Women in Craft Beer
I know this might throw some people for a loop, but I’ve never been about the conventional. Something dawned on me a long time ago and recent cases have only bolstered my argument. Women seem to be an emerging market in the craft beer industry. Now before you get put-off or offended in any way, try to hear me out. For decades, beer has always been a man’s thing. Women would stick to wine while the guys would imbibe on their fizzy yellow water of choice. Now, with craft beer continuing to be on the rise and people’s palates waking up to all kinds of new stimuli, beer is no longer simply a man’s domain.
I understand that we’ve had a female blog on this site before, but that gets to my point – this beer thing isn’t just for dudes anymore. And that’s cool. I appreciate a woman who has a nice palate and can appreciate good beer for what it is. That being said, let me paint for you the picture many people have in their heads of beer drinkers – big beer belly sticking out of a beer-stained guinea tee/wifebeater/tank top or whatever name you choose to call it. The likelihood of cheese or mustard stains on that shirt is likely to be great. After all, who doesn’t love a good hot pretzel or nachos with their beer? So if you were to imagine a male beer drinker looking like this, what would your image of a female beer drinker be like? It surely can’t be of some supermodel clutching a pint of some stout or porter. That would be awesome (sign me up) but it just doesn’t make much sense does it? But I digress. Shockingly – to myself and many a male friend – many of the women we have met at beer festivals or in craft beer bars don’t look the part of someone who you would normally associate as a beer drinker – especially someone who is not a light beer drinker. But yet here they are and they love the beer and seem to get as much enjoyment out of it as you or me or our other “fuller-bodied” brethren. This is what I’m getting at – women are not only becoming beer drinkers, they’re also becoming beer brewers. And just like that, the beer drinker stereotype just got flipped on its head.
It’s no doubt that the number of women in craft beer is on the rise. I noticed this the last few times I went to beer festivals. I was expecting some more stocky or portly looking women who were looking to enjoy the selection on hand. How quickly I was surprised to find a large number of women – scratch that – attractive women who are looking into trying beers that conventional thinking would tell you is off limits for them. Shocked by what I saw, I started speaking to some of these girls, getting info where I could to draw an educated conclusion on this. Upon doing a little research, I also found a documentary that details this – The Love of Beer. It details the trials and tribulations of women who have decided to break the gender gap and destroy preconceived notions about women and the beer industry. A link to the trailer of this documentary is listed below. This is what is truly eye-opening for me – women make up some of the oldest brewers of beer in world history. Ok, now pick up your jaw off the floor. As documented in the Atlantic, “The oldest known record of beer brewing comes from Ancient Egypt, where beer was made and sold almost entirely by women.” (The Atlantic, Nov 2013)
The Love of Beer Trailer
Also noted in this article is the fact that after America was colonized, women were “the family brewers, crafting rich beers from corn, pumpkins, artichokes, oats, wheat, honey, and molasses. Settlers of the colonies drank large quantities of beer as a nutritional break from a diet based largely of salted, smoked and dried meats.” Crafty aren’t they? That gives me a new appreciation of women and their relationship with beer. Also, did you know that beer became such a staple in the American diet that during weddings they brewed and sold what is called “bride-ale,” with all proceeds of its sale going to the bride. They also made “groaning” beer, which was consumed during and after labor by the midwives and mothers. (The Atlantic, Nov 2013) Yet again, jaw meets floor. I would love to see that happen today. Your baby has just been born. Here, have a beer! (wishful thinking)
I would love to get the female opinion on this, as I am of the male gender and really don’t understand it firsthand, for obvious reasons. However, there are links below to websites that can offer some more insightful information on the subject. Like I previously said, we’ve had women who have contributed to this site before, but I welcome any and all opinions from the female species on this one.
If there is one thing I do understand, women are here to stay. They like flavor as much as the rest of us. I’m glad they’re here, I could always use more drinking buddies. Welcome ladies, let me raise a glass and say cheers…
Noteable Women in Craft Beer on Instagram
||Ashley V Routson
||Craft Beer Vixen