I’ve been drinking beer since 1999 (not good beer but beer… good beer came along for me in 2004). I don’t know if I should admit that I have been drinking that long but I am sure the statute of limitations on underaged drinking has expired by now so I am probably okay. I was a beer die champ in college. I could drink with the boys, I could plunk with the boys (I will admit I couldn’t catch to save my life though.) I could rival any guy but I was never accepted as one of the guys nor did I fit in with the girls. I remember the guys had girls come over and the girls were allowed to play with kool aid or soda and I was always like WTF!
So here I am 16 years later and really nothing has changed, I still don’t fit in with most of the girls and I still am not one of the guys. I’m okay with it but I think it goes along with the plight of the craft beer girl. Let me explain this further.
Lets talk about gender stereotypes and beer. When you watch TV who are the beer ads aimed at? I’ll give you a hint they have a penis. Even though the stats say that females make up 37% of craft brew consumption by volume and 25% of all beer consumption (Dr. Bart Watson). There are also a handful of successful women in the beer industry in Maine and around the country, but predominately it is men who dominate the industry.
When I have been at homebrew competitions and my husband was watching the baby , I have had people comment on the role reversal. Really people? Why is it so shocking that I brew beer and my husband watches the baby? Because that is the stereotype. And I don’t know how many times I have been out to eat and asked about the beers on the menu and had them “mansplained” to me. I even had someone at a Brew Pub in DC explain to me that I had ordered a dark beer not a light beer….. uhhhh yeah I know dude.
All this being said I love brew festivals, but I have a hard time supporting the Bearded Brewfest. I know it is to promote mens health, but why men? You’re not seeing Tampax sponsoring a brewfest marketed to women (Tambrands call me lets do this) or the Save the Tatas brewfest (that would just turn into Boobfest for the dudes I am sure), but my point is why market just to the men?? Baxter brewing had a woman’s night with girlie snacks and all pink stuff…. what the hell is a girlie snack????? And why pink (don’t get me wrong I love me some pink and Magic Hat’s Wacko was one of my favorite beers… BRING IT BACK!). Why are we genderfying (I might have made up this word) beer? I understand some of you brew guys have killer beers , but why do beards say beer?
It is a clash of cultures per say. Men vs. Women. Let’s try to wipe that out. How do we do it? How about market to people not just men or women. How about if someone orders a barleywine assume they wanted a barleywine, not wine because they are a girl. How about you treat you female bartenders like they know something about beer and not like a piece of ass. Or how about we all celebrate beer together and not leave out an entire customer base because they are a specific gender. I understand that the bearded brewfest can be attended by all but I still see it as placing a gender on beer. Lets all enjoy the nectar of the gods. Beer does not discriminate neither should the festivals that allow us to enjoy them.