Fans of craft beer will probably agree that one of the most exciting elements of the craft beer experience is the labelling. After all, a substantial portion of the graphic design found on these cans and bottles depicts scenes that hearken back to an era of retro design, fantasy and shameless sex appeal. That being said, the abundance of female flesh on many craft beer cans is causing some breweries to rethink their ad campaigns in light of claims that these products are inherently sexist.
Perhaps one of the reasons that craft beer makers have never stopped to consider the implications of the graphic art on their cans and bottle labels is simply because the majority of drinkers have been men. This, however, simply isn’t the case in today’s economy. A growing number of women have begun to follow craft beer production with the same level of awe, curiosity and reverence as their male counterparts. With that in mind, the artists and illustrators who create the epic, sex-saturated montages on these products are now being forced to ask themselves, will this offend the women we serve?”
The potential offenses run deeper than just the illustrations themselves. In some scenarios, craft beers have been named after explicit sex acts where women are forced to play a submissive role. This, of course, will do little to persuade a female audience to purchase the product.
Although craft beer remains a maverick industry, the time has come for craft beer producers to re-evaluate how best to woo drinkers with their beer labels. If they are, indeed, serious about distinguishing themselves amongst a crowded field of competitors, it is in their best interest to ensure that both genders are actively drinking, talking about and sharing their beers with their friends and family. Ultimately, to ignore the female demographic when producing these beers is a reckless act that, in any other industry, would quickly be labelled a bad business decision. It will be very interesting to see how beer producers respond to these issues in the near future. Until then, the best possible advice is to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.