Aurosa & Why The Idea of “Beer Made For Women” Needs to Die


Alright, guys, I don’t know why this has to be repeated over and over again, but it’s becoming clear that it bears repeating, so here we freakin’ go.

I, along with every other woman in the beer world, has heard about Aurosa, a “premium lifestyle” beer that describes itself as the “first beer for her” and, according to the web site, “is a representation of a woman’s strength and a girl’s tenderness. The two contrasting tempers, present in the female essence, are depicted through the elegant design yet the strong, unfiltered taste”.

It is a beer that describes itself as being made by women, for women, and “was born to prove that women can succeed anywhere without having to adapt and sacrifice their natural femininity. Women have been disregarded in the beer industry but owing to determination and faith in herself, Aurosa is set to redefine the perception of beer”.

“I created Aurosa #FORHER as a reminder that women shouldn’t forget that they can succeed in all aspects of life without having to adapt or sacrifice their natural tenderness and femininity.” founder Martina Smirova says in a press release.

So before we get into this, I’d like to touch on the emerging trend of “lifestyle brands” in the beer world that we’ve seen with brands like Ace Hill here in Canada and Barrels & Sons Brewing in America, that work pretty hard to cater towards the hip young beautiful people crowd by being heavy on marketing and instagram and putting their beers out in clubs and high dining places in cities all over. To be honest, I don’t find myself terribly offended by that idea because in the long game of independent beer versus big beer, that’s bringing a market that a lot of breweries don’t bother with over to the former. The promo might be a little cringeworthy, and the beer will definitely vary in quality (Ace Hill, I can attest, is pretty awful), but the fun thing is that we’re at a point where there is more than one demographic and that’s okay. And in a lot of ways that’s what Aurosa is.

But the problem with Aurosa is that they’re marketing towards women, which is a HUGE demographic made up of half the world. When you’re aiming for that large a target with a very specific arrow, you end up doing more harm than good. So here are a few points about making a beer specifically for women:

  1. Just like men don’t need their own brand of toilet paper or house cleaner, women don’t need a brand of beer specifically for them.
  2. aurosaWhen some jackass sees point one and decides to power on through anyways, in pretty much all cases the type of women they have in mind are a very specific subset. Usually white, thin, rich, and the type that identify deeply with Kendall Jenner’s instagram account. There is nothing wrong with this type of woman, but if you’re going to market to all women you have to acknowledge that we’re not all one type and that is why women don’t need a brand of beer specifically for them.
  3. Aurosa is not the first beer made for females and they won’t be the last, but the marketing and accompanying lifestyle articles always seems to have a rather patronising feminist bent as if to say “at long last! Women can now drink beer!”, which erases the experiences of all the fantastic women in the beer world who are brewing, talking about, and enjoying beer. And unfortunately, it’s the “finally we can enjoy this!” message that makes us all focus on the tired-ass discussion of “do women actually enjoy beer?” instead of taking a look at the more serious problems of sexist dynamics within the industry and the community and the dealings of horribly shitty and lazy sexist beer labels. In order to actually progress in that discussion, we need more solid inclusion, and that is why women don’t need a brand of beer specifically for them.
  4. What the hell is the female essence and why are you trying to bottle it? The dude who ran the failed Order of Yoni seemed to think it could be found in a model’s vaginal yeast, some think it’s an innate sensuality born into us, and Aurosa seems to go with a mix of tender, elegant, and strong. Ignoring the complete dumbness of the vaginal yeast one, the female essence is an intangible, flavourless idea that is largely defined by a patriarchal society. I know women whose “essence” is to binge watch Naruto and wear pizza-stained sweatpants. There is no one true definition for the female essence and trying to assign a gender to a sole idea is dumb and trying to assign one to the flavour profile of a beer is stupid as hell.

So in summary: Women don’t need a brand of beer specifically for them.

Oi, what a dumb thing.

Aurosa is using the hashtag #beerforher on twitter which has been taken over by women such as award-winning UK beer writer Melissa Cole (whose book The Little Book of Craft Beer is being released soon) telling folks just what kind of beer women actually like.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Sarah M. says:

    I am genuinely interested in what this brewer thinks is the flavour profile that captures the strength of woman and tenderness of a girl. What does that mean in terms of malt, hops and yeast? The marketing seems downright silly to me, as both a woman and a person who enjoys a broad variety of beer styles.
    I am genuinely uninterested in supporting a brewery that has decided to pull a “Bic For Her.” I hope the responses are just as hilarious though.

  2. Lubos Motl says:

    I find it weird that you decided to write about a subject that you clearly have absolutely no idea about.

    The main ingredient for Aurosa, the beer for women, is caramel. That’s what gives it the tenderness that women identify with themselves. It’s not shocking that it’s a similar ingredient that is found in black beer. Women drink much more black beer than men. One reason is the widespread lore that black beer supports healthy and rounded breasts.

    1. Maureen C. says:

      Quite the explanation, sir. I find it weird that you seem to think you know more than women on the subject of how women feel about products being marketed toward women.

  3. Katie Jones says:

    Excellent! I do think it’s tough if you’re trying to cater to women and I tend to shun most things marketed “for her.” I like your point that this kind of marketing targets a specific set and also does the further damage of saying NOW you can like beer – I already do AND have a vagina, what else you got? What I hope can happen is more voicing of Women who like products already and are making it themselves like a lot of great ladies are, because beer crafting is predominately men and those women breaking onto the scene (or have been there for a long time) should get recognition because it can be harder for their voices to be heard (aka products to be sold and/or taken seriously) in a boys club culture. My friend and I started a podcast out of this idea somewhat, just putting ourselves out there as female beer lovers because over half the people at the tap rooms day in and day out are women, so why not review from our (my friend and my) perspective as so many male dominated podcasts do. Don’t make it about “for women,” make it about “because women.” Let us say what we like, but don’t stigmatize it or slap a pink bow on it unless you like that sort of thing!

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