OK, Deep breath. How many of you have heard about Chick Beer? It’s a beer, specifically marketed towards women. It’s a light lager that’s low calorie, low carb, comes in a pink package that looks like a purse and the label has a black dress on it. You nailed it, Chick Beer. I, like every woman, was just searching for a beer that would connect my love of beer with my love of accessories, pepto pink, and low calorie products.
Believe it or not, the over simplified stereotype based marketing is not my biggest problem with Chick Beer. It’s also not the fact that they’ve basically made a glorified Bud Light as the beer that represents women because, goodness knows, we wouldn’t like anything hoppy or malty. No, the problem came here, check out this video at the link (because I can’t figure out how to link the video directly into the blog)
Watch at about 34 seconds in, the anchor says Chick Beer is calling themselves the first beer created by a woman. Oh SNAP. I call shenanigans! Don’t worry, I don’t believe in any way, shape or form that Bailey and I were the first women to create beer, because I’m not crazy. I also don’t blindly ignore history. I’m hoping that lines got crossed on the way to production and the Chick Beer lady doesn’t really believe that no other woman in the history of time was a brewer, but this seems like a good time for a little trip down memory lane. Let’s start with the Egyptians. Way back when, in Egypt, the goddess Hathor was celebrated as “queen of drunkenness and dance, the inventress of beer”. In Medieval England, where people where were shotgunning almost a gallon of beer a day – way to binge drink Medieval people!—pretty much all the beer was made by ladies. Moving way forward in time, Elise Miller John headed Miller Brewing from 1938-1946, and yes, she’s the only woman to ever head a major brewery. Now let’s jump even farther ahead, with Carol Stoudt, the owner of Stoudt’s Brewing Company in Pennsylvania. She was the first woman to found her own microbrewery. She was also the brewmaster, so you know, creating recipes and actually brewing them. Unlike Chick Beer, who outsources their beer for another brewmaster to make — a male brewmaster, who I believe at the very least collaborated on the recipe—which is fine, but a little underwhelming when your entire platform is to be the Secret Deodorant (you know, ‘By Women for Women’) of beer.
Yes, the numbers of women involved in the craft beer industry are small, but they are growing. Do you want more information on women and beer? Check out the Pink Boots Society (yes, PINK, it is a nice color), they actually have a whole history of women and beer, take a look at that too.
So come on Chick Beer, you should know better. If you want to make a lite beer and come up with a silly hook of a marketing plan for it, that is just fine by me. Goodness knows I have been seduced by the humor of Beer 30 (see previous blog entry). But give respect where respect is due. I suppose, really, it’s CBS’s Early Show who really deserves the wag of the finger. I believe you employ people whose entire job is to check facts…you should use them. I would like to applaud the main anchor though, who called Chick Beer out for what it is - a generic light beer - said she enjoys full flavored beer and said she wouldn’t use the pink koozie. Come to Jackalope, Anchor Lady, the first beer’s on us!