On Gender and Beer: Do We Need Saving?

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When I first began thinking months ago about my recent series of posts on gender and beer, I centered them around this question:

Can women save beer?

That theme was inherently flawed, not only because the onus shouldn’t be on only women, but also because it wasn’t entirely clear if “beer” as an industry needed saving in the first place. However, I feel it’s impossible to overlook at least some of the shortcomings when it relates to beer and gender, so while “saving” may be a strong way to put it, a shift in cultural expectations within beer would still be advantageous.

While I’ve given my two cents on the topic, it would make no sense to approach this without the input of beer-minded women. So as part of my effort, I reached out to a few women via email to gauge their thoughts on the topic.

Perhaps unsurprising, two women shared a similar experience of cultural expectations – when out with their husbands, it came as a surprise they were the beer drinkers.

molly-tapdancerblog

Molly Kinne of Tap Dancer Blog.

“I have had the experience more than once of having the cider my husband ordered placed in front of me because obviously it was the woman who ordered the cider and the man who ordered the IPA,” said Molly Kinne of Tap Dancer Blog. “I recently started working at a beer store that focuses on local and craft beer. For the most part customers seem to value my input, but there have been a few instances where I have pointed out a few options with no response then I say ‘my husband likes this one’ and that’s the one that goes home with them.”

A similar problem happens with Ashley Bower, a South Carolina beer advocate and organizer of South Carolina Girls’ Pint Out, a chapter of the female-focused nationwide organization that works to increase knowledge of beer through collaboration with women. Ashley’s husband doesn’t drink beer, but said she’s often put in the position where servers will address him when ordering beer, not her.

ashley-sc girls pint out

Ashley Bower at a SC Girls’ Pint Out meeting.

“There has been more than one occasion where I’ve been out with a group and a male I don’t know just assumed I didn’t know anything about beer,” she said. “Or, I’ll walk in a brewery that doesn’t know me and they’ll suggest I try the blonde ale without asking what I normally drink. There’s nothing wrong with trying the blonde, but I like all sorts of other beer styles.”

Therein lies a common problem. In my first post on gender and beer, I thought this comment was particularly telling:

“Why is all of your marketing geared towards men? Are you convinced that women prefer wine and will not switch to beer?” [Large beer company marketing manager] told me, “We understand the female market is a huge opportunity for us. We have lots of new products that are in the works to specifically market to women.” I took this as code for apricot or blueberry flavored beer.

This stems from our own expectations of how women are supposed to interact with beer, something for which Tierney Pomone takes issue. Tierney, founder of Stouts and Stilettos, doesn’t care for the stereotype that there is a particular kind of beer for a particular gender.

While Tierney admits the craft beer culture is much more welcoming than how Big Beer typically addresses women, there are still moments that make her shake her head.

tierney-stouts and stillettos

Tierney Pomone of Stouts and Stilettos.

“For example, when you say you’re into beer and they don’t believe you, but for men it’s never questioned,” she said. “Or when you say you don’t know what you want yet, mostly because you need more time to read the menu, and [servers] immediately recommend what they consider to be a ‘girl beer.’ ”

So how can we better integrate women into an industry we’ve otherwise cordoned off for men? I got a great response from Heather Vandenengel, a freelance beer writer and blogger at Beer Hobo.

heather_bio_pic

Heather Vandenengel doing research.

Last summer, Heather volunteered at Girls Rock Camp, whose mission she described as “to build self-esteem of girls by teaching them music and just letting them rock out, no judgment, no fear, just total positive encouragement.” Throughout the camp, girls up to 16 years old learn to play instruments, then perform an original song at the end of camp.

What struck Heather (and me when she shared this) was how unique that experience truly is for females.

“It was a totally amazing experience and also mind-blowing in that you realize how hard positive, self-esteem building support is to come by for girls, and even all women,” Heather said. “And how women and girls don’t hear nearly enough that it’s okay not to be perfect.”

How does this all relate to gender and beer? I’ll let Heather take it from here:

It relates to beer because I was thinking about playing an instrument in relation to homebrewing. How many guys just decide they want to make beer, pick up a kit and try it out and aren’t deterred when the beer ends up turning out like crap/decide they want to learn guitar or drums and bang away at it until they’re decent? And how many guys have gotten a homebrewing kit/guitar for Christmas or a birthday because that falls in line with the cultural norm?

There is a tremendous amount of pressure on women to be perfect in all that they do, whether it’s playing a guitar or homebrewing, so my thesis is that we need to get more women homebrewing because that’s where the majority of brewers get their start, and where a significant shift within beer culture could occur.

This again returns to the idea of beer as a purely masculine product, entrenched in our cultural expectations for how we can approach it. From early ages, we make it difficult for females to even consider approaching a “male” subject. It’s an unfortunate norm hammered home by a variety of industries and social groups, beer among them.

As I mentioned in my last post, this is a topic with great depth and there is no silver bullet to fix wrongs. Issues of gender are not unique to any one culture or industry.

However, expectations start with us and our own biases. Finding a solution isn’t easy, but looking inward is a start.

Related “Gender and Beer” posts:

 (header image via sheownsit.com)

+Bryan Roth
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac

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93 thoughts on “On Gender and Beer: Do We Need Saving?

  1. Pingback: On Gender and Beer: Why Do We Think Men Are from Ales, Women Are from Lagers? | This Is Why I'm Drunk

  2. Pingback: On Gender and Beer: Changing Our Expectations of Women | This Is Why I'm Drunk

  3. Great post and interesting. I’ve never really thought about it before… I think this also extends to the home brew culture as well. The women I know who brew have mostly gotten into through their partners, but that’s not to say that there are probably plenty of independent female brewers out there. As with women ordering beer at bars though, I’ve seen similar experiences at home brew stores when it’s a man and a woman going to pick up some materials for their weekend brew.

    • Thanks, Chas. I think Heather brings up a really good point about homebrewing which could probably be extrapolated to many aspects of beer or the beer industry – when we build a culture that expects certain behaviors, we sometimes need a hand in showing us it’s OK to tag along or become passionate.

      One of the biggest problems beer styles face with anyone, male or female, is expectation of taste. “I don’t like dark beers” or “I don’t like hoppy beers” only mean someone hasn’t found the RIGHT “dark” or “hoppy” beer for them. It’s easy to stick to a routine, but it’s also important for us to move beyond our assumptions.

  4. Some the examples of people assuming women don’t know as much about beer got me thinking about experiences I’ve had with my fiance. I always overlooked it at the time, but I can remember ordering a pint of cask ale before and the bartender said nothing. My fiance followed up with a cask ale and she told “you know that’s going to be served warmer than usual, right”. It may not have been anything, but then again, maybe it was.

  5. Many years ago (in grad school) several of us were at a professor’s house. He went around the room taking beverage orders. To all the men, the first option given was beer. To the only woman (we were physicists, after all) the first option was cider — to which she responded “a beer would be nice.” After he left she confessed that the cider sounded good but “a point had to be made.”

  6. I’m not even a beer connoisseur and this has happened to me. When my boyfriend and I go out, he tends to get a rum/jack/something and coke, while I tend to get a Miller Lite. Miller Lite may be a “girl” beer, but they always assume the mixed drink is for me and the beer is for him.

  7. Three things:

    1. If you anticipate gender discrimination assholery from a waiter/server, simply make a show of withdrawing a large denomination bill from your wallet and casually puttin it on the table where they can see it the second they arrive. They will be transfixed and distracted and you can order your IPA in peace. Moula trumps gender. It’s not your fault if they assumed that was going to be their tip, they had all sorts of other assumptions cocked and ready, too, didn’t they?

    2. Living in Portand, Oregon, rocks for a woman who loves a good stout. I’ve sampled 60 different varieties for under $6 a bomber in the last few years alone without ever setting foot in a tavern. Finer grocery store beer stewards know me and seek me out to tell me about new ones. Life is good.

    3. The one exception was the flame-haired young ‘un trying to be the beer steward at Whole Foods. He kept pushing me towards uber-hoppy beers and I kept telling him No. I know what I like. He said (and I’m not making this up) “Well, when your palate becomes more evolved, you’ll be able to appreciate the flavor of hops.” I walked out of that store with the manager’s name, a complimentary $25 gift certificate, and the serene knowledge that Opie would be receiving a corporate ass-kicking that night.

    Cheers.

  8. Reblogged this on The Wanderlust Moose and commented:
    When I first saw this article it made me laugh. Gender and Beer? But after reading it I agree so much! As a beer drinker myself it is just another example of how our culture treats gender norms. I love drinking beer and like a lot of other “manly” things like riding ATV’s and hunting and fishing. Sometimes people judge you for doing boy things because you aren’t girly enough or because it MUST be a plot for you to get male attention because how could a girl ever really like those things. It’s totally silly. Let’s start tearing down gender barriers and let’s start by having a cold one my friends!!
    XOXO,
    IPA lover

    • Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad that it made you think a little more about the topic. I think it’s silly to gender any specific thing, if only because it’s denying opportunity for others. Good on you!

    • Great point Makenzy- a female coworker who is a power lifter, and whenever something needs to be lifted in the office and a man steps in to help, we both chuckle. There are a lot of assumptions out there!

  9. Very interesting. I can’t say this has happened to me personally, because I’m not a huge drinker in general. I have noticed that pale ales and such are considering more feminine, but the type of beer I order really depends more on the meal and the season.

    • Thanks! I think treatment or expectations certainly vary by establishment, but I’d agree that my anecdotal (and biased) experiences usually lean toward a woman being offered an “inoffensive beer” that may be more balanced than others.

  10. Great post, keep up the good work and enjoying the beer! I have a couple of points of info you may find interesting.

    First, I personally know more women who are members of CAMRA than I do men. CAMRA is the Campaign for Real Ale that has been running here in the UK for many years now, and has done a great deal to keep real ales alive and to help them to grow in popularity again. There is a common view that it is mostly “beardy men” (even if they don’t have a beard) who are members. Now, I’m a bearded man but am not a member; recently a barman *assumed* I was a CAMRA member because of my beard and gave me the member’s discount. When I pointed out that I’m not a member, he looked at me and said “you look like you should be one” and let me still have the discount! Anyway, my point here is that I know more women who are in CAMRA than I do men.

    Second, there is a microbrewery in the county of Nottinghamshire (I think, or could be Lincolnshire) called Brewster’s which is owned and run by a woman. This is how I learned that a “brewster” is a female brewer, and the fact that this is a common surname in England suggests that this was also a common profession at some point. I like the connotation of “brew sister”.

    Cheers,

    Alastair

  11. Interesting take. I’m in the “craft” wine biz (small-farm, natural wines), and I can’t believe how often guys come into the store asking me to recommend “a full-bodied red,” (because that’s why REAL MEN drink. always. no matter what they’re eating), and then adding, as an after-thought, “oh, and I guess we’ll need a white for the girls.” Sigh.

    • Thanks, Susan. I grew up in the Finger Lakes in NY where wine has been an important part of the local economy for a long time. I’d venture that was a common behavior I often saw amongst drinkers as well – red for men, white for women. For no particular reason, really, just expectations.

  12. Interesting read, reminds my of in how I met your mother when marshall likes all the girly drinks and lily likes beer. Marshall asked lily to order the girly drinks for him because it isn’t a social norm for him to drink them

  13. Reblogged this on Traubenwood and commented:
    I found this so interesting. I’m actually one of the reasons for this gender stereotype, I suppose, since I don’t like beer and when I occasionally drink, it’s a “girly” drink. I can imagine how frustrating it must be for women who like beer to encounter this expectation. Perhaps this does point to other areas in which women are limited by gender stereotypes?

    • Thanks for the kind words – and sharing!

      I agree that this is just part of a much larger picture. I just got caught up in it within my own little niche. I’ve always believes there’s no harm in liking whatever food/drink you like, but placing some kind of gendered expectation on it seems off.

  14. This article was very interesting.

    In my native Canada, I did see beer/gender discrimination from time to time in pubs.

    I’ve been living and working in the Czech Republic, a nation known for its long history of beer, since 2004 and I’ve yet to see such gender discrimination in pubs here; mind you, gender issues themselves don’t come up very much in the news here generally speaking.

    When My girlfriend and I go out to a pub, she gets what she ordered and I get what I ordered. We’ve only ever seen mix ups due to rookie or overworked serving staff.

    It’s similar when a larger mixed gender group goes to a pub; no mix ups unless the server was inexperienced or exhausted.

    There are no specific beers considered to be “girl beer” here. Only good and bad beer that both men and women are free to order with no judgement against them. Beer is so ingrained into Czech culture that it’s pretty much the most egalitarian drink you can order.

    • Thanks for sharing this take. I think part of the gender issue as it relates to beer most certainly comes from greater disparity or expectations within American culture. We’re still a VERY young beer culture, so I like to think we’re learning…

  15. Most businesses want to target the people most likely to buy their products. That’s why businesses target mostly men when it comes to beer. It’s nothing personal – it’s just because *in general* men like (and drink) beer more than women which makes men the prime customers. That means they get the bulk of the advertising aimed at them, and the industry tends to revolve around their needs and wants.

    If the beer industry stopped catering to men and relied instead on women’s love of beer the industry would probably collapse. Then *nobody* would have any beer 😦

    I bet you a million pounds that if and when enough women start drinking beer the industry will reflect that. The point being it’s unfair to blame an industry (or its bar staff or shop staff) for catering mostly to men when women are still a minority when it comes to beer appreciation, knowledge and consumption. The industry’s job is to sell beer, not hold women’s hands and make them feel ‘included’.

    If you like beer drink beer. It’s as simple as that. If you happen to be a woman and your drinking of beer / knowledge of beer goes against cultural stereotypes then that’s not a ‘problem’, it’s not ‘oppression’, it’s not ‘insulting’, it’s not ‘disrespectful’ …… it’s just an inevitable consequence of the FACT that in general women are less fanatical about beer than men – and you are an exception to this general trend.

    Most human activities are favoured by one demographic more than any other, and that means the industry which has grown up around that activity tends to cater to that main demographic. It’s just as fact of life/ economics. If it’s a ‘problem’ then it’s a very ‘first world problem’. Being mistaken as a non-connoisseur of beer is not as bad as having no access to clean drinking water or having bombs dropped onto your city on a regular basis. Let’s keep some perspective. It would be a different matter if, once you informed the bar staff, shop staff or waiter that you ‘know your beers’ they STILL refused to serve you beer or let you choose your own beer. But that is not the case.

    All activities have their most profitable/ least profitable demographics. There are millions of male ballet dancers out there, and professional ballet companies have male dancers. Some of the greatest and most well known ballet dancers in the world have been men (eg Nureyev). But if you walk into any dance wear shop it will be a pink, lilac and ivory cave of girly tutu’s, leotards, pointe shoes, wraps and other girl-orientated merchandise. The men’s dance wear will be ‘under the counter’ or ‘out the back’.

    This is not because men are oppressed (or to use more PC language ‘not integrated into the industry’). It’s because when it comes to dance wear and dance supplies there’s a much bigger potential market for girls / women than for men / boys. So in order to run a successful (or even viable) business most dance wear shops cater to the demographic which spends the most money – ie girls and women.

    (Heather) “…There is a tremendous amount of pressure on women to be perfect in all that they do, whether it’s playing a guitar or homebrewing…”

    No there isn’t. There is significantly LESS pressure on women to be perfect when it comes to things like playing the guitar or home brewing….. or driving or roller skating or whatever.

    Women can get away with making mistakes, or achieving less, far more than men can and still retain a sense of worth. A man will be ridiculed for days (years!) if needs to ask for help to park a car in a tight spot – or can’t diagnose dirty spark plugs. But a woman can ask for help and not only is that acceptable, people are usually happy to help.

    There is no pressure from society for women to be perfect… there is instead competition among women to present themselves as perfect. That’s a subtle but important difference. And if you combine women’s competitive urge to be seen as perfect with society’s willingness to bend over backwards to help women out that results in women demanding to be given special treatment to help them achieve perfection without the same risk of failure that men have to accept … and society generally agreeing to help in this respect. ie the politically correct, ‘positive’, ’empowering’ feminism of positive discrimination (women only shortlists, greater resources directed at women’s support services etc etc).

    The fact that men are more inclined to just get stuck in and ‘have a go’ at something and take responsibility for the failure which this invites is not evidence of the cultural oppression of women – it’s just an example of cool behaviour by men which is (a) to be admired and celebrated (b) which women would do well to copy.

    But demanding society cater specifically to women to help them ‘get stuck in’ with minimal effort and minimal hardship (shielding women from all the risks, responsibility and negative consequences of ‘getting stuck in’ on your own) is the very OPPOSITE of that cool behaviour.

    And therein lies the irony…. Nothing does more to promote the cultural stereotype of the weak, fragile, indecisive, child-like and non beer drinking woman (who needs constant help, guidance, support, affirmation, reassurance and protection in all that she does) than demanding society (including the beer industry) must cater to women out some sense of paternalistic kindness (rather than just good business strategy).

    A truly self assured woman should find these demands for special treatment insulting and patronising.

    If you like drinking beer, buy a beer and then drink it. It really is that simple 🙂

    • Exactly what I was going to say, but much more eloquently and well reasoned. When I read the OP it got my back up, I must admit. You’ve expressed exactly what I felt and wanted to say. I didn’t have the fight in me to do so. Thanks for this reasoned response to an unreasoned argument.

  16. I’ve been a judge at our local home brew beer night. And invariably the two girls from the local pathology department win the best beer of the night and also the best experimental beer. This is in Ballarat. There are an awful lot of ignorant male drinkers who only drink Fosters.

    • I’ve also met some really top-notch female homebrewers, but I think there’s such a stereotype for the community – middle-class, white male – it seems odd whenever someone else succeeds. That’s unfortunate.

  17. Yes I can see where your coming from. I’ve just recently finished an assignment on the fragmentation of the Australian beer market so I found you comment on cider and the incorrect assumption of who is drinking it extremely timely. It’s a landmark time in my country for beer with marketing and solidification of market share foremost on most Marketing people’s radar. Nice post keep them coming make mine a Matso’s Ginger Beer!

  18. I always find it amusing, never angering. It’s been the stereotype because quite frankly it has been the assumed that I will like a lighter beer. And I know many women who only drink light beers and don’t like “hoppy” beers. I tell them that it’s about trying them all. My husband made me try every beer he would get. I used to HATE beer, especially “hoppy” ones like Anchor Steam. Now my first beer is almost always an IPA. I find it funny, and a great conversation starter when I go to a beer bar and order an IPA and all the dudes look at me dumbfounded.
    On a side note, I went to a brewery tour recently and was the only one to raise my hand when they asked who home brewed.
    I’m too laid back to get upset if someone assumes I want something like a Miller. I don’t blame them and I know they aren’t doing it to be a jerk.
    The best way to beat the stereotypes? Buy a brew and prove em wrong!

  19. The crappiest beers that are brewed specifically for dude-bros are by far the worst offenders when it comes to marginalizing women in their advertisement.

  20. Thanks for your thought-provoking article. Here in Nashville a craft beer revolution is well underway. Jackalope Brewing Company, a major contributor to beer culture in our city, was started and is run by Robyn Virball and Bailey Spaulding – two female homebrewers gone pro. I will feature Jackalope in an upcoming post on my blog Beer in Nashville.

  21. awesome, awesome article. definitely made me think. there is such a double standard – true, the ones you mention but also that guys shouldnt order cocktails ….i mean based on the names of cocktails alone these days most men feel they have to leave masculinity at the door if they even want to say the names out loud…. i wonder why we do that….
    i ‘m so glad to see you bucking the status quo 🙂

    • Thank you! There is most definitely a double-standard when it comes to all sorts of topics within the alcohol industry. I feel it’s only enhanced by our expectations and culture norms we set. Hopefully you’re bucking the status quo, too!

  22. I don’t have this same experience much (anymore?). I often frequent tap-houses, breweries and pubs on my own, with my husband (who does not drink at all) or with others. I suspect I may engage the bar keep first with a specific question that may give me away “How is the saison?” or “Do you have an ESB?” and that can ward off the expectation.

    I live in Colorado and we have 60 new breweries in planning stages for this year. I have concluded that I could drink a different beer every night if I wanted to work that hard. Many of the establishments that I frequent are run by women or a male female team team. I think the comments about marketing were said very well above, but I have to consider how the craft market is marketing. I see a lot of it. It does not seem gender specific to me, but I can’t say I can tell. It is not-in-your face with overt sexuality as has been mentioned about the mass produced counterparts. I can’t stop thinking about the New Belgium bicycle. Does not seem gender specific to me – I think the art was done by a woman.

    Funny, I have a running dialogue with my Dad. He think my preferences are brand specific, but I am trying to explain to him that my preferences is to not drink Fizzy Yellow Water. I know the enthusiasts out there know what I am talking about but for those that don’t; beers that fall in the FYW category are your Bud, Coors, Miller and such.

    I have seen the discrimination that you speak of, but not so much anymore. I am not sure if it is me, or the industry where I am from. It has been a long time since I was advised a specific beer before getting feedback from me. I am as I said – an enthusiast. And I am in an area where it is good to be one. I think that one thing that we can all agree on it let’s just enjoy a nice beer, preferably craft and it can be dark or light, hoppy or not, we can enjoy this one so we can try the other one too.

    • You raise a good point – while beer culture in the U.S. is young, many states are well ahead of the pack, including Colorado. The culture of craft beer that seems to be seeping into other states has simply been ubiquitous for beer drinkers in your state! … and something I’m jealous of.

      Luckily, as craft becomes much more “normal” to average drinkers, I suspect some of these issues will become less so. I’m working on a post now that covers that topic. Hope you’ll be back to chime in on that one, too!

  23. ok… well i’m a lil too hyper & distracted to read all this right now. but i should make a mental note that i can do a small piece on beer vs wine along Mars & Venus lines. I just hope I remember the connection when it comes time to post.

  24. I was at the grocery store one night when a guy asked me to recommend a beer for his girlfriend. He wanted something fruity. I told him I prefer IPAs, but pointed out a few “fruitier” beers. He took advice from the grocery store clerk instead. His loss.
    On the other hand I just got free access to a beer festival this weekend while my male companions paid. So I guess there are positives too.

    • You win some, you lose some, right?

      Sounds like you and Molly have similar experiences. Unfortunately, some shells are hard to crack when it comes to our built in biases. Good on you, all the same.

  25. It may be the area I live in or the city but when I got out to drink my beer request never leaves a weird facial expression on the wait staff. I do feel that in Texas there is a bit more of understanding that women drink beer. Once and a while I will get a younger server who will ask me if I would like a Blue Moon or Cider (If I was in London it’s cider all the way. State cider is a bit too sweet for me) to which I will smirk and respond with a Thirsty Goat or Guinness.

    • Nice! I do think cultural norms for this kind of thing differ from state-to-state, and Texas has definitely seen great growth in craft beer and that culture in recent years.

      • The only thing that really sucks about Texas is liquor laws and how restricted distribution is. I work for Costco and friends who have transferred out of state always taunt me with the store brand beer and liquor (which I hear is awesome) they get to sell all week in house. Maybe someday we will get our act together until then I will buy my booze on Saturday to drink on Sunday.

  26. I really do not understand where in history beer became a “masculine” beverage. Hundreds of years ago beer/ale was served as the primary beverage with meals. It was commonplace for women to drink beer just like their male counter parts.

    • You’re right – and for centuries, women were the ones making the beer, too.

      This is all in terms of American culture, which is obviously different than many other places around the world. Prohibition helped to reset expectations and I’d argue that after World War II, American marketing efforts shifted gears a bit.

  27. Pingback: On Gender and Beer: There and Back Again | This Is Why I'm Drunk

  28. Love this! I’m a craft beer drinker in the Pacific Northwest, and am actually going to be home brewing this summer with my husband. Well, he’s my fiancé right now, but he’ll be my husband by then!

    I’ve experienced all of this. And I always laugh because it’s also similar in the gaming community. The guys all talk to my fiancé and then I pipe up and know what I’m talking about and they’re all just floored.

    I kind of enjoy the shock value. Although I will say that the city we live in is extremely craft beer centric, and the women here know what they like. It’s awesome.

    • There are most certainly different experiences for geographic areas! I live in North Carolina, where the beer industry has taken off in the last six years. That has led to many more men and women interacting and more education for both! I’m glad you get a chuckle out of how silly it can be sometimes. More power to you!

  29. I am sorry but I can not let this non issue become something it is not. There is no gender bias – It is a playing the numbers type of thing – It is a fact that men drink more beer than women. It is a fact that men smoke more cigars than women. It is a fact that woman are better at nurturing than men, it is a fact that women buy more organic products than men. This is not bias it is using your brain and making logical decisions- If back in the day when I was a server I happen to forget who ordered what, your darn right I would assume the pinot grigio was going to the woman and the guinness to the man or the cider or the sweet tea. (Actually there is no way I would forget becuase a woman ordering a guinness is a pretty damn rare thing.)
    Do you think that these multi-million dollar companies would not market their beer to woman if they thought it could bring in a few extra millions? The research has been done over and over again – If there is a market out there, it is the companies business to figure out what that is

  30. THANK YOU!

    I’m in the IT industry, and sexism drives me insane. It’s very much alive in many facets of life, and beer just happens to be another place where it rears its ugly head. I’m no “crazy feminist” (as some male colleagues like to say when I get props for outperforming them) but I’m sick of seeing girls deterred from their interests at a young age because it’s “a boy thing”.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the piece and I’m even happier to know that you’re supporting young women who want to pursue their own interests, cultural expectations be damned!

  31. Love this! I recently wrote a post about sour beers on my blog that mainly focuses on fashion. I swear I could see the tumbleweeds roll across the screen immediately after pressing ‘Publish’. Why can’t a girl like a good brew and pretty dresses?!

  32. Great piece. I do find that there is an assumption that women don’t like? can’t handle? good beer, or that we simply don’t know anything about it. I love going to a bar that serves commercial beers, asking what they have on tap, and have the bartender automatically direct me towards the weakest swill they have. I’m a high stout and porter woman all the way. The darker the better. I seem to get less of that at craft beer pubs but I do find that some bartenders will assume that my husband (who rarely strays beyond a Warsteiner Dunkel) is the one who will know more about beer, or a server will come to our table and automatically give him the high gravity beer. It used to be frustrating for me but now I just enjoy the look of pleasant surprise on their faces when I set them straight. 🙂

  33. Great article. I have seen this happen quite a bit where I am from [rural MN] where gender bias and assumption does play a part in drinking. More and more I am finding great women’s craft beer blogs, sites and breweries that show this stigma may be hopefully be on its way out the door soon.

    • Thanks, Ashley! I’m thrilled to see more women not just get involved in all aspects of the industry, but having a strong voice that compels people to change their assumptions. It’s an vital aspect to have and I’m happy I get to know some women who are doing it.

      Hope you’ll come back and poke around the site!

  34. Pingback: Color of Beer: Addressing Our Whiteness | This Is Why I'm Drunk

  35. Pingback: What *Should* the Brewers Association Do to Address Gender and Race? | This Is Why I'm Drunk

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