In the history of beer the important ingredients were water, hops, barley, yeast, and women.  The Sumerian beer drinkers worshiped the goddess of brewing, Ninkasi.  The Hymn to Ninkasi is a nineteenth-century BC recipe for beer found inscribed on a stone tablet.  Throughout the ages women have been the primary brewers of beer.  I could go on and on about importance of women in beer history, but lets just cut to the chase:  Since when did beer become a “man” thing?

I did a little research into this and discovered a Gallup poll on the preferred beverages between men and women.  As you can see from the graphics below beer clearly is the preferred drink by men while women choose wine.

Gallup Poll Showing Men Beverage ChoicesImage Showing Breakdown of Female Beverage Choices










The European beverage industry has taken note of these statistics and realized the growing the amount of women who drink beer is a way to increase sales.  The companies are “chick washing” the products through labels and marketing as well as changing the taste to appeal to what they believe women want to drink.  Does changing the label and adding a bit of pink actually work?

Hoegaarden Rosée

ABInBev’s brand Hoegaarden added a twist to flagship beer to create Rosée.  This unfiltered fruity wheat beer smells like raspberries has a hue of light pink.  It is only available in Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxemburg.  The ABV is 3%




Carlsburg is branding their latest beer Copenhagen as a beer with international appeal.  The label is clean, crisp and not gender specific.  At 4.5% ABV, Copenhagen is designed to be an alternative to white wine or champagne.  Copenhagen will be debuted in Denmark and then rolled out to the rest of Europe in Asia through late 2011 – 2012.

Carlsburg previously launched Eve in 2007.  With flavors of Lychee, Grapefruit, Peach & Passion fruit, Eve is marketed towards women 25 – 35 years old.  It is available in Russia, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Denmark and Ukraine.


Brewed by Molson Coors, Animée (French for livened up) is a new line of beer consisting of three varieties:  clear filtered, crisp rose, and zesty lemon.  The label and taste of the beer is designed to break the stereotype of what many think beer looks and tastes like.  The ABV of Animée is 4%.  Animée is set to be released late 2011 in the United Kingdom.


Bud Light Select 55

Rarely do beers or any alcoholic drinks market how many calories they contain.  Many women are concerned about how many calories they consume, so I am just going to draw the conclusion this beer was designed for women.  The ABV of Bud Light Select 55 is 2.8%.



Chick Beer

This light lager that claims to not taste like beer, but still is a beer.  Chick Beer is contract brewed by Minhas Brewery in southern Wisconsin, but is only available in Maryland.  I’ll keep it on my list to try next time I am in Maryland.  Everything about this beer packaging screams chick!  The bottle features a little black dress, and the six-pack is designed to look like a purse.  The tagline on the bottles is “witness the chickness!”  Chick Beer has 97 calories and 4.2% ABV.  5% of all profits are donated to charity.


So is beer going girly?  Maybe.  Should it?  No.

I can agree that beer has a wide variety of flavors and perhaps some of the flavors might appeal to women more than men.  The bigger problem?  How beer is marketed.  Beer advertising is aimed at men not women.  Very little of the advertising is gender neutral.  (Yeah I know I’m being stereotypical and bro would beat me up if I didn’t acknowledge this)  But really, is chick washing beer going to make it any better?  You might capture a small amount of women and increase your market sales but let’s think bigger – educate people.  Most people in their early 20’s think all beer tastes like piss, comes in a keg or can, and is designed to play beer pong.

Why educate consumers?  There are so many different types of beers and there is something out there for everyone.  Can you imagine someone drinking wine out of a wine glass just to get drunk?  Probably not.  So why does everyone assume you drink beer to get drunk?  Beer can be just as sophisticated as drinking wine.  The glassware, such as a tulip glass, can be just as elegant and important to the drink.

Maybe I am giving the girly beer an unfair evaluation.  These beers might be a good thing for the beer industry.  Perhaps it will change women’s opinion of beer, open their taste buds to new options, and eventually they will be drinking craft beer.  Or, maybe it will just continue the stereotype and beer will always be a man’s drink.


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