The Perfect Match: Beer, Feminism and Weed

February 24, 2018

By Eno Sarris, February 24, 2018

Sponsored by OkCupid

You may think that standing in line for a beer is a distinctly male phenomenon. At least, that’s how advertisers present it. A Monmouth College study found, not surprisingly, that “beer advertisements routinely promote gender stereotypes,” and the “most prominent message communicated by commercials is that beer is manly.”

The people around you in that imaginary line of dedicated beer drinkers are probably men, too. There’s some logic behind this assumption. In 2016, the Brewer’s Association found that only 25% of weekly craft beer drinkers were women. However, now you don’t have to believe another stereotype forced upon many drinkers by conventional beer marketing, as we have reason to believe that beer drinking isn't necessarily a bubble of bro-culture and masculinity.

To prove this, we turned to an unlikely source, OkCupid. Recently, the dating app asked its members if they consider themselves beer snobs. It found that members who self-identified as a beer snobs were more than twice as likely to consider themselves feminists than those who didn’t. Even just liking the taste of beer made a member 1.5 times likely to consider him or herself a feminist.

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OkCupid also found another activity that shares this feminist tendency: smoking marijuana. It’s an activity that’s less driven by conventional marketing, because it’s still finding a community of its own among the recent decriminalization and legalization in several states. Yet, according to OkCupid daters, 95% of self-described feminists think marijuana should be legalized, and more feminists smoke than non-feminists. So, why might this matter as it relates to gender norms surrounding beer?

The third finding from OkCupid’s survey might seem less relevant, but it today’s politically driven culture, it takes on new significance. OkCupid found that 63% of feminists would be more likely to vote for a political candidate who supported marijuana legalization, while only 33% of non-feminists would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports marijuana legalization.

How can we tie these three findings together and what do they mean about the things were all here to discuss: beer? With so many breweries relying on antiquated marketing techniques that often alienate, ignore or offend their female customers, maybe it’s surprising to find that beer skews left in this analysis. But there’s hope in these numbers, as many of the drinkers themselves favor gender equality and political progressivism.

These findings are important, because there’s more women in craft beer than some stats might suggest. For example, more women than men read this very site, October. Taken together, leaves us with another question: When will beer advertisers catch up to beer drinkers? It’s unlikely, in the near future, we’ll see a group of women clinking bottles in a mainstream beer ad, but maybe we should.

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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