Many micropubs open in a converted high street shop. With most high street shopping done by women, what can micropubs do to make them feel welcome?
Dr Gloria Moss of Buckinghamshire New University says women are responsible for 83 per cent of all shopping purchases. She remarks that of the 28 suggestions to rescue the high street put forward recently by Mary Portas: “Not one of these refers to one of the most obvious facts about town shopping: the bulk of it is done by women.”
Dr Moss says that too few shops take women into account when designing their frontages and arranging their interiors. For instance, women prefer to see inside a premises before entering. Most women also like to be seen by passers-by while sat having a drink or bite to eat. This is why popular drinking dens like All Bar None always have large windows along the pavement.
No amount of plate-glass windows will convince women to stay if there’s nothing that especially appeals to them inside. According to research by the Institute of Alcohol Studies, women’s favourite tipple is wine, followed by spirits, then ale (forget the stereotype about women being happy with the occasional sweet sherry: fortified wine is their least favourite tipple). More women though are coming to realise that ale with its lower alcohol content and natural ingredients can be the healthier option to wine and spirits.
We know from personal experience of working at beer festivals that women tend to seek out ales that are fruity or hoppy. ‘Something golden’ or ‘a summer ale’ were the most frequent requests from the many women who made up roughly half of all attendees at a recent beer festival where we were pulling pints.
Britain is now home to now more than 1100 breweries, the most in 70 years, and at the forefront of this boom are female brewers (or ‘brewsters’) such as Sara Barton of Brewster’s Brewing in Grantham and Tara Mallinson of Mallinsons Brewing in Huddersfield.
And for an organisation perhaps best known for its beardy weirdies and beer anoraks, nearly a quarter of the members of the Campaign for Real Ale are women.
It makes no sense to miss out on half of your potential trade by not catering in some way for women.