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Why can’t beer be more like gin?

1 May

Download a PDF copy of the 2019 report

A study into female attitudes and behaviours towards beer by women and beer interest group, Dea Latis, reveals that women would switch to beer if it wasn’t associated with pints, bloating and sexist imagery and reinvented itself, as gin has done in recent years, with added elegance, better glassware and a premium serve.

In a follow up to The Gender Pint Gap, published last year, The Beer Agender explores in more detail the opinions and attitudes of women; their perceptions of beer – the product, the service, the drinkers, and the world it inhabits.

The Beer Agender includes revealing quotes from the women who took part in the research that showed women can often be their own harshest critics. With only 17% of women drinking beer regularly* the report shows that they are still influenced by the complex attitudes and imagery associated with men and beer.

The Beer Agender reports that:

  • the image of beer and its advertising is often associated with beer-swilling men in pubs;
  • the typical female beer drinker is someone who doesn’t care too much about what other people think of her or is a woman who doesn’t care too much about what she thinks of herself;
  • the bloat factor is a major consideration and feeling tight across the belly and burping is a big barrier to drinking beer on a night out;
  • women definitely don’t want a ladies-only beer and want to move beyond volume to focus more on beautiful glassware and lighter, more golden beers;
  • they want tastings as standard, with glasses and packages of beer that are smaller than a half pint, but with more interest and more flavours;
  • and that matching types of food with beer is an attractive proposition for women but they need to taste, sample, inspired and enticed.

The report’s co-author, beer sommelier and Dea Latis director Annabel Smith said: “This year’s report illustrated that many women in this country still have some ingrained deep-seated beliefs and perceptions about beer. And many of these are not positive. Women don’t want a beer made for women. Women just want the beer and pub industry to look at things from their perspective, and reconsider how beer is presented and positioned to them.”

The Beer Agender suggests that brewers and retailers should take these issues on board and stop dwelling on past beliefs. It concludes that women who drink beer are relaxed and happy and fun and in control and generally comfortable within their own skin and it should be this confident woman that other women aspire to be.

Jaega Wise, Head Brewer for Wild Card Brewing in Walthamstow, London commented on the report, saying: “This report is important for the health and growth of the beer industry in the UK. Many factors, long suspected in the complicated relationship between women and beer, specifically in the UK, have been confirmed with this thorough research. There is a huge amount of work for the beer industry to do to overcome outdated stereotypes facilitated by decades of damaging advertising.”

*The Gender Pint Gap survey conducted by YouGov

Survey Methodology

The Dea Latis survey was conducted using a qualitative approach that involved facilitating a two hour ‘beer event’ in Sutton Coldfield, along with eight paired in-depth interviews held in Manchester and Watford.

During the beer event, participants were given an opportunity to try several beers and were also asked to come up with their own ideas around encouraging more women to drink more beer.

The follow-up paired in-depth interviews gave us a chance to probe further on some issues which emerged in the beer event, as well as finding out more about the real reasons women choose beer less frequently than they might.

The sample for the beer event and in-depth interviews was deliberately split by age, social grade, life-stage and beer usership, this to partly reflect the sample from the first report undertaken.

The Beer Agender research and report was funded by a grant from the Brewing and Education Fund run by The Worshipful Company of Brewers.

The Gender Pint Gap in 2018 reported that currently, only 17% of women drink beer at least once a week (compared to 53% of men) and male oriented advertising is the main barrier to over a quarter (27%) of women drinking beer – rising even higher for the 18-24 year-old female group to almost half (48%).

A fifth of women (20%) find the thought of calories in beer and putting on weight to be the biggest reason for not drinking beer and 17% of women feel that ‘being judged by others’ is the third biggest barrier to drinking beer.

Taste is the great divide: Of the women who drink beer 56% do so because they like the taste; conversely, of the women who never drink beer 83% do so because they don’t like the taste.

What stood out most was that female attitudes towards beer have not changed much since the last major survey in 2009.

Is beer the last alcoholic drink with a gender bias?

8 May

Download PDF: The Gender Pint Gap Report_Dea Latis_May 2018

The UK has one of the lowest percentage of female beer drinkers in the world, despite the much lauded craft beer boom. Outdated sexist marketing, fear of the ‘beer belly’, and negative perceptions about flavour are all contributing to British women spurning our national drink. These are the findings in a new report into female attitudes and behaviours towards the UK’s favourite alcoholic drink.

The Gender Pint Gap report released by the women and beer group, Dea Latis is the first major piece of research about female attitudes towards beer in almost a decade. In a fast-moving consumer landscape that has seen a huge rise in the number of breweries and beer brands in the UK, the report reveals:

  • Only 17% of women drink beer at least once a week (compared to 53% of men).
  • Male oriented advertising is one of the three main barriers for over a quarter (27%) of women drinking beer – rising even higher for the 18-24 year-old female group to almost half (48%).
  • A fifth of women (20%) say that high calorie content is one of the three main barriers for women drinking beer.
  • 17% of women feel that ‘being judged by others’ is one of the three biggest barriers to drinking beer.
  • 32% of women would now drink beer at home with friends, compared to just 3% of women in another survey about women’s drinking habits and their relationship with beer in 2009*.
  • Taste is the great divide: Of the women who drink beer 56% do so because they like the taste; conversely, of the women who never drink beer 83% do so because they don’t like the taste.

The research conducted by YouGov was commissioned by Dea Latis, the group set up to inform and educate women about beer and to choose beer as a drink of choice. They wanted to examine whether the UK’s craft beer boom in the last decade has inspired more women to drink beer.

Comparing their statistics to a similar piece of research conducted in 2009*, it appears that female attitudes, perceptions and beliefs about beer have not changed much beyond a stronger trend to drinking beer at home. The report, say the authors, begs the question: why is the beer industry not tapping into this female market with an image overhaul?

Beer Sommelier and Dea Latis director Annabel Smith said: “We know that the beer category has seen massive progress in the last decade – you only need to look at the wide variety of styles and flavours which weren’t available widely in the UK ten years ago. Yet it appears the female consumer either hasn’t come on the same journey, or the beer industry just isn’t addressing their female audience adequately. Overtly masculine advertising and promotion of beer has been largely absent from media channels for a number of years but there is a lot of history to unravel. Women still perceive beer branding is targeted at men.”

Co-author of the report, Lisa Harlow added: “Our research has shown many misconceptions which women still hold about beer, such as calorific content, self-image and pre-conceptions about taste. It was disheartening in our supposedly enlightened times that so many of our female respondents cited ‘being judged by others’ as a reason for not drinking beer. Perhaps we need some high-profile celebrity advocates to show women that it is acceptable to drink beer?”

Beer writer, Sommelier & Certified Cicerone®, Melissa Cole said of the report: “An important piece of research that’s based on intelligent and insightful questions to unearth the simple ways the beer industry has managed to disenfranchise women from their once-loved drink over the last 70 years or so.

“It highlights everything from societal pressures to inappropriate serves to ingrained misogyny and more as just some of the issues and challenges the brewing industry to do something about it.

“But it’s not just criticism, it’s got rational advice on how the new, and old, guard of brewing can make beer relevant to 51% of the population again; but it’s also only just the start and I hope more long-overdue funding is provided to help address this issue.”

Jane Peyton, Beer Sommelier, writer, and founder of the School of Booze said: “The stats are fascinating and so insightful. I learned a lot about attitudes. This report should be read by everyone who makes and sells beer.”

The report concludes with a ‘Beer Drinking Women’s Manifesto’ which urges women who drink beer to become advocates; encouraging sampling, asking for different volumes and glassware and dispelling myths about calories and acceptability.

About the survey:

The Dea Latis survey was conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc UK panel of 800,000+ individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2026 adults of which 1094 were female. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd – 4th October 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

 

*Molson Coors’ Bittersweet Survey: ‘Study into the drinking habits of UK women and their relationship with beer’ was sourced from an ICM survey in 2009. ICM interviewed a random sample of 2002 women aged 18-64 from its online panel between 26th – 28th January 2009. Respondents who don’t drink alcohol were screened out.

 

 

The Red Lioness pours

29 Apr

Long-time supporter of Dea Latis, Cathy Price, has helped to launch a new Red Lion pub at Blackpool Tower where they have even named a guest cask ale after her, called The Red Lioness.

Cathy, from Preston has regularly hit the headlines following her four year, 90,000 mile trip to visit every Red Lion pub in Britain – a grand total of 656 pubs.

The Blackpool Tower’s Red Lion, found on the ground floor next to The Blackpool Tower Dungeon, is open daily from 10am. The newly refurbished Victorian tavern is decorated like a traditional pub of the era including period themed bar staff, beer tankards and wall decorations and locally brewed ale will be served on draft with a different beer available each month.

Cathy said: “It’s fantastic news that The Blackpool Tower has opened a Red Lion pub. It is great to have one so close to home.And to have a beer named after me too is just amazing! I’ll be telling all my friends that they need to swing by and have a drink here.”

Cathy was named Beer Drinker of The Year in 2016 by the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group in recognition of the number of Red Lions she has visited and is also an author of a book called ‘The Red Lioness: One Woman. Four Years. 90,000 Miles. 650 Pubs Plus’.

 

Connecting generations of brewing talent

7 Mar

Jenn Merrick, former Beavertown head brewer, is brewing a collaborative beer with Heriot-Watt students at Pressure Drop Brewery in London on 23rd March.

The idea came from the team at We Are Beer (London, Edinburgh & Bristol Craft Beer Festivals) who asked Pressure Drop Brewery facilitate a project to celebrate and profile women’s contribution to modern beer. Jenn Merrick of yet-to-be-built Earth Station Brewing will lead the project alongside the students and faculty at Heriot-Watt to make a beer that celebrates women in brewing; the craft, creativity and business expertise of women in the industry’s past, present and future.

Sienna O’Rourke, Sales & Marketing Coordinator for Pressure Drop explained: “The We Are Beer guys behind the festival did some research and found that 35% of their attendees were female but they want to grow that to 50%. They felt that celebrating and profiling amazing female talent would be a great way to head towards this goal. Meanwhile, intake of female students at Herriott Watt is shooting through the roof, and half the staff are female too, so it felt like a unique opportunity to connect the next generation of female brewing talent.”

The brew will take place on Friday 23rd of March at the brewery in Tottenham and the name of the beer is up for grabs and will be decided on the day.

After that, the beer will be poured at all the 2018 We Are Beer events and will have a national release in limited edition small pack.

Meanwhile, Jenn Merrick will launch Earth Station Brewery this summer. Located in East London’s Royal Docks—a stone’s throw from London City Airport and next to the brand new Elizabeth rail line—the brewery will form part of an “exciting hub for creativity and manufacturing” owned by local arts charity Create London.

 

With grateful thanks to the ‘In Your Area.co.uk’ news website for the photograph of Jenn.

Discrimination debate takes centre-stage

10 Jan

Industry experts will gather at the Manchester Beer Festival trade day to debate how the beer industry should combat discrimination.

Taking place between 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm on 24 January at Manchester Central, the panel discussion “Sexism is bad for business. What are we going to do about it?” aims to address the ongoing issues and challenges of sexism in the beer industry and determine what practical steps can be taken to address it. It follows hot on the heels of the festival’s decision to filter out beers with sexist names or discriminatory images and CAMRA publicly condemning sexism and discrimination in the industry.

Master Beer Trainer Christine Cryne will lead the debate with the following panelists on board:

  • Jaega Wise, Head Brewer of Wild Card Brewery, who has recently made headlines for her comments on sexist beer labelling
  • Annabel Smith, beer sommelier and founder of Dea Latis, an organisation that aims to bring beer to more women
  • Barry Shaw, operations manager for Beerhouse’s pub chain which includes six pubs
  • Jennifer Smith, co-owner and founder of Brewsmith Beer, a ten-barrel brewery
  • Katie Wiles, CAMRA’s senior communications manager and beer blogger at wilesaboutbeer.com

Annabel Smith said: “During our years running Dea Latis we have gathered a lot of anecdotal evidence about sexism in the beer and pub sector. Most predominantly we have identified there is a proliferation of blatantly sexist beer names and imagery which alienate female consumers, and an assumption that brewing beer is a ‘man’s job’. It even filters down to bar staff who automatically assume that beer is for the males in a group, and women prefer wine.

“Dea Latis wants to change these attitudes and perceptions because we believe that beer is gender neutral and far too good to be appreciated only by men. Come along to the debate if you’re a beer loving female and want to hear your voice heard!”

Graham Donning, CAMRA’s Regional Director for Manchester, said: “Sexism has been a hot topic across many sectors recently. But even within our festival, we have seen outdated attitudes persisting over several years, despite our efforts. It’s led to us deciding passive solutions weren’t working and it was time to take positive action.

“It’s clearly a deep-seated problem within the beer industry of which we are only a small cog. More action is needed and our trade session provides an opportunity for industry professionals and volunteers alike to come together to take us beyond talk. We want to see some practical and realistic ideas on how we can all eradicate sexist attitudes in beer as soon as possible.”

The trade session will kick off the Manchester Beer Festival, and takes place between 5-9pm on the 24th of January. It is open to the press and members of the trade, as well as CAMRA members.

The festival will open to the general public from the 25th-27th January. Tickets are available at http://mancbeerfest.uk/.

 Dea Latis stages tasting for women MPs

27 Nov

Beer and women group Dea Latis staged its third beer tasting in Parliament recently, treating a room full of women MPs and women working in the brewing and related industries to an evening of beer and food matching. The group also announced some initial fundings from its recent research into women’s behaviours and attitudes around beer.

The event, organised jointly with the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group and British Beer & Pub Association, was attended by around 70 guests. Beer Sommelier and Dea Latis founder Annabel Smith guided them through six beer and food pairings designed to showcase beers from Dea Latis corporate members, while co-founder Lisa Harlow revealed the research results.

The event was hosted by Ruth Smeeth MP, vice chair of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group.  She said.   She said “Often in Parliament I’m the only woman in the room, so it made a lovely change to be in a room full of women.”

“I was delighted to meet so many talented women who are working in the brewing and related industries and I’m sure that their passion for beer will encourage more to forge careers in these sectors, and persuade more women to start drinking our wonderful national drink.

“All the MPs including myself greatly enjoyed tasting the wonderful and diverse selection of beers from around the country and were amazed how well they matched the different foods on offer.

“It was inspiring to discover that women are playing such a central role in leading Britain’s beer renaissance”

Lisa Harlow for Dea Latis said: “The Westminster event fulfilled two of our main aims: to highlight the women working in our industry and present it as a career choice for more women, and to encourage more women to drink beer. We’re glad that our MP guests enjoyed the evening and hope they are encouraged to become influential advocates for our cause.”

She added: “The top line findings from our research were received with interest by guests and we look forward to issuing the full results once we’ve analysed them, early next year.” The research was carried out thanks to a grant received by Dea Latis from the Brewers’ Research & Education Fund.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, added, “We are delighted that a growing number of female MPs are championing beer as Britain’s national drink and grateful to Ruth Smeeth MP and her colleagues for taking time out of their busy schedules to support women working in our industry.”

The beers enjoyed by guests were:

  • Marston’s 61 Deep: served in champagne flutes as an aperitif
  • St Austell Tribute with Fish & Chips
  • Joseph Holt Humdinger with mini Croque Monsieur
  • Harvey’s Wharf IPA with onion bhaji
  • Shepherd Neame Bishops Finger with pigs in blanket
  • Marston’s Pearl Jet with mini roast beef and Yorkshire puds
  • Liefmans Kriek with chocolate truffles

All guests also departed with a bottle of Plum Porter, brewed by Titanic Brewery in Ruth Smeeth’s Stoke-on-Trent constituency, and a personalised bottle of Vedett, thanks to Dea Latis member Duvel, who took photos of guests and turned them into labels on the spot.

Attached image shows 

Notes to editor

Dea Latis was founded in 2010 by a group of women working in the beer and pubs industries and now has more than 400 supporters including brewers, beer tasters, marketeers, licensees, writers and bloggers, as well as six corporate members: Duvel Moortgat, Harvey’s, Joseph Holt Brewery, Marston’s, Shepherd Neame and St Austell Brewery. For more info, visit  www.dealatis.org.uk

-ends-

 

Further information:

Lisa Harlow: lisa@lisaharlow.co.uk / 07917 757860

Annabel Smith: annabel@beerbelle.co.uk / 07920 058500

Joseph Holt Brewery supports Dea Latis

20 Nov

Leading north west brewer partners with beer and women group

Manchester brewer and pub operator Joseph Holt Brewery has become a corporate member of beer and women group Dea Latis, committing funds, beer and other support to help the organisation achieve its mission of ‘bringing beer to women’.

As a Dea Latis supporter, Joseph Holt Brewery will enjoy a number of benefits, including the chance to serve its Humdinger beer at a tasting in Westminster on 21 November. The 4.1% ABV speciality beer, flavoured with Mexican honey, will be tasted by women MPs and others at the event, held in partnership with the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group and the British Beer & Pub Association.

Jane Kershaw, a trained brewer and now marketing manager at Joseph Holt Brewery, is the sixth generation to work in the family-owned business. She said, “We are delighted to be a partner to Dea Latis. There is a beer for every occasion and a beer for everyone and we are excited to work with Dea Latis to reach more people, demonstrate some fantastic beer and food pairings and show that there are indeed, many ways to drink beer and lager.

“Women have always played an integral part in running Joseph Holt Brewery managed, tenancy and retail partner pubs and in recent years we have employed many more women in the brewery office.  It is no longer a male dominated industry and Joseph Holt Brewery are proud to champion their successful women who will drive the company forward for many generations to come.”

Co-founder Annabel Smith said, “We’re delighted to have Joseph Holt Brewery on board as our sixth corporate member. They have a great range of award-winning beers and lagers and run some wonderful pubs across the north west, which we will be happy to make use of in our campaign to bring beer to a wider audience.”

Dea Latis now has a total of six corporate members: Duvel Moortgat, Harvey’s, Marston’s, Shepherd Neame and St Austell Brewery in addition to Joseph Holt. They have all agreed to support the group to help it significantly expand its activities. Dea Latis aims to be both a forum for women working in the industry, and a consumer-facing body, encouraging more women to make beer their drink of choice.

 

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