Tag Archives: women and beer

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.

Back to more research for a ‘deeper dive’

9 Aug

Dea Latis, has been awarded a second grant by the The Worshipful Company of Brewers from their Brewers’ Research and Education Fund to delve further into women’s attitudes and behaviours around beer following the publication of their report in May this year, The Gender Pint Gap.

Dea Latis directors, Lisa Harlow and Annabel Smith identified during the early stages of drafting their report that the results demanded a much ‘deeper dive’ into the psychology of female relationships and attitudes towards beer. The report was drawn from a YouGov survey of 2,000 respondents answering mainly multiple-choice questions so there was no opportunity to explore responses in more detail at that stage. The new funding will provide an opportunity to conduct more detailed, qualitative research.

They are also keen to explore how brand owners, brewers and retailers are responding and reacting to female attitudes towards beer and to draw up some ‘best practice’ guidance.

Lisa Harlow explained: “Our first report was the most comprehensive piece of research in this area for over nine years and provided us – and the sector – with a fascinating overview of today’s situation. At the same time it generated more questions than we could answer.

“For example, why did so many non-beer drinkers say that they just don’t like the taste of beer. Was it tempered by inherent beliefs and opinions or have they had a poor experience of beer so their conclusion is that all beer is the same? Have they had the opportunity to experience a diverse range of flavours, styles and colours, and been encouraged to form opinions without judgement or ridicule?”

The second piece of research will also look into why women don’t drink beer for fear of ‘being judged by others’; why marketing and advertising of beer is such a big barrier (48% in the 18-24-year-old age group) and what brewers might be doing to address the misconceptions about beer in terms of calorific content, serve size, quality and image.

Annabel Smith added: “Our aim is not to tell the beer industry how to do their job or give negative opinions about their marketing strategies. We want to engage and work with brewers to create an achievable set of standards and messages based on robust ‘real life’ opinions of real consumers. We want to engage, educate and entice women to consider beer and research such as this is commercially valuable to brewers, brand owners and retailers.

“We are very grateful to the Worshipful Company of Brewers for their support in this, and our earlier research.”

Brewers networking event considers women and beer

25 May

Annabel Smith received am enthusiastic trade sales reaction to The Gender Pint Gap report this week when she presented to a brewers’ Drinks Sales Networking event in London for over thirty brewery and drinks representatives from around the country.

In presenting the findings of the report, she challenged the brewers to think about their responses to the range of statistics published; that despite the boom in UK beers and brewing in the last ten years, little has changed in terms of women’s attitudes to drinking beers.

A lively debate ensued after the presentation with everyone there vowing to take back their findings to their respective businesses for consideration.

Annabel said: “As we say in the report, there’s a lot of history to unravel and it’s going to take a concerted effort by the brewers, marketeers, retailers and media to turn these ingrained attitudes around. We can all do something to peel back these layers.”

Joe Brouder, Regional Sales Manager for Timothy Taylor added: “The Gender Pint Gap report has certainly given us all something to think about and there are definitely incremental changes we can all make to support the report’s recommendations.”

 

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.

 

 

Dinner with Beer at Lewes Octoberfeast

31 Aug

Ladies in Lewes are invited to swap their Prosecco for a pale ale for the evening, and come to a Dinner with Beer organised by beer and women group Dea Latis, as part of the Lewes Octoberfeast.  The dinner, in partnership with Harvey’s Brewery, takes place on 30 September, at the John Harvey Tavern.

Guests will be served a delicious four-course meal specially created by the pub’s chef, Dan Baker, to complement a variety of beers from Harvey’s and Burning Sky Brewery,  while award-winning Beer Sommelier Jane Peyton will be talking through the combinations and helping guests to discover the delights of beer and food matching.

Dea Latis has held similar dinners across the UK, but the event at the John Harvey Tavern is the first in Lewes. Dinners are ideal for women who are interested in food and drink, but men are also welcome.

Ros Shiel for Dea Latis said, “Our dinners are all about presenting beer in a new way to women and changing the way they think about it.  We show the diversity of beers, from pale ales to dark stouts, and we taste some magical beer and food matches.  By the end of the evening, even the staunchest wine drinkers have found a beer they love!

“We also address women’s concerns about beer, explaining that it’s made from natural ingredients, and that it doesn’t give you a ‘beer belly’, when drunk in moderation.  Most importantly, though, we want our guests to have a great time – and with a roomful of women enjoying the John Harvey Tavern’s fantastic food, paired with some brilliant beers, we think that’s guaranteed.”

Miles Jenner, head brewer at Harvey’s Brewery said: “Beer is a wonderful match to food because it is so versatile and works with a wide range of foods, yet many ‘foodies’, particularly women, still don’t think of drinking beer with a meal.  So an event like this is a great introduction, especially with the expert guidance from a Beer Sommelier, and we’re delighted to be partnering with Dea Latis to bring beer and food matching to the Octoberfeast.”

Buy tickets

Dinner with Beer starts at 7.30 on 30 September at the John Harvey Tavern,  Bear Yard, Cliffe High Street, Lewes.  Tickets are on sale now at £30 per person, including: welcome beer on arrival, four-course meal matched with beer and expert guidance from Jane Peyton.  To purchase, visit Eventbrite or call into the John Harvey Tavern.

 

 

 

Women to sample brewsters’ beer with brunch

9 Jun

Organisers of the Midlands’ biggest keg beer festival have collaborated with the women and beer group, Dea Latis, to run a special Brewsters’ Brunch, taking place at this year’s Birmingham Beer Bash on Saturday 23rd July 2016 .

Brunch2

The fringe event is dedicated to celebrating women in the brewing industry with tastings from three of Britain’s top female brewers or ‘brewsters’.

Michelle Kelsall from Offbeat Brewery in Cheshire, Gwen Sanchirico a native New Yorker now brewing at Sacre Brew in Wolverhampton and Sarah John from Swansea’s Boss Brewing will be providing beers and sharing their experiences as women in the male dominated brewing industry.

Hosted by one of the UK’s first female beer sommeliers and one of the Dea Latis founding members, Annabel Smith, the Brewsters’ Brunch is not a women-only event but the aim is to encourage women to go along from 10am to midday to enjoy the tasting of six beers brewed by women. The accompanying brunch will be provided by Peel & Stone, Birmingham’s top independent bakery based in the Jewellery Quarter.

Annabel said: “We’re extremely excited to be a part of this year’s Birmingham Beer Bash. We set up Dea Latis in 2010 as a group of women united by our love for beer and the belief that it is too good to be enjoyed only by men and run events like this around the UK.

“Having worked in the beer industry for over 20 years, I have seen a huge shift in women’s attitudes to beer. Thanks to the recent craft beer revolution there is much more information out there about styles of beer and great choice of ales. I think women feel more confident to ask about beers at the bar.”

Dea Latis recently conducted a survey of 600 beer drinkers which confirmed that more women are now regularly incorporating beer in to their repertoire.

David Shipman, founder and organiser of Birmingham Beer Bash added: “It’s always been part of our stated aims that we want to help bring more of the best beer experiences to Birmingham. Working with Dea Latis to celebrate women in brewing does exactly that.

“Beer Bash is a great opportunity for men and women alike to try different styles, talk to brewers and enjoy some of the great beers from around the country. We hope that this fringe event will show what brilliant female brewing talent we have in the industry.”

Tickets, available from Eventbrite and the main event website birminghambeerbash.co.uk, cost £22.50 and include a flight of six beers and brunch as well as admission to the popular Saturday daytime of the Birmingham Beer Bash.

“Don’t patronise a woman and assume she wants to drink wine”: ‘Independent’ interview with Jane Peyton

6 Jul

Beer Sommelier, beer historian and Dea Latis supporter Jane Peyton is interviewed by the Independent and talks about why beer makes people happy, why more women don’t drink beer – it’s the pint glasses, mainly – and Jane Austen’s spruce beer. Read it here:  http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/jane-peyton-interview-britains-beer-sommelier-of-the-year-on-witchcraft-and-jane-austen-10361455.html

 

 

 

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