eer behemoth Molson Coors is releasing a "bloat-resistant" brew, designed to appeal to female drinkers. The beer, eccentrically named Animée (French for "livened up"), is available only in the U.K. and Ireland. When — or if — it will be released in the U.S. is unclear. Supposedly less gassy and lighter tasting, the new beer comes in three different flavors: Clear Filtered, Crisp Rosé, and Zesty Lemon. Animée joins other beers marketed toward women, including Carlsberg's Copenhagen brand, available in Denmark. Molson Coors spent more than two years developing the brand, which will be backed by a $3 million ad campaign. Will women buy it?
They better. Brewers need to grow the female market: "Women are an essential part of future growth for the beer industry and can no longer be ignored," says Molson Coors spokenwoman Kristy McCready. Just 17 percent of beers in the U.K. (and only 25 percent in the United States) are purchased by women. Animée is designed to make beer an "aspirational choice" for female drinkers. "We need to repair the reputation of beer among women by launching products that meet their needs."
"Molson Coors (UK & Ireland) targets women with launch of Animée"
But this is repulsive: Animée's trio of flavors has failed to impress many women, says Melissa Cole at Britain's Guardian. And, after my own taste test, I'm conclusively one of them. Though the labels are pretty, "if anyone can identify anything even approaching a normal beer flavor in any of these drinks, I'll eat my hat." The Clear Filtered variety bears a passing resemblance to a lager, but "the lemon is simply undrinkable, and as for the rosé version — pretty in pink it ain't."
"'Pretty' beers for women? A rather tasteless idea"
And it's not even beer, anyway: "I've been a beer drinker for around 20 years (and female all my life)," says Sophie Atherton at Britain's Guardian. "I'm deeply suspicious of the idea of a single beer that comes in three flavors. Is that really one beer, or three? Are the flavours added artificially or created by clever use of hops? Are they authentic beers or a gimmick?" Though it's marketed as beer, the beverage seems to have more in common with the sweet, colorful alcoholic drinks known as "alcopops."
"Lager for ladies. Again"
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