How to get women to drink craft beer

Marisa and I have been talking a lot about women, marketing and beer. First, there was the excellent article from Drink with the Wench about how women’s bodies have sold beer for ages. Then, there was an article about how breweries can market to women. So we have been talking about the social marketing aspect of craft brew: how can we convince women to change their behavior and order craft beer at the bar?

I have not done any focus groups or looked at demographics of what age groups of women currently drink craft beer, but I am going to guess it is an over 25 market. Although this article says a growing group is the over-50 year olds! And given what we know about how women behave, the campaign will need to be bigger than one brewery and focused on female lifestyle. What do I mean? Women are joiners. We like to hang out and talk with other women. We like to share tips and feel connected and valued by our community – whether it is on-line or real life. So a successful campaign will need to tap (pun intended) into those values.

I can see messages aimed at moms who have worked hard all day, put the kids to bed – and now need some “mommy time” with a good cold craft beer. I can see networks of women talking on the internet about their favorite beers and arranging meet-ups with new friends – perhaps even traveling to out of town breweries. Marisa also commented that she sees a trend with breweries arranging food and beer pairings just for women – so that should be part of the marketing strategy as well.

What are your thoughts? The big brewers have certainly tried to increase the number of female beer drinkers by going after the light beer market. But what can the craft beer market do to get women to join us?

From the web:
Beer Trends: “Women are also drinking a lot of micro brewed beer. According to a National Restaurant Association survey, about half of women are ordering microbrews when eating out. Microbrewers must be even more aware of this trend in beer than industrial brewers.

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  • susan  On October 26, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    in general, i don’t really like being marketed to. i’m a 24yo lady craft beer drinker, i appreciate breweries letting the world know when they’ve got new brews, and i like seeing ads for beer that are all about the beer, no fluff. plain and simple.

  • Christine Wilson  On November 4, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Hmmm, I drank my first beer in college where I also had my first cup of coffee. Both were readily available and cheap if not free. My friends used to tease me that I liked premium beers in those days (Michelob, lol). I didn’t have my first microbrew until I was in my late 20’s and I’ve drank almost nothing sense. The main thing is to market the flavor. I agree with Susan, keep it about the beer and not all that silly stuff they use to target young men.

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