Beer can be a polarizing phenomenon. With a profusion of new suds flooding the market every single day, breweries often look for ways to set themselves apart from the flock.
Some breweries shamelessly rely on a certain amount of shock value—either the label artwork or beer name—to get their products noticed (I’m looking at you, Sweetwater Brewing Co…)
This label is a reference to male orgasm, presumably after a massage.
A new Brazilian beer, dubbed Cerveja Feminista, markets itself as a feminist-friendly beer. The label doesn’t show a woman dropping her underwear, or a tissue box; instead, the beer is labeled with a symbol for gender equality and a definition of feminism.
First We Feast asked one of the beer’s creators, Maria Guimarães of creative activism group 65 | 10, what she hopes to accomplish by putting out a beer that bills itself as feminist. She says,
[pullquote]The Brazilian advertising industry is very sexist, and beer ads are the worst of it. So we decided to create a Beer labeled as “feminist” so it would start conversations about feminism everywhere. Pubs, parties, family reunions. We really need to start talking about it, since in Brazil, a woman dies every 90 minutes [as a victim of male violence] just because she’s a woman.[/pullquote]
Guimarães says the first thing breweries get wrong when marketing to women is they “just assume women don’t drink beer.” She continues, “They just talk with us when they want to see some kind of light beer, because they think we can’t handle a strong beer. They should recognize women as consumers and not only use our almost-naked bodies to serve men on beer ads.”
And don’t go thinking Guimarães is just talking about Big Beer. “Sexism in beer isn’t relegated to macro beer,” says Regan Stephens, communications director at BeerMenus.com. “As craft beer continues to grow, it’s increasingly important for female beer drinkers to be represented,” she points out.
What does Stephens think about Cerveja Feminista? “The label design is sharp and clean; it’s definitely the antithesis of the traditional beer label.” But does she think the new feminist beer is an effective way to get people talking about narrow-minded marketing towards women? She tells First We Feast,
Unfortunately, we can’t tell you if the beer is any good. Cerveja Feminista has sold out (via the company’s website) since the beer launched on February 18—but the company will start taking requests again soon. Who actually brews the feminist beer? Guimarães and co. are contracting the brewing out to a company based in São Paulo.
Do the Cerveja Feminista creators believe their own product can inspire change? Guimarães’ colleague, Thai Fabris, tells FastCo, “Media shapes how society sees itself. If we can stop advertising that stereotypes women, we are changing an important part of our culture. It does not solve all the problem of machismo, of course—it has very deep roots in our culture. But it is one less part of this culture enabling this behavior, and that is a really important step.”
We’d bring a bottle of the beer to our next dinner party, no doubt—but we’d only buy a second bottle if it proved to be delicious.