Two weeks ago the CraftBeerVixen posted a guest article on our site about converting non-craft drinkers to the craft side. It was a great and insightful article and one that I’m very proud is hosted on our site. I’m also super grateful that we had the chance to interact with her and finally hear the voice behind the personality. All of that positivity and excitement came with an unexpected twist, the shitty gulch of the craft beer community. It’s a side of the community I never saw before and one I was really shocked to see in a community I’m so passionate about . The negative feedback really opened my eyes to the idea that shitty people do drink craft beer too and yes sexism in craft beer exists.
It all started September 25, 2014 when Jason M posted an article titled Real Women Don’t Drink Light Beer, in the article he highlighted notable women of the craft beer scene on Instagram. Later that day we Instagramed a promo for that article and the shit storm began. Amongst the positive comments there were a few unsavory ones which caught my eye and raised my awareness to the possibility of trolling when posting the CraftBeerVixen’s post. When her post went live I was glued to my phone and computer monitoring, deleting and blocking unwelcomed comments. Those few days were rough for me personally because I saw this blissful, inclusive, forward thinking community take many steps backwards.
A week later I read the post This Needs to be Addressed on Stouts and Stilettos about Tierney’s experience while wearing a t-shirt at a beer event and the ensuing foul mouthed comments she received as a result. I reached out and she responded “The slut shaming aspect of our culture needs to end because it’s down right bull shit.” :)
Finally this week The Beer Wench‘s (Ashley Routson) book gets teased ahead of its debut and the craft beer scene took another turn for the worse. She has been inundated with so much hate mail that she wrote the following on her Facebook Page:
“Over the course of 24 hours, I’ve seen dozens of hateful, hurtful messages and posts from people in the craft beer industry about my book (and me) on social media. Now, I understand that opinions of these cyber bullies do not represent the industry as a whole. And I know that some of you actually do support me. However, in a time when I need you to support me the most, there are crickets” – read more of her post
As a male in craft beer, I didn’t see it before because if people disagree with my posts or do not like what I have to offer, they ignore our site and look the other way. Never once have I had a comment on our site as vile and disrespectful as these examples. Women are targeted because they are women, there’s no other explanation for it. These trolls displace women and negate their contribution to the craft beer community because in a male dominated culture, they can. By keeping silent and not expressing our discontent we are tacitly allowing the sexism to continue. The female voice and approach to craft beer can be different but it’s just as valuable as it’s male counterpart.
Seeing the few accomplished female craft beer personalities (in proportion to men) endure this level of hate and sexism sickens me and for a while made me question if my conviction for the craft beer community was misguided. I have since come to realize that we here at The Keg Tap have the ability to stand with our female craft beer counterparts and raise awareness. We might not be able to weed out the trolls and the prevalent sexism in craft beer but at the least we can bring attention to it.
We at The Keg Tap recognize our male dominated voice doesn’t foster the best platform for raising female awareness so earlier in 2014 we began featuring female guests on our site. Our first female guest was Craftylady24_7 her voice was highly received and we couldn’t have asked for a better guest to start off with. Some guests worked out others didn’t but we kept trying. Three days ago we introduced our newest member of The Keg Tap, estroJen. She provides us a steady female voice one that I’m happy to have and one who’s path I’m anxious to follow and gets us a little closer to leveling our voice. For those of you wondering, yes Craftylady24_7 will be back very shortly. Stay tuned.
Sexism in Craft Beer. What can you do?
Say something! Stand up for our female counterparts! Support women in craft beer and most of all don’t be a shitty person!
Buy Ashley’s book here:
The Beer Wench’s Guide to Beer: An Unpretentious Guide to Craft Beer by Ashley V. Routson