Last week, an event took place here in Chicago named “She’s Crafty: Women in Craft Beer” and while I couldn’t attend, the existence of such an event again points to the ongoing and increasing trend of women drinking and enjoying craft beer in the US. Any number of polls will show that beer-drinking is up across the board in the US, but what is less well-reported is how many of those drinkers are women.
So, what can restaurateurs and brewers do to take advantage of this trend?
1. Don’t assume. It may seem obvious, but when describing your menu, making pairing suggestions, or presenting the day’s specials, don’t assume she’ll be having a cosmopolitan or glass of wine. Include her in the conversation; you may be surprised to find she knows more than her male counterpart!
2. Host a Women’s Only tap takeover or tasting night. Bonus points if you feature breweries owned by women!
3. Help to educate women on what you’re serving. You’ve taken the time to build and curate your beer lists, but they can be intimidating for many drinkers – men and women alike. Since there isn’t time to describe every beer to every guest, electronic menus can help fill in the gaps and allow guests to be more confident in their choices before ordering.
4. Brewers, go to beer festivals and chat with the women there. Particularly in Chicago, there’s no lack of festivals to attend, and by some estimates, the attendees are 40% female. See what they like, offer suggestions, and get them tasting your beer. If it’s true that women control 80% of purchasing decisions, it’s a safe bet you’ll see a positive ROI and then some.