#230 Wanaka Beerworks – Lady

Name: The Lady
Brewery: Wanaka Beerworks
Style: Cherry wheat beer
ABV: 5.5%
Source: Victoria Park new World

I have never in my life bought a porn magazine, but now I think I might know what it feels like to do so.

I lingered around the beer fridge at Vic Park New World for a good five minutes before I finally plucked up the courage to pick this beer off the shelf.

I mean how pathetically predictable, I thought. The small blonde girl buying a cherry wheat beer called ‘Lady’. The beer with the picture of the peroxide-blonde on the front, seductively biting into a cherry.

“I don’t usually do this!” I wanted to say to the shoppers around me. “It’s just for research, honest!”

It’s probably not what Wanaka Beerworks had in mind when they came up with the idea for this beer. Instead they probably pictured girls in high-heels and pink dresses flocking to it on the shelf, exclaiming “Finally! A beer that’s made for me.”

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with marketing beer towards women. Just give us a bit more credit for Christ’s sake. “A wheat based cherry beer for the ladies with enough punch to please the gents too”, it says on the bottle. Why is it just men that want punch? Why does our beer have to be pink? Why not make us an Imperial Stout,  an IPA, or a Saison? Anything but cherry wheat!

Despite my irritation at the sexist assumption of what a Lady should drink, I really wanted to forget all that for a moment and review this beer fairly. I enlisted the help of my two sister’s, and didn’t tell them what I thought about the marketing until after we’d all tasted it.

We all thought it was OK, but nothing special. It didn’t taste obviously of cherries, but they gave a burst of sweetness and tartness at the forefront which I quite liked.  I was pleased it was dry and not overly sweet as I had expected, but it was one-dimensional. The flavour didn’t develop, the finish was flabby like most wheat beer is, and there was no real aftertaste.

Nearly all the ladies in my life drink beer, and they drink the same styles as the men I know. Many like bolshy IPAs best, others prefer stouts, and a few like me can’t make up their minds. The point is not that women don’t like wheat beer, it’s that we like all sorts of beer just like men do.

I don’t mean to be overly precious about this, it’s just frustrating that beers specifically marketed at women usually have some novelty feature, Like they’re low carb, or made with fruit, or in a dainty tiny bottle. And sometimes, when they’re really going for it, they do all three! Gahhhh….. 

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Published in: on March 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hear, hear. My gender does not affect my taste buds. Also, it’s not just girls who get a raw deal from beer advertising. The mainstream beer advertisements make most men look like idiots.

  2. So which one did you like the least, Beltane maiden? Why “target” the female market? Clearly women like good beer!

  3. I do hope someone from Wanaka Beerworks reads this, because thanks to this ill-conceived sexist brandwank, I won’t be buying any more of their ales.

    I forgive, to a certain extent, Moa’s offensiveness because they do have a few really good ales I’ll still go out and buy. Wanaka, on the other hand, don’t make anything that stands out for me, and now they’re going down the offensive marketing route.

    No more for me.

  4. A recent example of how wrong these sorts of marketing stunts are: on the way down to WOMAD a couple of weeks ago, I stopped into Mikes Brewery. I’m a 40 yr old male and I decided that Mikes new cloudy wheat beer would be just the thing to enjoy in the sun. Immediately after me, three young woman ordered two bottles of Mikes Imperial Porter to share amongst themselves in the sunshine. No sexiest assumptions by the brewer or staff, and we all got to enjoy the beers we wanted!

  5. We’re the first one to indicate that taste isn’t genetically dependent, but that it is due to being exposed to different kinds of flavours through the course of life. And this is different from person to person.
    In the range of Summer beers we had a Sir and therefore we needed also a Lady. Our Belgian experience taught us that cherry beers in Belgium are beloved by the female beer drinker, however we find some of those beers too sweet. An explanation for this can be found in the overall marketing of sweet products that target woman, eg chocolate, ice cream, sweet wines, etc.. This influences the type of flavours woman get exposed to and therefore influences their tasting behaviour.
    People familiar with our philosophy, the amount of beers we’re releasing and the flavours we’re addressing should know by now that we try to target all kinds of people. Furthermore we’re a very small 3 person family brewery where we have a lot of fun just making beer, rather than purposely targeting certain markets.
    We apologise if some people were offended by the phrasing on labels, but we didn’t expected such a fuss.

    Susan, Dave & Peter


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