How to alienate female beer drinkers in one easy step

SouthAustinAdWhile taking in a Roller Derby bout over the weekend, a couple of us Bitch Beer gals were surprised to see an ad for a local brewery in the program. You see, we didn’t realize immediately that it had anything to do with craft beer, because at first glance it looked more like an advertisement for some kind of Affliction-esque clothing line or a PG13 Suicide Girls ad.

The ad (pictured left) was for South Austin Brewing and features a bottomless woman toting a bottle of beer with the tagline “Your Champagne Just Got Jealous!” Now, as opposed as we are to the use of exclamation marks, and as confused as we are about why she’s still wearing her cowboy boots, the more disturbing thing here is definitely the use of a half naked female to sell beer.

Not only did it seem to be an odd fit for roller derby, a sport that’s actually about empowering women to compete versus turning them into oversexed sidelinettes, it seemed a poor fit for craft beer. Yes, from time to time craft breweries have put things like sexy cartoon wenches on their bottle labels, and more on that later, but on the whole, the industry has never slumped to the level of the Super Bowl tit-pedaling macrobreweries of the world. Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 4.02.46 PMNever before have I been confused about whether a craft brewery is selling beer or sex.

Ironically, Lone Star, a beer brand started by Adolphus Busch and owned by Pabst Brewing Company, advertised in the same program, and produced a female-targeted ad featuring a skater crushing a beer can on her head. The ad (pictured right) was as clever as it was badass. Frankly, if my beer purchasing decisions were based on the contrasting vibes of the advertisements alone, I’m suddenly a lot more likely to shotgun a can of the ol’ national beer of Texas than to pour myself a snifter of saison. For a gal like me, that’s saying something.

Both of these ads feature the same three things–a woman, a container of beer and a pithy tagline, though they couldn’t be further apart in connotation. In the South Austin ad, pantyless and mere picas from a snatch flash, the woman is being portrayed as something you’re pretty much expected to drink up right along with the beer. Conversely, the Lone Star ad features a strong woman interacting with the product in a very different way, I mean she’s pretty much making that can her bitch. Furthermore, in the Lone Star ad, it’s pretty damn clear that the woman is supposed to have consumed the beer herself, while in the South Austin ad it looks like the gal is just offering the beer up to horny/thirsty readers.

Now, before this turns into a full-on debate over whether the South Austin ad is sexist or just sexy, whether it objectifies women, and whether all women are likely to be offended by it or not, that’s not really the main concern here. Rather, what I would deem more troubling is the fact that an advertisement like this is alienating to female consumers.

imagesHere at Bitch Beer, our mission has always been to make craft beer more accessible to women. We met too many ladies who had sworn off beer all together because they never experienced anything better than the watery adjunct crap some frat bro pumped them from a keg in college. To be frank, those efforts, and the efforts of so many passionate female (and for that matter, male) craft beer advocates that came long before us, are hindered when a male dominated industry puts out advertisements that feature women as titillating objects of affection rather than as valued consumers of their products.

If you don’t believe me, believe a British study conducted by Molson Coors that found that 42% of women surveyed believe that ‘changing the advertising’ is the biggest thing that could be done to make beer more appealing to women. That’s a statistic that shouldn’t be taken lightly when you consider that women are actually responsible for 85% of all consumer purchases in America.Clown+Shoes+Tramp+Stamp

It should be noted that South Austin Brewing is not the only offender here, and this post was certainly not made in any effort to demonize them as some kind of lady-haters, nor am I suggesting that the idea of men liking half naked women is some kind of revelation. Seeing the ad was merely a catalyst to have a dialogue about what has been an ongoing issue in beer advertising (plus, you know, like all advertising), certainly as it applies to the Big 3, but, what we’re learning is that craft breweries aren’t innocent either. Clown Shoes has received heat for their “Tramp Stamp” label (pictured right), and Texas BIG BEER Brewery (pictured left) made a similarly classy brew known as Big Ass Blonde (note the horrifying display of denim on denim) before a copyright issue forced them to change the name to Big Texas Blonde. Aw shucks, what a loss.427690_322148164496575_1958753626_n

‘Community’ is a huge word that gets tossed around when it comes to craft beer. Hell, I’m sure a lil’ search of our website for the word would yield copious results. And, it’s true, so much of what is appealing about supporting small breweries is wrapped up in the idea of knowing exactly who is producing the beer you’re drinking and exactly who your dollar is supporting.

“Meet the brewer” nights, brewery tours, pint nights, anniversary parties, etc. all serve to heighten the vibrant community of craft beer, to introduce producers to consumers as allies in a quest for quality and the fostering of a true beer community. But, is it really a community when a brewery’s advertising has the potential to alienate half of the population? Can’t we all agree that if craft beer is ever going to surpass 5.7% of the market share of beer consumed in this country, that it’s going to take the help of more female beer drinkers? Can anybody pull off closing an article with a series of rhetorical questions without sounding like Carrie Bradshaw?

Of only that last question am I uncertain.


*All beer labels and photos of advertisements are displayed for educational purposes and should not be reused.

120 Comments on How to alienate female beer drinkers in one easy step

  1. Great article. And it’s only Carrie Bradshaw-y if you use puns.

  2. Reblogged this on Alcohol by Volume and commented:
    Excellent article! Also, 42% of women believe that changing the marketing is the biggest thing that could be done to make beer more appealing to women.

  3. More than anything, this is just unimaginative, poorly executed marketing. If these companies don’t realize that craft beer drinkers seek an alternative to mass produced swill and all its connotations, they’ll be outpaced and run out of business by brewers who do.

  4. What about Deep Ellum’s Dallas Blonde?

  5. Bitch, please // February 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm // Reply

    Some might say that using the term bitch for a female related beer blog is offensive. Not saying that I agree with the South Austin ad but using the term you use could be just as bad. Aren’t we past using bitch a little bit? It might be like an African-American beer blog using the n-word.

    • Bitch, please,

      I definitely understand the criticism. However, I have to respectfully disagree with you on this point. As you may or may not have read on our ‘about’ page, the name of our blog is taken from a popular term that many young people (especially men) use to describe sugary sweet, low-alcohol malt beverages that women, or ‘bitches’ are expected to drink rather than real beer. The point of our name is to say that if ‘bitch beer’ is beer for girls…well, we drink all styles of beer, so in our minds that must make all beer ‘bitch beer.’ We don’t encourage anyone to call us the “beer bitches” or “bitches” or anything like that, our blog name is simply a tongue and cheek take on an overused, ignorant term. We can disagree about third wave approaches to feminism all day, and whether the “taking it back” mentality is empowering or not, but I can assure you, our intent has never been to offend anyone.

      Thanks for reading,


  6. This South Austin Brewing ad seems more misguided than offensive. Marketing beer towards men is a no-brainer for a small brand with a limited promotional budget. The major error is paying to run this ad at a roller derby event, where their intended target is not the majority of the audience.

    From a copywriter’s viewpoint, I am bummed to see a good tagline ruined by an image that just simply isn’t relevant. There was a seed of a clever idea here, but it was poorly executed.

    I like the guys at SAB and am rooting for them. They are small and work hard. Over time, as we see their beer selection grow, I’m certain their marketing efforts will improve, too.

    • Angie Jordan // February 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm // Reply

      I agree with Mad Betty. I think she hit the nail on the head. The real problem for South Austin was the target audience, it wasn’t well thought out, hopefully they will use it as a marketing lesson moving forward.

      As far as the other beers, blonde jokes are one of the lowest forms of comedy.

      “It’s my way ’til payday!”

    • Hey thanks! I came up with the line prior to the ad concept.

      I quit and now work for Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey.

  7. Wow… My name is Dave I’m one of the sound engineers and sponsors of TXRG. The Roller Derby bout you where at here in Austin. I don’t know what to say. I’m thinking maybe the joke is to subtle here. The idea for this ad was to take the piss out off the misogynistic beer advertising you see everywhere. Hence the exclamation marks, cowboy boots, and us trying as hard as possible to make it look like some corporate beer advert in parity. I think we did our job a little too well. When you see the follow up ads you will get the joke I’m thinking. We where going to unveil round #2 at South Austin Brewing Company’s 1st year anniversary party this weekend but my wife, that you see in the ad, is in the hospital with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. With that said I find it imperative that I come to her defense. Funny you should pick this ad out to lead the charge on “half naked females to sell beer”. My wife and I are the next door neighbors to some of the coolest beer makers (SABC) you will ever meet. We drink there beer and are happy to poke fun, shoot the shit, and think up half baked ideas for their advertising. This is probably the first parity “Sex Sells” ad thought up by the woman in the ad. Eva Strangelove has a definite acute sense of humor but as I read your column here it seem you do as well. As for as the “pantyless and mere picas from a snatch flash” I think you got on your high-horse a little too soon. Eva made that dress out of a old XXL t-shirt and if you look closely she is more covered up that you realize. I think you are letting your old scripts on sex sells get away from you. It seems to me we have struck a cord here. To sexy for you? I don’t know if she missed her mark or hit the bulls eye and spit the arrow. Only time will tell. We any luck you will come to South Austin Brewery, taste the beer made with love, see the follow up ad and get a sense of where she was coming from. Prost! Na Zdorovie! -Dave Wolfe

    PS. As I said the 1st year anniversary party is this weekend. Please come and give us a piece of your mind.

    • Hi Dave,

      First off, I’d like to start by saying that we are terribly sorry to hear about your wife’s health problems and we wish her a very speedy recovery. We’d also like to congratulate South Austin Brewing on their first anniversary, truly a great achievement.

      Aside from that, we were very surprised to hear that these ads were supposed to be parodies…I suppose you’re right, maybe we’re just so used to seeing misogynistic imagery done in the same style that the irony here turned out to be a little too subtle to note.

      Since posting this story today, we’ve had a ton of feedback from our friends, members of the Austin beer community and readers new and old. This is definitely the first mention that we’ve heard of the ad being a parody, and frankly, I’m still not really seeing how the addition of an exclamation mark makes it so.

      The vast, vast majority of people we’ve heard from today have been equally put off by the ad, and many have said that they’ve had a problem with the series of images since they first started seeing them pop up around town. (This was our first time seeing one). Clearly, we’re not the only ones who missed the punchline here, so regardless of the original intent of the ad, which it sounds like may very well have been admirable, it just seems like the joke was lost on a lot of people.

      • Thank you for your well wishes. I have told Eva about your article and that you wish her the best. She is not reading at this point but will have a chance to chime in soon with any luck. Once again I fell short with my attempt at my dry Midwest wit. The exclamation mark reference was a retort to your “as opposed as we are to the use of exclamation marks, and as confused as we are about why she’s still wearing her cowboy boots”. I don’t like to hit people in the head. As I said before this is a series of ads and as soon as you see the rest you will see the parody I’m sure. This one is the set up. And… Well… I understand your rebuttal but as I’m sure you know if you state any opinion with enough passion and forwithall you will get many people to agree with you. The problem here is that you used a fun loving small town brewery ad to take your aggressions out on sex in the media. This idea is the epitome of misplaced intentions and you should work to disaggregate your call to arms here. We all have a opinions on what you speak of. I’m just saying you may of misplaced your focus in regards to the South Austin Brewery Ad. I my eyes it is art. All of it. No matter how bad. We all love beer. DRINK IT! ;} Smell what I’m stepping in? Sincerely -Dave Wolfe (Beer and Strong Opinionated Woman Lover)

    • The ad you’re describing is one I’d have loved to see. Instead, we got something that took itself far too seriously in tone, and ended up becoming the object of its own alleged criticism.

      And all my best to Eva. To a speedy recovery!

      • Sadi Brewton // February 13, 2013 at 8:02 pm //

        Agreed. You really missed the mark if the aim was parody. This just looks a little lame – hottie + empty tag line.
        There’s about 1.5 million graphic designers in south Austin (many would probably work for beer). Hire a pro to get the tone right.

      • HA! Now that is funny!!!

  8. Your defense of the word “bi–h” is disingenuous at best, and reminds me of… what? Oh – every single defense of an ethnic, lifestyle or religious epithet I have ever seen. Get off your high horse, and while you’re at it consider that not everyone’s definition of “empowerment” coincides with yours.

  9. thedoctorwho // February 13, 2013 at 2:57 pm // Reply

    Christ almighty…I don’t know a single girl that doesn’t drink beer because it doesn’t seem girly enough. Quit searching for reasons to make everything an issue of gener inequality.

  10. mmm I agree with Josephpettini, I am an average woman, granted i don’t roll around smashing into things but if i had to chose what to drink based on the adds presented I would chose South Austin, don’t think my balls are big enough for the lone star beer, I accept that it is your very narrow view but I do not accept that you are the voice of women the world over. I have no objections to the picture of a beautiful woman who is tastefully covered holding a bottle of beer, in no way is she over sexualized or offensive to womanhood, in my humble opinion.

  11. I don’t know many more women that are as empowered, adventurous and strong as Mrs. Wolfe (the model you’re busting on). I see the photo as a strong, sexy woman who could probably kick your ass. That to me says roller derby alllll over it. When you take yourself too seriously, which you most certainly are, you give others the power to label you a bitch. A real bitch. Let it go! You’ve most definitely alienated me.

    • Hey Dixie, read the article again.

      It doesn’t say anything negative about the model at all. She could be the most empowered, headstrong, badass woman ever sculpted from god’s own marble, but whether or not she could “KICK UR ASS, BRO,” doesn’t mean anything in context with their criticism. They’re criticizing the substance of the ad, not the model herself.

      Maybe you understood that, and still felt the need to call the author a “real bitch.” In that case, way to win at thoughtful discourse. Otherwise, you may want to take a step back and reevaluate your reaction.

  12. // February 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm // Reply

    All I gotta say is “GO DAVE!!!” Love you guys, Love SABC, Love EVA Strangelove and you guys all rock.🙂

  13. These comments are hilarious. Both you and the SABC ad thought you were taking the piss out of words and imagery usually used in different ways. You were reclaiming “bitch” and SABC was reclaiming the beer girl imagery.. Then literalist prigs decried the self-empowerment efforts as offensive. You were hoisted by your own petard! It is perfect that the ad was co-conceived by the model in it, perhaps she is just too unempowered? Perhaps SABC should withdraw the ad and you should change the name of your blog. Or maybe you should both ignore thin skinned concern trolls and do your own thing.

    • I am also offended by your use of the black vernacular “bitch.please” above. I looked at your “about” section and I see you are all twenty-something white girls from college educated privileged backgrounds. How dare you appropriate phrases from a culture you know nothing about? You also feed into the patriarchy with your bottle blonde hair and bare shoulder shameless photography. Where is the diversity of women who drink beer? The obese women? The women of color? I have talked to many people about your blog and they all agree it is offensive.

      Starting to get the point yet?

      • The awkward moment when you notice that the commenter I was responding to commented under the moniker “Bitch, Please” Thus, I was simply using the name they chose to address them.

      • Nebby Zonda // February 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm //

        You reused it, Thereby perpetuating the classist, sexist, racist meme. Why not say $#@% please?

        You are right, The bitch please part of my comment was tongue in cheek. What is your excuse? If you say your original post was a meta-comment on g your hardest to find offense while ignoring the mote in your own eye, then I guess I understand.

      • Nebby Zonda // February 13, 2013 at 4:05 pm //

        Sorry you missed the tongue in cheek part, even with the super obvious “shameless bare shoulder’ comment. It really is tiresome when people take everything super-literally and try to be offended. I know I find such blog posts empty headed and tiresome. I do find it funny that most all of your authors have “come hither” cheesecake photos in the about section, but you are offended by a conventionally attractive woman in an ad. Is the top down scoop neck picture on your about page from an OK cupid profile? Also, I do believe Ms. Auber is wearing less in her promo picture than the model in the SABC ad is wearing.

  14. I couldn’t agree more with this article! Very well said.

  15. Damn! You are one insecure lesbian!
    Grow up.

  16. Jack Al O'Nassis // February 13, 2013 at 4:08 pm // Reply

    I knew this would happen when we let women drink craft beer! They would have… opinions. What’s next? The right to vote?!?! #nobama

  17. Regardless the ad, I’d still grab a Lone Star over SABC.

  18. I thought you might find this interesting, the author of the Clown Shoes’ Tramp Stamp addresses her controversial artwork:

    While I find many beer advertisements to be quite objectifying, I’m not too bothered by the Tramp Stamp artwork. The controversy was fairly hyped. But then, context and intent matter…or do they? :p

    At the very least, I can muse over the fact that the author of the Tramp Stamp artwork was a woman, giving a woman’s perspective. The theater in this post’s comments section comes from Mr. Dave Wolfe’s explanation.

    I do like popcorn.

  19. I love the ad; I love all ads that show sweet, sexy, skin-showing beautiful interesting people, be them men or women or questionable – so long as they are adults and don’t depict violence or physical revenge. I will go out of my way, as a beer drinking woman to drink all of the beers you advertise and mention in your piece.

  20. Interesting article. If a craft beer needs to use sex to sell the beer, perhaps there is not a as much “craft” behind it.

  21. The point you are missing is that the ad is not for you – but to attract men, and may the occasional lesbian. There, quite frankly, doesn’t need to be an ad for you because right now, you have no market, therefore no say in the matter. Quite frankly, beer is one of the last things, other than sports, that men have. Please quit drinking it and go back to what you “bitches” have already ruined: wine.

  22. At the end of the day, its advertising, its difficult to capture a whole demographic/market with one ad. It is easier to avoid offense though. I think a jokey nationwide campaign is more likely to use these old cliches, hell, look at the bud light girls that still go bar to bar on 6th street. But the craft beer community in Austin is a close knit and mature one. I think breweries here should know how to target their local market better.

    I will also offer a response to one Ms. Zonda above. This is a blog, a article was posted not in a nasty way but in a manner to provoke debate and discussion. Both sides are being represented here and that is great to see.

    What isn’t great to see is the manner in which you wade into the discussion without properly reading or understanding the context of an interaction and turn this debate into something else.
    I find your assumption of the BB crew to be “college educated privileged ” and mentioning “bottle blonde hair and bare shoulders” to be utterly pathetic. You know nothing of these ladies and its also a cheap shot to throw down a race card in the same paragraph as labeling them in such way. Highlighting things that go against a struggle for equality and a lack of discrimination while firing off generalisations and discriminating comments about a group of people you don’t know based on their appearance really makes sense. Classy.

    Where is the diversity? I believe its in the individuality of the people running this blog. Want to represent? Step up and get involved or start your own damn blog. Its sad, easy and cheap to criticise those that DO something isn’t it.

    • It is sad, easy and cheap to to criticise those that do something. Something like start a small local craft brewery and try to make it go. Much easier to snipe from the sidelines of a vanity website that has almost no comments on any of the other articles.The author knew calling someone out would increase their views, so they went for it.

      I didn’t assume anything about the authors backgrounds. Their bios said it explicitly. I could assume quite a bit by the pictures they chose to represent themselves, but I don’t think showing some skin says anything other than the person who appears in the photograph was trying to look attractive and garner interest. Good for them! Hopefully those photos help them drive traffic just like they are hoping to do with all the “bitch” slogans. Who am I to criticize the Bitchbeer crew for using sex appeal and lowest common denominator puns to create some interest? I am sure there is some irony in there somewhere, but who knows where that line is? Perhaps it is charitable to give them some benefit of the doubt instead of assuming the worst and using that to gin up some pageviews.

    • If the ad was supposed to be a parody, I think a man dressed up like the aforementioned “Bud Light girls” would have been much more successful. Full beard, hairy legs, gut hanging out, in short shorts and pig tails, SEXY!!!

    • You’ve responded to all these comments like you have some chip on your shoulder. Putting this article and their criticism shows that if they can dish it out, they should also be able to take it. Every journalist, blogger, or person-who-puts-things-on-the-internet is putting themselves out there for all to see. It is the observer that chooses to either comply or call them out for their misleading, entitled, or in this case, ridiculous claim to a stake they never had.

      This is the last form of human-mediated evolution. We can not give everyone a prize for just showing up, they have to earn it. These “bitches” as they call themselves, have no room to make the points they do because they themselves are stirring up criticism to be ballsy.

      You approach them as the victim. Who is in the wrong now? Myself and others like me that treats them as equals in the modern form of communication – or you? The one who coddles them by speaking for them against every nay-sayer. Seems like you’re mind is already made up – such as ours.

      • If this is aimed at me, I think every single post I have made has been balanced and reasonable and with no hit of a ‘chip’. I express my opinion and have defended it when confronted and nothing more. You see defense, I see me engaging with people on here. There are numerous posts here that are far more inflammatory and personal so for you to pick out my comments is rather interesting into itself.

      • Peter Sauer // February 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm //

        Yes, it was aimed at you. You and your “white-knighting.” Get a girlfriend, nerd.

      • I’d comment on my relationship status…if it were any of your business or relevant. And throwing the word ‘nerd’ out like its a insult is pretty amusing. You know nothing about me, but you’re starting to give a very good impression of yourself.

  23. poorly written article and flawed logic. sexy does not always equal sexist. to compare a tasteful photo of a woman’s face and body to a close-up cartoon of a bubble butt with the words “big ass blonde” or “tramp stamp” is quite a stretch. two very different messages.

  24. I didn’t see sniping, in fact I saw a article written which plainly stated they didn’t want to single out SABC. This wasn’t even about the product, it was highlighting a poor strategy with regards to their marketing approach. It was an attempt to open up a debate rather than some of the more personal comments being made in this comments section. Which is worse?

    I get the advert isn’t blatantly sexual, I see girls on campus wearing less, but the overall thrust of the ad is somewhat tacky and taps into that idea of using sexuality. I have no qualms or judgements of people if they decide to show a bit of skin, each to their own. As I said earlier, I think the mainpoint against this ad, parody or not, is that it is somewhat jarring in comparison to every other craft brewery in the ATX. I think of the clever/witty Austin Beerworks campaign or how classy Hops and Grain or Thirsty Planet are or the balls out awesome artwork of Jester King. There are many approaches to getting attention, I don’t find this ad offensive, just disappointing. There are better ways to do it and the Austin craft beer scene is better than this.

    • Ok Jon. The balls in your court. Lets see you do better. Btw have you seen the poster in full color?

      • I wouldn’t do the ad better…I’d do it completely differently. I’m not criticising the photography, composition etc. I’m saying, like many many others, its perhaps not the right fit for ATX.Its pretty tasteful compared to a lot of adverts I’ve seen, but Its about context, the event , the city etc..

        And yes I saw it several months ago in person and had a similar feeling back then.

  25. Wait… Do you live in Austin? And why would it be “not the right fit for ATX.”?

    • Yes I do. And as stated, I cannot think of another craft brewery in ATX who markets its products in such a way. I’m struggling to think of any local company that does. Its a intelligent, savvy place and while ‘sex sells’ I think in ATX a good quality local product sells itself and that’s what locals look for.

      • Ok my wife drinks the beer and she is fully clothed compared to most. I have idea where people are getting that she had no underwear on. Yes it’s a craft brew so the idea of the slick ad seemed a no brainer to us. If you can’t see that it is a spoof on big beer I don’t know what to tell you. I seems so obvious to us. -DW

        I sure don’t like it all but it is all AXT.

        IS this not Austin?

        IS this not Austin?

        IS this not Austin?

  26. How many times does this subject need to be rehashed? The topic is boring and sex in advertising isn’t going away. The only thing this article says to me is that you don’t have any original ideas.

  27. Ummmm, OK, let me get this right. I was in Austin; sorry, the ATX, a year ago. At this time the advertisement in question was already out around town. Almost a full year later there is an outburst of criticism?! What took so long? If it is that offensive I can’t understand why it wasn’t an immediate outrage. That said, there are some valid points made by the blog, and in responses by the team behind the campaign. I believe the future parts of the campaign should help redefine some feelings. Happy Anniversary SABC! Keep on getting well Eva!!

  28. Hi and I’m from Minnesota. I know Dave from waaay back! I showed this article to my coworker who’s more conservative than me. You know she said “What’s the big deal, she should’ve seen the wine bottle design up here!” We Minnesotan ladies thinks these kind of bottle design are funny.

    Please enough of this bantering back and forth about this ad. And please remove this. Dave and Eva have enough stuff on their plate. They do not need to deal with this.

  29. Its a healthy discussion, aside from a few snide comments there is nothing malicious here. I respect Dave for engaging in the debate but he wasn’t forced to nor is he forced to continue it. I don’t see why a whole page should be removed.

    And Bill, I saw it a few months ago, I think the authors and BB crew only saw it recently, then wrote about it hence the delay.

    And yes…those are Austin, but I don’t see a correlation with what is being discussed here. The angle of the blog is about getting women into beer. I am not that offended by the ad, I don’t think its particularly apt for a local brewery, but it doesn’t really offend me. If the ladies who run this thing (and likely others around town with 187 likes) feel somewhat disenchanted by it then that is their prerogative and that is what is being debated here…how this type of marketing alienates women.

    • WHy I’m saying it need to be remove because Eva is in the hospital and she was in very bad shape. Knowing Dave as I read his posting since Eva went into hospital, I cried for him. He never left her side. Eva have a long way to go…so Jon how do you feel you’re in Dave’s shoes? This article is the last thing you would want to deal with. Seems like you have lot of time on your end. I’m done with this and I got better thing to do…work and home life.

      • Being blunt, if my wife was in hospital I wouldn’t give a damn about a internet blog and discussion.

        This article was posted not to call out Dave (he revealed his involvement all on his own) but the marketing strategy of SABC. Bringing emotional blackmail into this is tacky and unnecessary. There is nothing to deal with. Its a healthy debate, you’re acting like there is some witchhunt going on when the truth is far from it.

        And it doesn’t take a minute to jot down a coherent response or convey my point of view but I appreciate your concern about how I spend my time.

  30. Jon you can go to… Well… I’m defending my wife here. Do you not get that? I don’t want it (This Blog) taken down. I think these are valid arguments. I just did not see them coming. Eva and I will have more time to address them when she gets out of the hospital. Then you can have her 2 cents. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make her drink. -dw

    • I get that. i totally get that. i also respect that you are also involved in the photography and composition of the image. So maybe feeling involved on two fronts. But…you are NOT defending your wife here as your wife personally is not under attack, certainly not by me.

      Reread my comments, I have continually tried to go back to the marketing angle that SABC took with this campaign, not to single you nor your wife out. If you misinterpret that, I apologise, but I was feeding into that debate. that is all.

      I feel that SABC maybe did this debate a disservice by just tweeting about Evas involvement and leaving it at that. Maybe passing a sentence or two about their thought process, mentioning the ‘parody approach would have helped matters. As an artist you are used to criticism, but it was THEIR choice to use such an approach in the Austin market. Whether its suitable, how it alienates women, does it fit into the market are, what is being discussed here and that is how I have tried to keep it.

      Forgive my bluntness in the message you responded to. Its too easy to post anonymously and not stand behind what you say, so when you actually do stand next to what you say its infuriating when people take stuff out of context or simply don’t read properly. There are a number of people both here, on twitter and on facebook who seem to be taking things way too personally, making nasty comments and passing up the opportunity for a mature, reasoned debate.

      As an addition, I have not yet passed on a comment about being sorry to hear about your wife so I’d like to add that now and also sincerely wish her a speedy recovery.

  31. As one of the few female brewmasters in the country, I DO agree that it is ABOUT THE BEER. The product is the focus.

    I ALSO agree that this is a turn off as a female beer consumer. This beer could be liquid gold, or the shiny thing in the briefcase from Pulp Fiction. I’ll never know, because the label would make me never pick it up.

    • Up here in Minnesota, our wine and beer labels may offended you. Us ladies think it’s funny including my very conservative friend. It’s corny with twisted humor. We love to buy it in pieces to create messages.

      • There’s a difference between being “offended” and being disinterested or feeling alienated by the ad. I doubt the author is a prude puritan that’s offended by the sight of the female body, I think she simply thinks this is no way to market a quality, artisan product to a general public that includes both men and women. BMC uses sexy ladies to sell beer because they have a shitty product so they need to employ every marketing strategy they have, there’s a lot more smoke and mirrors at play. If a craft brewery is producing quality beer why do they need to employ the sex sells technique? In this case, I’d say it’s because SABC has been open for a year and they still only manage to produce two mediocre beers…but hey, just my opinion.

    • Yep. The ad is off-putting.

  32. And cheers, bless, and best wishes to you, your wife, and your business. Keep making good beer and good health to you both!!! (Should have prefaced the previous remarks with this part.)

  33. It’s not the label. Just an ad. Once people see the rest of the ads they may feet different or maybe not. :} How does a man show a woman that he is planning for the future? He buys two cases of beer instead of one.

    PS. Thanks for the well wishes. =Wooof!

  34. This article is fucking brilliant!

  35. I used to conciser myself a feminist, but alas I love sexy women! I am a sexy women. and my hatred for giant mass producers of shit beer like lone star surpasses my hatred of advertisers for local beers using sexy local women.(and I I’m pretty sure the ad was satirical and a lot less offensive then the other labels you showed) SO go lone star for telling us strong women crush beers on there head just like there drunk male buddies and shame South Austin brewing co for saying that hot women drink beer too. But Seriously folks, in this political environment you need to pick your battles and ladies beer advertising is not my pick. man hating sexist feminist are just as boring and irritating as their misogynistic women hating counterparts. I will never drink Bitch Beer, of course I never heard of it till I read this article on my friends Facebook. So maybe you all need a lesson in advertising. And also just sayin’, SOME roller derby leagues are extremely exploitative. Women get hurt, REALLY hurt. All for the sake fans which are mostly men who don’t care about the sport as much as seeing sexy women beat each other up. and they don’t get paid very much to do it. I’m not saying it is like this everywhere on every team, and some derby women are personal heroes of mine. I just think the sexy tough derby girl is just as much as a stereotype as the sexy cowboy boot girl.

  36. Ginger Snaps hahaha…as someone who was AT the shoot I find their assumptions about what the ad is trying to portray pretty funny. It feels like someone is trying awfully hard to turn this anti-feminist, when the whole thing was based around her being in the desert with only the refreshing beer to drink. If this was all about selling sex and selling “the girl,” she would not be wearing a loose fitting shirt, and you’d see some midriff and for sure some cleavage. THEY’RE JUST LEGS! She’s not wearing pants because a.) we didn’t have any b.) the shirt was big enough to be a dress, and c.) it’s motherfuckin’ hot in the desert!!! Hence why we put fake sweat on the shirt! Seems like someone failed the context clues part of school, while exceeding in paranoia and presumed offensiveness.

    • So……..what does drinking beer in the desert have to do with the champagne getting jealous tagline? I definitely have to agree with the others who have posted above, regardless of whether every woman would be alienated by the ad or not, I think we can all agree this is pretty poorly conceived marketing.

      • Beth…how bout advertisements and movies outside of this Austin Beer Festival using half naked sexy women? It’s everywhere! We have our German Beer Fest and they have sexy German girl wearing traditional dress with clevage in MN. Guess what, no one protesting against that!

        If I visit Austin for the Beer Festival, will I feel comfortable wearing my short shorts without being judge for wearing it? I thought Austin was suppose to be Artsy town with Sexy men and women? Here’s what I want to see in Austin Beer Ad…Gluten Free Beer List and I’m there only if I can wear my tank top with short short.

  37. Here’s what my friend said..(she’s more conservative than me)

    I just think they’re young and naïve. They think that there’s a difference between the ad Mrs. Wolf was in and their name being offensive to women. Sure, Mrs. Wolff’s ad was playing up sexuality, but their label is a clever play on the word “bitch”. Even if it is a beer term, it’s a term that is basically saying women don’t know good beer because they’re women, and these young girls are using that term. I’m more offended by their play on the word “bitch” for their beer. It’s a word that most of the women I know don’t want to be referred to as even if it is just on a beer label.

    Both groups are just being clever in advertising. Those young girls should let it go. I call them young girls because they look like they’re just out of college. At that age, they think they know everything.

    They should put a hot guy on their label. They’d probably sell a lot more beer.

  38. OK. OK…. This is one of the new ads before it is done.😛

    • See that just looks like a terrible ad for a shitty Italian restaurant.

      I buy the ‘misguided and poor’ marketing approach above the sexist thing even more now.

      • You got it. I don’t see why people say they don’t get it.

        Everyone has given me what I was looking for.

        I can’t tell you how happy you have made me.

        Not kidding. This is not sarcasm. -DWolfe

  39. That is the response I was looking for. This keeps on getting better. -DWolfe

    What about this one…

  40. Ohhh and here is the non mockup version of the shitty Italian restaurant ad. Hope you hate is even more ATXbrewster.

  41. Ohhh and one more photo for the next ads…

  42. One more thing… I forgot about this one. This a banner from 2 weeks ago. Eva in a Lonestar beers ad with the hearse from Machete. I need to get a better photo of it.

  43. I don’t agree that this doesn’t appeal to women. I’ve never met Eva, but have always admired her. She gorgeous! And from what I know about her, she is gorgeous on the inside too. This ad looks great to me and I also love beer, so I’m really not put off in any way.

    It sounds like what you crave is gender balance in beer advertising(or advertising in general) and there’s nothing unhealthy about that. Perhaps you could gather artist submissions using male or transgender models instead.

    I think because Eva is so stunning, it is easy to get riled in a jealous way also. This can just be a natural knee-jerk reaction because us girls are so fucking vain. Jealousy is a poison though, and it’s easy to let it consume you. When really, you should focus that energy on feeling good about yourself.

    I also feel that your article has a somewhat narrow view. Have you considered advertising catered to lesbians? Or bisexuals? Or A-Sexuals?

    • Beer-drinking bisexual reporting in for duty.

      I like women. I like women’s bodies. What I don’t like is the male gaze. I don’t like being shown and told that my body is only good for selling products through selling sex. It has nothing to do with the attractiveness of the model, even if she is conventionally attractive, unconventionally attractive, or my type. I want to see ads that respect women and their bodies. Show a woman with agency enjoying a beer with all her clothes on and not performing as a sexual object for straight men–that’s more attractive to me than any denim-on-denim literal piece of ass or any other fragment of a woman turned object can be.

      • Couldn’t agree more.

      • I’m also a beer-drinking bisexual! Yay! We’re like twins.

        I still don’t see how you can assume that she is performing as a sexual object for straight men. You are assuming that this was made for men. If anyone is keeping the male gaze an issue… it’s you.

        This is how I’ve come to embrace the liberal balance that I feel is necessary to remove any ill feelings or alienation.

        I recall looking at magazines in a bookstore once. Under ‘Men’s Interest’, scantily clad women graced the cover. Under ‘Women’s Interest’, scantily clad women graced the cover. I yearned for some more balance. So imagine my sense of joy when a few months later… I noticed a cover that had both a male and a female on the cover! They were in a very passionate embrace, the topless man’s jeans being tugged down by a woman in her underwear(no lingerie… basic black briefs and bra). I was so excited that I had to buy it. And do you know what it was? FHM. A ‘Men’s Interest’ magazine.

        Don’t get mad. Get even.

  44. I love this blog! I have a tough time finding feminist food/drink blogs, and I’m so glad to have Bitch Beer as a resource. This article is brilliant. I’m really bothered by the fact that beer marketing is incredibly sexist already, what with the nation-brand commercials that use women’s bodies to sell beer and the marketing of “beer for women” (light, “diet” beers), but for craft breweries to objectify women to sell their products is somehow more horrifying because they are supposed to be outside of the mainstream marketing machine.

    Bravo on this article, and keep being awesome.

  45. Here’s what my dad taught me about picking new beers to try:

    When you see a beer advertised with either a) a scantily clad woman with a vacant, zombie-like stare or b) faceless boobs and/or butts, never pick it up.

    Why? Not because of principle, but because it’s a safe assumption that said beer is marketed specifically toward frat boys and/or lonely alcoholics. These demographics pay well, but neither has the ability to appreciate what they’re drinking.

    Rogue Brewery, Deschutes Brewery, Summit, Surly, Fat Tire, Bells, Red Hook, and countless other breweries seem aware of this.

    If it’s not enough for you that these images relegate women to faceless (or, implicitly thoughtless) symbols of pleasure, I hope it’s enough to know that this advertising makes microbreweries look cheap.

    And to those of you wondering about the lesbians, how nice to know that you care. I’m pretty sure that most of us identify as women who want to be taken seriously first on this one, and boobs’n’butt lovers second.

    • Here’s what us Midwestern loves….mix up bottles of beer and wine to create messages for host/hostess of the party. And they’re also good! Obviously it’s selling up here! Some lady tried to sue a StPauli beer for the lady on the label saying it’s offensive. Judge threw it out. This article is so stupid…what’s the point?

      • ATXbrewster // February 21, 2013 at 4:59 pm //

        Coming in here and labeling the article as ‘stupid’ when it has 270 “likes” and 50 ‘retweets is stupid in itself. People like it, it is people who are taking it personally or their ‘friends’ that are responding in a negative manner.

        Also, we’re not talking about the midwest. Why do you keep talking about the midwest? No one cares how its done in the midwest.

        Most people have moved on from this, I just had to respond to get across that I REALLY don’t care how things are done in the midwest.

      • Cuz it’s very different up here..we like campy sexy ad. The more campy better it is. No one is getting pissed about it. And I know Dave from way back. I showed this blog to my friend who’s more conservative than I am…she’s loves the Ad and beer labels in this article. So what’s the point?

    • I love people who know a ton about “appreciating” craft beer but forget that there is no such brewery as Fat Tire.

  46. Guys check out the rest of the series! It’s awesome and hilarious! Enjoy!

  47. Here is a better photo of the Lonestar ad.

  48. It would seem this observation would go without saying, but blogs are generally not detached, impartial journalistic forays. Why hold them to that standard? They are by nature highly personal and totally opinionated. To dubiously utilize a gender specific metaphor: let’s not get our panties in a wad.

    Is Caroline fair and well justified in her criticisms?? Is Eva and Dave’s ad positively persuasive?? Is South Austin Brewing Co doing more to alienate than to cull female patrons?? A thousand people may agree and a thousand may disagree.

    Ultimately we all must acquiesce that the answers to these questions are subjective. Regardless of whatever statistic is quoted. Regardless of what our little heart of hearts fervently feels to be the absolute gospel truth. Sometimes our deepest inner truths do not chime harmonically with those of our neighbor.

    This webspace is Caroline’s arena and she’s perfectly entitled to her express beliefs. Just as any artist is perfectly entitled to define parody within the context of their craft. Just as SABC is perfectly entitled to apply their advertising dollars as best they deem fit.

    For me, it is only mildly irksome (only in the most egregious cases would I be offended) when people begin to presuppose that they can speak with equanimity and authority on behalf of entire sect of population or region.

    Empirically well-substantiated scientific theory aside, it’s folly to masquerade our personal perspective of reality as immutable doctrine equally applicable to all–even within the demarcations of editorializing.

    That is MY opinion, anyway. You are welcome, in turn, to think me a complete dolt.

    I get it that blogs are not generally the picture perfect forum of tolerance. I get it that seeking to be tolerant and understand can be a lot less fun and entertaining that sallying sardonic quibbles back and forth, trying to out panache one another. I suppose I’m only taking the time to make these observations because for me, these exchanges are an echoing microcosm of the often inept ways we deal with conflict in the macrocosm arenas–brutal arenas that often entail life and death consequences.

    For the record–the ad does not alienate my vagina in the least. And I do agree with the criticisms that its execution is lackluster in terms of parody. The upcoming ad, however, with the sloven dinner date appears much more dynamic and deftly executed according the stated aim of satire.

    Final note: if I come across an SABC brew at my local bar or liquor store, I am actually much more inclined to buy it now simply because this hullabaloo but it on my radar. So…quite inadvertently I’ve fallen into the cull category.

  49. Here’s a interesting article on beer labels with offensive word on it. We have Raging Bitch up here but it shows female dog. Your Texas banned it but I’m surprised they didn’t ban “big ass blonde” Enjoy…

  50. Hey, I just wanted to give you a shout and say this article (which I commented on months ago) got me thinking about my own feelings about being a female beer drinker. I finally wrote this if you’re interested! Thanks again.

  51. It’s in reality a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you simply shared this useful info with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  52. Greetings beer enthusiasts, my name is Eva Wolfe aka Eva Strangelove, the model of this ad which, apparently, is rather offensive/degrading/alienating. Perhaps I should chime in my two cents, if it even matters anymore (likely not).
    This particular image that Bitch Beer find so appalling/boring, was not actually shot FOR South Austin Brewing Company. It was shot for the cover of MY 2012 calendar, of which they were sponsors. I am a pin up model, and the calendar was marketed toward human’s who are not offended by the female form in advertising, or in particular, my female form, thigh high splits and all.
    Jordan and company at SABC are very good friends of my husband Dave and I, and they loved the image so much they made it into an ad. A giant, larger than life version of this ad hangs in their brewery, and is the subject of much favorable comment among the many guests that visit SABC.
    This ad was by no means decided upon after extensive market research, nor does it necessarily cater toward anyone other than beer lovers. It is, however, a “piss take” on similar advertising campaigns, and we had a terrific laugh during that photo shoot. But like I said, the ad is actually mine, not theirs.
    Jordan and co run this ad in publications, because it is there and is generally appreciated, and I told them they could.
    As far as I know, SABC rep’s have not participated in this old debate, and do not especially care too. There are new posters for the brewery out now, that show less skin and more characterization that feminists may approve of a little more.
    My husband Dave did not bring up my debilitating illness by real means of “defense”, but at the time was emotional after nearly losing me, so the last thing he needed to see were what he felt were feminazi’s putting down an image of me, which he and I are actually proud of.
    Anyway, I met one of the Bitch Beer gals, and she seemed nice, so whatever.


    PS the beer is actually good. Try it, ladies!

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Texas-based small brewery responds to blogger after call-out for sex-themed ad | BeerPulse
  2. Are Austin Craft Brewers Selling Beer or Objectification? | Oh Emma Top
  3. All the News That’s Fit to Print | Mash Tun
  4. I Did Not Order My Beer with a Side of Sexism | The Lobster Dance

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