Women and the Beer Industry 

Wine and liquor – not beer—have become the most popular drink in the 21-27 year-old demographic that is critical to beer marketing.



A recent report by Morgan Stanley, entitled “U.S Consumer Trends Favor Wine and Spirits over Beer,” found that spirits are now the preferred alcoholic beverage among 21- to 27-year olds. Beer also appears to be losing its allure with women.

Dave Colletti, senior sales director of on-premise and strategy, Miller Brewing Co.


Young consumers find the [wine and spirits] brands to be fun and interesting, romantic, sexy and stylish.

Tom Pirko, president of Bevmark LLC


The beer marketers have been complacent. They need to make beer chic, classy and unique.

Fernando Salazar, corporate food and beverage director, Omni Hotels


One of the huge untapped markets is women. The industry has ignored women in the market. Our experience is that many women are more adventurous in seeking out big flavors than men are….That’s 50 percent of the population that’s been ignored by the beer industry.

Peter Egelston, president, Smuttynose Brewery


Spirits enjoyed a stronger image among twenty-somethings, beating beer on taste, quality and sophistication….Women, in particular, have been drawn to the cocktail as an alternative to beer.

James Amdorfer, AdAge,com


I don’t see imports getting discounted, and imports continue to grow. So people don’t mind paying a premium price.

David Williams, executive VP, general manager of beer, wine and spirits division, IRI


Brewers have been reluctant to market to women for fear of alienating their core audience: men.  

Benj Steinman, president of Beer Marketer’s Insight


Total beer, wine and spirits sales in 1995 and 2004 are $107 billion and $147 billion, respectively…Total consumer dollar purchases of spirits grew 38 percent, wine grew 60 percent and beer grew only 25 percent. Of the total market, spirits rose from 32 percent to 34 percent in that period, while wine jumped from 17 percent to 20 percent and beer fell from 51 percent to 46 percent.

Impact Databank


U.S. beer sales grew only 1% to 198 billion barrels in 2000, according to the Beer Institute. Women now account for 25% of beer consumption, and marketers see them as a growing base.

Michael McCarty, USA TODAY


Beer lost a full point of its market share in grocery and drug channels last year.

Sarah Theodore, Beverage Industry


Anheuser-Busch lost its title as the largest brewer in the world last year. In 2005, their domestic volume is down 2.7 percent from the first quarter of 2004.

Beverage Industry


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