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Do women drink beer? It's a dumb question to be sure, but watching any random assortment of beer commercials, one might start to wonder. After all, the vast majority of beer marketing revolves around men: men watching football, men laughing at jokes, men saying "whassup."
To Ginger Johnson, the founder of Women Enjoying Beer, and the author of the book How to Market Beer to Women: Don't Sell Me A Pink Hammer, the tendency of beer marketing to ignore women is not only insulting. It's also a bad business strategy.
"Females in America influence fully 75 to 85 and sometimes north percentage of all purchases in America," she told us. "What fuels our country is our economy, and the economy is fundamentally directed by women. So when beer companies fully recognize [women] as a full-respect person and nothing to do with our reproductive systems, then we're making progress."
Johnson said women were involved in brewing beer long before it became the mostly male-dominated industry it is today. In the days before craft IPAs and seasonal rotating taps, brewing beer was a household task, akin to cooking.
"Women have always been involved in beer," she said. "I think it's hilarious that people think that this a new thing, or that it's a trend, or that it's clever, or that it's a niche."
Listen above to our full interview with Ginger Johnson. She will also be presenting a program called "HERStory: The Story of Women in Beer" from 7-9 tomorrow night at the Arcadia Ales brewery and tap room in Kalamazoo. You can find out more and get tickets at fermentamichigan.org.