A study into female attitudes and behaviour towards beer by women and beer interest group Dea Latis has revealed 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.

Key report findings

  • 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.”

Stop dwelling on the past

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 at Wild Card Brewing, in Walthamstow, London, said: “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 Beer Agender report is available to download from the Dea Latis website here

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