“Chick Beer” – Two Sides of the Coin

Chick Beer Six-Pack“Chick beer” – I’m not the only guy that finds this term extremely patronizing, right? Over the past two weeks, there has been a ton of twitter and blog activity about the introduction of a beer specifically marketed to women.

Chick: Premium Light Beer (website, twitter) has been touted by its creators as “the only American beer created just for women.” The light lager clocks in at 97 calories and carries 3.5 carbs (on par with other light beers like Miller Lite).

What separates Chick from other light beers is that its goal is to capitalize on the female beer drinking market share which the company claims is at 25% across the US. Currently only available in Maryland, the product that was two years in the making has quickly made headlines and sparked debate.

Putting my opinions aside for a minute, I ventured out to gather feedback from two very close women in my life whose opinions I value greatly.

I connected with Kelly, who is as devout a craft head as I am and knows more about great beer than 90% of the guys I know, and Magda, who enjoys her beer but stays within the realm of macro breweries and prefers Stella Artois over Southern Tier.

I sent them this email and patiently waited for a response:

Hello ladies — random question … Would u drink this stuff?  http://chickbeer.com

The devout craft beer drinker Kelly noted:

Maybe if it’s tinted pink. And glitter popped out of the carbonated bubbles. That would make me giggle with girl delight. But for real, I find this highly sexist and would be offended if someone offered me one. I actually just wrote them and email stating how i found ‘chick’ to not only be offensive as a woman who enjoyed beer, but how overly disgusting and immature their product packaging and marketing direction is for this! What the f were they thinking??

While Magda, the Stella woman, noted:

I would try it for the low calories. I read yesterday that by drinking two light beers instead of two regular beers you can save between 100-200 calories at happy hour. Also yes this is marketed for girly girls which may not get offended by it because its just SO GIRLY AND CUTE (!)…but there is a huuuuge market for girls like that. Esp in early 20s. Lots of money from daddy to spend on a pink beer.

There you have it – very interesting responses.

Despite it’s rather patronizing methods and self-proclaimed sexist title (see the answer to the question, “Is Chick Beer Sexist?”, on the Chick Beer FAQ website), I find the marketing campaign (after all, they’re selling Miller Lite in a new bottle and box) interesting. It certainly has sparked a lot of conversations and opinions – and you can’t deny that any publicity, even bad, is good.

Chick Beer Fishing Team

Chick Beer Fishing Team

Moreover, with a promise to donate 5% of net profits to charities that empower women, the idea can’t be all that bad.

Overall, I believe this beer has a very small limit to the amount of barrels that it can produce yearly and still make a profit – therefore, I don’t foresee it becoming extremely popular.

Despite this fact, you have to give it up to the company that is a) sparking up discussions within the craft beer world and b) is exposing women to alternatives to Bud, Miller, Coors and Michelob.

If you’re curious what others are saying about it, take a look at these articles:

Time News Feed: New ‘Chick’ Beer Is a Lady-Catered Brew in a Girly, Pink Package
Pedestiran.tv: ‘Chick’: How Not to Market Beer to Women
Social Images: Guy Wine and Chick Beer… When Will It End?

Perhaps we should view it as a potential friend – snagging away devout female “light” drinkers, and showing them that there are other options. Only time will tell.

How do you think chick beer will impact the female beer market share in the US?

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