Chick Beer, the first beer created by and for women, was launched in 2011 by Easton, Maryland native Shazz Lewis. In an industry dominated by advertising and packaging geared towards men, women are often overlooked as an important part of the beer market. Roughly 25 percent of all beer consumed in the United States is consumed by women — that’s 700 million cases annually. One might think that an existing beer-brewing juggernaut would have already capitalized on this ready-made consumer base; but it took a lone local lady to think up a beer brewed and marketed exclusively with women in mind.
The idea for Chick Beer came naturally to Lewis, who ran a liquor store with her husband Dave before selling it to concentrate on Chick. Working in the industry, she knew better than anyone of the need for a beer that was truly alluring to women. After months of market research to determine what women prefer in terms of taste and style of beer, Lewis partnered with Minhas Brewery in Monroe, Wisconsin (the second oldest brewery in the United States), to create Chick’s flavorful recipe. As a bonus, the “premium, light American lager” contains a mere 97 calories and “fewer carbs than a carrot.” To round out its chick appeal, Lewis branded Chick with electric pink bottle labels – complete with Little Black Dress, or LBD to us ladies — and a six-pack container modeled after a woman’s purse.
But Chick Beer isn’t just about looking good or great taste. As someone who feels blessed by “supportive family and friends,” and is a firm believer in the adage “To whom much is given, much is expected,” Lewis has pledged that five percent of Chick’s profits will be donated to charities benefiting women. She has assembled a board (consisting entirely of women), currently in the process of identifying worthwhile charities to which to contribute.
With its lively labeling and mottoes like “Witness the Chickness” and “Fun, Fantastic, and Female!” Chick Beer wants to be a part of your good time. I decided to take Chick along with me to a couple of get-togethers – girlie or otherwise – in order to give it a test drive. As of writing, Maryland is the only place in our area where one can secure Chick Beer, so I headed to a distributor in Ellicott City and was able to score a few bottles. Armed with the fashionable, purse-like six-packs, I was ready for the taste-testing to begin.
Chick Beer and I host a girls’ game night. Alongside Scattergories, Apples to Apples and my crudités, I set out a few of the shiny pink Chick bottles.
“What’s this?” Amy asks me, examining a bottle.
“A new beer just for the ladies,” I respond. We pop the bottle top, and she takes a swig. “Wow,” she says, raising her eyebrows. “It tastes great!” The other girls agree that Chick has a smoother, more pronounced wheat flavor than standard light lagers. And at 97 calories and 3.5 carbs, the gals are able to drink this brew practically guilt-free. Thanks to Chick Beer, game night is a smash.
I’m charged with organizing a bridal shower on Sunday afternoon. I can think of no better accessory than the darling Chick Beer bottles with their sparkly magenta labels sporting the LBD. Instead of the typical place cards, each woman receives a personalized bottle of Chick beer at her table setting.
“Did you have these bottles made up for the shower?” bride-to-be Lindsay inquires. “They’re just adorable!”
No one has seen such feminine labeling on a beer bottle before, and I relish telling the girls the story of Chick Beer and its marketing campaign. And because the lager is so low calorie, Lindsay – watching her girlish figure for the big day – is happy to indulge.
March Madness is a sacred season in our household, so naturally my husband has invited a few of his pals over to view the NCAA tournament play-in games. Happy to play hostess, I put together a tray of dips and chips, and secretly decant some Chick Beers into pint glasses for the fellows. I serve them up sans bottle and sit back to see how the boys react. After a few gulps, our friend Matt turns to me and says, “What is this?”
“A domestic light beer,” I tell him.
“Which one?” he prods. “I don’t recognize the flavor.”
“You might say it’s a local craft beer,” I answer. “Do you like it?”
“Actually, yeah,” comes the reply. Matt thinks Chick Beer is mellow and well-rounded, more yeasty and less bitter than most light lagers. When I show him the Chick bottles, he’s certainly surprised. “Put a koozy on that bottle, and I’ll happily drink Chick Beer at a tail-gate with the guys!”
The great Chick Beer Taste Test proves to be a roaring success. Girls love the pretty labeling, the low calories and carbs, and – most importantly – the distinctive, citrusy flavor. And guys appreciated its superior, malty taste over other domestic light beers. It seems Lewis has, indeed, produced a beer that doesn’t just appeal to women visually, but also satisfies their discriminating palates. So, ladies (and gentlemen): go on and Witness the Chickness.
To “witness the chickness” for yourself, visit www.chickbeer.com.