Everyone has that preconceived image of what your typical brewery goer looks like. Burly beard, flannel shirt, and oddly a lot of red hair. However, is this stereotypical brewery guest the ideal brewery guest?
According to Nielsen, a weekly craft beer drinker is predominately male, ages 21-34, and earns between $75,000 and $99,000 yearly. A 2017 Gallup Consumption Habits poll, 62 percent of American men list beer as their preferred alcoholic beverage, compared to 19 percent of female drinkers.
Scarborough USA+ Release 2, which was fielded from June 2016 to November 2017, and covers more than 200,000 respondents, shows that craft beer drinkers are 68.9 percent male and 31.1 percent female. However, in some markets, the percentage of female craft beer drinkers exceeds that of males. In Portland, Oregon, the market is 52.7 percent female. The Providence, Massachusetts/New Bedford, Rhode Island area is 52.6 percent female. According to the Brewers Association, women consume 25 percent of all craft beer in country.
Through research collected through Secret Hopper, based on 2,200 non-paid brewery visits, we have studied spending trends among men and women across various age ranges. The sample set includes nearly a 50/50 mix of men/women. While craft beer drinkers are nearly 70 percent male, our study shows that women spend more per brewery visit.
Women spend 6.9 percent more per brewery visit.
The average amount spent for females in our study was $44.18, while men spent an average of $41.31.
Upon further analysis, craft beer drinkers in the 41-45 age range are the highest spending age group. Beginning with the 21-25 and up to 41-45 age range we see an increase in average amount spent per brewery visit. The 41-45 age range spends an average of 22.9 percent more than those in the 21-25 age range.
According to 2017 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans 35-44 years old earn an average of $50,752 annually, the highest earning age bracket. The average Millennial earns approximately $35,592 annually. Americans 35-44 also have the highest discretionary income at $32,006 a year, or $2,667 per month. Those 25-34 has an average discretionary income of $19,237 a year or $1,603 per month.
The highest spending demographic is women age 41-45, who spend an average of $52.14 per brewery visit.
The highest spending age range of men is also 41-45, who average $45.10 per visit, 15.6 percent less than women in the same age group. Women outspend men in every age range except 26-30, an age range that represents 29.5 percent of our study — the largest age range studied. This age range falls at the center of the millennial age group (22-37), which represent 57 percent of weekly craft beer drinkers, according to a 2015 U.S. Yankelovich MONITOR survey.
While many breweries may still consider the Millennial male their prime marketing target, shifting focus to older consumers would attract new and higher spending guests to your brewery. Added focus on women would not only increase in-house revenues but also help diversify craft beer.
As the craft beer industry continues to grow, the opportunity exists to introduce and educate non-traditional craft audiences to your brewery. At the 2018 Craft Brewers Conference, Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, Diversity Ambassador for the Brewers Association, stated that breweries have three main growth opportunities: their customers, their employees and their brand’s packaging and marketing. Expanding your target demographic will present new opportunities to attract new and diverse customers to your brewery and facilitate the goal of making the craft beer industry stronger as a whole.
Andrew Coplon is a founder of Secret Hopper, a mystery shopping company for craft beer businesses.