Food & Drinks

Beer Makers Courting Women Drinkers


Britney Bulemi, Michelle Njoroge and Karen Selenke pose for a photo during the Tusker Oktobafest that was held in Ngong Racecourse. NMG PHOTO

A typical beer advert paints a picture of a local pub filled with a group of men hurdled around a TV, beers in hand with their eyes glued to the screen.

A goal is scored sending the bar into a frenzy. The men cheer, high-five, chest-thump, toasting in celebration as beer rains down on them.

The advert trails off with a deep voice announcing how the beer’s careful mix of malt or barley has been brewed and blended to perfection as the dark, ice cold drink forms beads of sweat when poured into a ‘man glass’. These adverts usually send the same message; beer is for the alpha, macho man.

However, beer makers are shedding the macho tag to make the drink “acceptable” to women. Besides advertising, they are swooping the malt or barley ingredients with fermented apple.

“Apple fruit has unique properties including soothing a bloated stomach, something the traditional ingredients in beer cause and trust me, no woman wants that. The launch of Tusker Ciders has greatly enabled us to capture the modern beer-drinking woman with her ever expanding and complex palate,” says Christine Mwaura, the Tusker Cider marketing manager.

The number of women beer drinkers is increasing, Christine says, and to woo more, brewers and sellers are organising weekend events such as ‘Tusker OktobaFest 2019’ that brings together those who want to enjoy street food and music, game nights, and a wide range of social events.

“I used to think all beer tastes the same, has an odd smell and is bitter,” said Viviane Mbaire who was at the beer event last weekend that attracted over 16,000 Kenyans.

“Cider and Smirnoff Guarana changed that for me. At least now brands are trying to capture us who thought that a girl’s night out with beer was impossible. For some time we only knew of Snapp,” she added, amid cheers from her friends who sang the Snapp advert song slightly off key.

I walked alongside a group of young women in their 20s with cans of beer, sampling the numerous liquor in different stands stationed at Ngong Racecourse. The stands targeting female drinkers were colourful, donned with fairy lights and other beautiful aesthetics.

I settled on cranberry beer, a mix of normal beer, cranberry juice and apple syrup while my friend sampled the “burrito” a beer mojito.

PS: Expect at least one more brand targeting women consumers by end of October. Something is brewing on that front.