01 Apr 2009 @ 7:15 AM 

Word around the intertubes is that Coors is developing a clear beer to market to women. It is reportedly flavored with green tea and dragon fruit, and is apparently going to taste more like an alcopop than the lager that it supposedly is. It’ll be launched in the UK first and then in US markets, the first release of the BitterSweet Partnership.

OMG!  Shopping!

OMG! Shopping!

I’m not a woman, but I feel fairly insulted by this on their behalf.

A quick snippet from their website, under the section “Shopping?”:

What if bars served beer in smaller glasses? What if beer came in sexy easy-to-carry boxes? What if it had fewer calories, would you feel better about drinking it?

Wow. Could we stereotype a little bit more here? Here’s a what-if: What if you didn’t portray women as objects in your commercials?

Shit, aren’t you just painting a similar picture with this marketing campaign?

“Girls don’t want drinks that are ICKY. Here, try this! It tastes like fairies!”

Are they really playing the “girls are fragile” card? They might as well be printing “Math is HARD” on pink fuzzy Hello Kitty bags. Those girls that they’re marketing to? They’re all 16 years old.

I’m also a little astonished that this partnership and this Partnership is helmed by five women. Kirsty, Kristy, Helen, Sarah, and Emma (all from marketing or sales, I think). Ladies: You are all successful business women. You have probably had to claw and scrape to get a decent amount of respect in the corporate world. I hope you’re getting compensated equally with your male peers.

But, look: I, too, have noticed that there are not as many female beer drinkers, but I know my share. In fact, lucky man that I am, I’m married to one. I can’t see any of the female beer drinkers I know putting down a well-made craft beer for an alcopop that’s marketed to be cute and girly. You wanna talk sexy? Let’s talk about girls who drink stouts and IPAs.

Most of the women I know who drink beer do tend to shy away from more hoppy brews. From there, though, there’s a pretty wide variance between those who gravitate toward more fruity beers (fruited lambics other fruit beers are popular), darker beers (porters and stouts are also popular), or light, somewhat sour beers (Belgian wits and geuzes are very popular). I can’t think of any woman I know that doesn’t drink beer because she is offended by its color. The color? Really?

I have an idea on how to get women to drink beer: educate them about it as you would any other human – they’re not a different species, for crissakes – and give them a place to drink beer that doesn’t feel like a dirty frat house. You want to get women interested? Sell them a beverage that they’re drinking to enjoy, one that pairs well with food, one with complexity of flavor, and varieties to explore. This “Partnership” is nothing but a desperate appeal to the “drink to get drunk” contingent.

Women out there – and I’m pretty sure I’ll only get beer drinkers here, but I could be wrong – how do you feel about this push by Coors? What kind of beer do you and don’t you like? What attracts you to a beer?

Posted By: erik
Last Edit: 01 Apr 2009 @ 07:15 AM



Responses to this post » (17 Total)

  1. meg says:

    Mmmmmm beer.

    Clear beer seems like it would be distinctly unappetizing. I like my beer to look and taste like beer. Nothing too malty or fruity. If there’s a pale ale on the menu, that’s usually my choice.

    I don’t find this marketing any more offensive than any other marketing, though, whether it’s targeted at women or some other group. Most beer commercials seem to be filled with stereotypes of beer-drinkers who don’t exactly savor their beer.

    • Daniel says:

      I went to college in Indiana, and the store we had to buy alhoocl from wasn’t open on Sundays either. We went to a wedding of friends from college and they were in a panic because the liquor store wasn’t open for some reason the day before their wedding. They had planned to buy all the alhoocl the day before, and since it was a backyard wedding and they were busy setting up, we ran to the store to get it all for them on our way to the wedding. We had to buy it in Illionis because the stores in Indiana near them were all still closed. I don’t actually know the laws of Indana as far as alhoocl buying goes, but from those two experiences, I would say it is similar.

  2. meg'n says:

    Is this an April Fool’s joke? I actually don’t drink beer. I’ve never been able to stomach the taste. The aftertaste makes me gag, regardless of how good a beer it is. That said, even I think this is stupid. If I wanted an “alcopop”, I’d buy a wine cooler. The color and how cute and sexy a beer’s packaging are are not really going to make me buy it.

    If they want women to drink beer, they might want to advertise it to them. I watch a lot of sports on TV (hence a lot of beer and car/truck commercials), and I can’t tell you the last time I saw a beer commercial that had me as its target audience.

    • Diky says:

      When I lived in Washington, my mom’s restaurant was a coulpe of doors from a state run liquor store. My dad thought the whole thing was a joke and just kept bitching to go home to CA. I’m not much of a drinker anymore but back then all the kids from Bellevue that I ran with just took the booze from their rich parents’ well stocked bars.

  3. Sarah says:

    I think this whole clear beer idea is ridiculous. Like Meg, I want my beer to look and taste like beer. As a woman, I am not magically attracted to clear things, or pink things, or fruity things.

    Not that I’m against people adding flavors to beer. I’m very supportive of people who say “I wonder what X would taste like in a beer?” But, the goal should be to bring a new dimension to beer, not to make something that is trying to escape being beer. If you want to invent a new alcoholic beverage (like wine coolers!) then do it, and cut the pretense.

    Also, how do you remove color from beer? It comes from the grain. The grain is colored. If you take that away, wouldn’t the flavor disappear as well? Is that why they have to add other flavors?

  4. chandra says:

    I enjoy beer – it is a bit of an acquired taste, but I’ve been practicing for a long time. I tend towards reds, and have avoided the overly hoppy brews. IPA is the enemy. But recently have been learning to appreciate the subtle differences, and embrace my husband’s beer. I don’t normally go for the “mass market” beers, and am offended that PBR has become a “hipster” drink – wtf?

    Coors making clear beer that tastes like green tea? NO thank you. If I want green tea, I’ll have some, but when I want a beer, I want an actual beer. If I want fruity alcohol, I’ll take out the vodka and the juice.

  5. erik says:

    Also, how do you remove color from beer? It comes from the grain. The grain is colored. If you take that away, wouldn’t the flavor disappear as well? Is that why they have to add other flavors?

    From what I understand, they’re going to remove the color through filtering which, yes, will remove a great deal of flavor, as well.

    I am not clear if this is going to be a hopped offering or not, but it’s specifically listed as a lager, so they’re at least planning on using lager yeast.

  6. dreamer says:

    I think it depends on where you are drinking the beer. If it’s in a black-lit nightclub, or a dark bar, and you are 18 (they are launching in the UK, after all), clear things can look more appealing than cruddy-grey-looking things. Do you get a mixed drink, or a beer? Can it be in a bottle that doesn’t spill on your outfit, and if it does, can you be confident it doesn’t stain? There’s a market segment here, for sure.

  7. erik says:

    Oh certainly! There is definitely a market segment. I just don’t think it’s for beer – I think it’s for alcopop. And if they’re going to make an alcopop, then.. hey.. Mike’s Hard Lemonade just got one more competitor.

    Labeling it beer, and more specifically, beer for women seems like an insult to both beer and women.

  8. Kristy from BitterSweet here – thanks for picking up on the story.

    The BitterSweet Partnership was launched as we believe that the beer industry has ignored women for far too long. We know that lots of women already love beer, but our research showed that almost 8 out of 10 women (77%) say they seldom or never drink it,.

    The ‘clear beer’ is a completely new, ultra filtered beer product which is still in development and has yet to be launched or even named. We’re listening to all women to understand what they want from a beer, so this is just one product that we’re currently testing – we’re looking at product developments to match a whole range of tastes, plus creating better buying and drinking experiences for women. We’ll also be working with Coors Brewers to help inform the way Coors brands generally engage with women in the future.

    We’re about making beer an acceptable and stylish drink choice for women, not about encouraging women to drink more – we strongly recommend that women stick to government guidelines on safe drinking.

  9. mierla says:

    I’m with the other women here who prefer their beer to taste and look like Beer. That said, though, I have found myself in recent years at semi-work-related banquets and receptions going up to the bar and not ordering beer because I don’t want to be the chick swigging from a bottle.

    But, you say, you could ask for a glass. Sure, but then you’re the priss who’s holding up the line because she’s too whatever to drink from a bottle. That’s the solution I’m hankering after: proper beer that’s easier to drink elegantly.

    …So then I usually order a Manhattan. Not more ladylike, but certainly more genteel to consume.

    • Matej says:

      brandon alcohol is trateed as this legal taboo in a lot of states. Didn’t know Wash St. ran their own booze control.winter That’s how I got my alcohol as a kid. At 14, we stole it from my friend’s dad’s liquor cabinet. refilled the Bacardi dark rum bottle with warm ice tea. We never thought he would find out (he did and was fucking pissed). Then we resorted to giving bums outside the Hanshaw’s $10 to get us rum and vodka.

    • www.cqy4.com says:

      Hey, you’re the goto expert. Thanks for hanging out here.

  10. […] brings me to something I’ve been meaning to blog — Erik of Top Fermented points us a new beer effort by Coors — get ready for this one: I’m not a woman, but I feel […]

  11. eHawk says:

    Here here… i am so glad to hear this sentiment outside of the ladies i spend time with from BeerAdvocate, because I know I’m not crazy, and I wish people would stop assuming i don’t have a palette.

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