARE 2010 is Sept 20 in NYC.

Sept 17, 2010 - Boulder Beer Co will host Beer for Boobs, a fundraiser celebration to support the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Walk for the cure... join the
Susan G. Koman 3-Day for the Cure (tm) fundraiser being held in many cities... or pledge for someone who can!

Taste of the Nation - Share Our Strength’s nationwide tasting event each spring held in dozens of cities, mostly wine focused, always great chefs/restaurants. A great event to showcase beer with gourmet foods to consumers and to the participating chefs and restaurant staff.

My tip: Set up early, let the chefs know you are there, tell them what beers you are serving that work with the dishes they are serving. Not only will you eat better (they will bring food for a bottle of beer to take back to their station), you’ll make contacts in the back of the house and they will ask their Beverage Manager to bring in better beer.

Women Chefs and Restaurateurs
Get to know the the women chefs in your market who are making a buzz. Top Chef 1st female champ, Stephanie Izard is a beer drinker based out of Chicago (and just opened The Girl and The Goat - with lots of beer on her menu!). Chef Jamie Leeds, President of WCR has 3 restaurants in DC, all carry a nice selection of beers.

There are numerous chefs and culinary associations, these two are key:
Women Chefs & Restaurateurs mission is to promote and enhance the education, advancement and connection of women in the culinary industry. Formed in 1993 by eight of the nation's top women chefs and restaurateurs, WCR has grown to a membership of over 2,000 members, offering a variety of networking, professional and support services.
Les Dames d’Escoffier is the only organization of its kind: a world wide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality.

Don’t whine about wine drinkers.
Know the wine scene and what they are promoting. Any restaurant, bar or store doing tastings with wine makers are perfect opportunities to get beer onto the radar of the consumer, and onto the menu. If the beverage manager is uneasy about adding beer, suggest they try it with a beer dinner to launch and offer a selection of bottles for 8 weeks, and pair the beers with the menu. Encourage beer flights and samplers. If the servers are jazzed about suggesting beer, and the chefs are keen in cooking with or pairing with beer, the consumers try it.

Schedule a wine versus beer dinner and let the consumers vote on the best pairings. The Sommelier Smackdown I did in NYC was mostly wine drinkers.There were several beer epiphanies in the audience, despite losing by a few points to Emily Wines, a Master Sommelier!

Clubbing It
Lisa Morrison, Sister Suds, teaches Beer Appreciation classes for women in Portland, OR.

Ales4Females, Left Hand’s club which Sue Smith-Troy and Cinzia Wallace organized, meets once a month at the brewery from 6:30-8pm. It is now so popular you must RSVP to attend, $6 per meeting or $60 for the twelve month membership!

Suzanne Woods segment on WCAU TV about Phila’s In Pursuit of Ale, a beer club for girls, is posted online.

All 'Ale the Ladies was held after Savor in June, 2010. Washington DC has a vibrant scene for women beer drinkers, check Tammy Tuck's posts and events with Rachael Murray at Brickskeller and elsewhere.

FemALEist -- Women Who Like Beer, Girls Pint Out, Chicks Love Beer, and Beer for Babes are just a few of the clubs I've learned about recently.

Remember women involved with beer have had powerful places in society, for example,
way back when...Ninkasi, Sumerian Matron Goddess of Beer, and today... Betty Buck, first women chairperson of the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

March is Women’s History Month. A great opportunity to brew a special beer, have a beer dinner or tasting event with a woman chef, cheesemaker, etc. This article caught my attention.

Here are some facts about women and beer:

· The sale of beer to women is a growing market.
· Women currently account for 25 percent of beer consumption in the USA.
· 31% of Women in the United States drink beer (Julie/BA)
· 50.9% of the US Population are Women, we are the Majority.
· A Majority is not a Niche or Novelty. (Ginger/Snap!)
· You train for a marathon, you mentor for a lifetime. (Ginger/Snap!)
· Women between the ages of 21-30 are drinking more beer than any other age group.
· Beer drinking among women in the 50-plus age group is increasing, a fact and group often overlooked in the media. (seb/web)
· 20% of MBAA members are women in 2009, there were none thirty years ago. (seb, from · Brewers Bulletin editor and mbaa members)
· AHA is about 95% male, 5% female. (very generalized, not verified, summer 2009)
· BA membership is about 90% male, 10% female (very generalized, not verified, summer 2009)
· US Beer Drinking Team is 85% male, 15% email (email inquiry with USBDT, summer 2009)
· American Cheese Society is 51% male, 49% female (email inquiry, summer 2009)
· Women Chefs and Restaurateurs is approximately 4% male, 96% female (email inquiry)

· By 2010, women will control more than half the private US Wealth, or about $14 Trillion. · By 2020 that number will rise to $22 Trillion. (seb / web)

The article, "Hey, Get this Woman a Beer!" in the February, 2009 issue of Beverage World, written by Michael Kuderka cites these statistics:

* Women make 83% of all household purchases in the U.S.
* Women take care of 75% of the family finances.
* Women handle 89% of checking accounts in the U.S.
* Women, unlike men, tend to shop for other people as much as they do for themselves.
It's not about "Pink" Beer"... "Women don't need "girl" beer; they need to be given a chance to see what is so special about a beer."

“Forget the stereotyped notion that beer drinking is a male phenomenon. More women worldwide are drinking beer, particularly light ales, than ever before. The fact of the matter is that modern women no longer play a passive role in beer consumption or, indeed, in beer advertising.”

News from the Land Down Under...

MELBOURNE - While a new brewery is all set to open in Australia’s Warnervale on the Central Coast, it is believed that more women would be hired as professional beer tasters, for they apparently make better tasters than men. With the opening of the new Bluetongue Brewery, almost 100 jobs will be created, out of which 10 and 15 will be of full-time beer tasters, and that too without any experience. The 120 million dollars brewery will open in late 2010, and is expected to produce enough bottles daily to stretch 109km. And to make sure that every beer tastes right, owners are expecting that the majority of the jobs would go to women because they make better beer tasters. “Women typically are better able to detach a smell from the object,” the Courier Mail quoted Bluetongue’s head brewer Tim Williams as saying. Williams said that women could smell a liquid in a cup and say “strawberry” whereas men “have to see the strawberry”. Unlike wine, beer tasters must swallow. “A lot of beer’s bitter characters are detected at the back of the throat,” Mr said Williams. (ANI)

Women have better palettes then men! This is not news, but it has received a lot of press recently, thanks to the SABMiller video and the WSJ online and the article from Down Under (above) I'll pour myself a beer, Rogue Chocolate Stout blended with Chipotle Ale (I call this the Holy Mole'!) and drink to that!


~ Sebbie /
twitter @ChocolateStout
updated/posted on 7-23-10