Sir, As the research from the British Beer and Pub Association suggests, beer companies are effectively chasing a lost cause in attempting to convert more women to drinking beer ('A new gender: more beers for women', 25 June, p52). However, the real issue here is that beer and cider brands are trying to target one gender or the other in the first place.

Targeting consumers according to gender can be very problematic and, as Melissa Cole said, could be thrown back at beer companies as patronising or even sexist. Indeed, having a female beer could be seen as a return to the days of "a sherry for the lady".

Today, when as many women choose to drink pints in the pub as men choose to drink cocktails that have traditionally been associated with women, brands looking to expand their customer base should stop thinking in terms of gender and focus on the tastes that will inspire and drive trial.

Greg Vallance, co-founder, Embrace Brands

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