With beer consumption at an all-time low, the Beer Diva, Kirrily Waldhorn is encouraging more women to get into the industry to help boost growth.
According to Waldhorn, a beer presenter, educator and consultant, although females make up 51 per cent of the population, they only account for 15 per cent of beer consumption.
“Beer consumption is currently at an all-time low and it’s predicted to fall even further in the coming years, but with females making up over half of the population, there’s a huge untapped market,” she said.
According to the ABS, beer consumption within Australia has fallen from 4.51 litres per capita in 2009-10 to 3.73 litres in 2016-17, with a shift in consumer preference from quantity to quality a driving factor.
Waldhorn said there’s still a lot of disbelief around why a female would want to work with beer.
“When I first meet people and they ask me what I do and I say I work in the beer industry, most women will stare at me blankly or say the classic line, ‘my husband would really love you’,” she said.
“People automatically think it’s a bloke’s world because it’s beer and although there is a lot of confusion, there’s also fascination and intrigue.
“We have so many incredible women working in the beer industry who are hugely knowledgeable, have amazing palates and have fabulous brewing skills; they’re truly turning the beer industry on its head.”
Two women who have certainly made a firm mark on the beer industry are Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen, co-founders of Two Birds Brewing in Melbourne.
“The beliefs about women and beer go back to the early marketing days, with beer portrayed as manly through advertising,” said Lewis.
“This sort of marketing has set a precedence in Australia, which is still a long held belief for a lot of people.”
Waldhorn believes the industry is realising that the more females they encourage to get involved in craft beer, the better it is for its growth.
“I don’t think we’re perfect and I don’t think the industry is perfect yet, but anyone in the industry needs to be aware of the impact their behaviour can have on whether females get involved in this industry or not,” Waldhorn said.
I think there’s a fair few women who’d love to get into craft beer, but show me a job that doesn’t ask for years of industry experience. Except for sales, it’s not really a market that lends itself to jobs utilising transferable skills.
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