Gender Stereotyping is Very Real in the Beverage Industry

Gender Stereotyping: Beer & Wine

When I look at the titles of these two books I feel like there is almost no need for me to actually write the rest of this article. But for most, the books probably don’t really hit them as being sexist. Because this particular stereotype has been around for ages.

Girls like wine.

Boys like beer.

It’s just a commonly accepted perspective. But for me, as a craft beer girl, I gasped when I first laid eyes on these. With a look of surprise and my eyes wide open, I think the words, “What the Actual F…” flew out of my mouth. (Sorry, Mom. I’ll wash my mouth out with beer soap.)

I was enjoying a relaxing beercation at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware when I found the books. My husband, Derek, and I always like to walk around town in the evening shopping the many quaint and artsy boutiques. One of my favorite stores has an eclectic mix of humorous, playful and visually interesting items. All kinds of topics abound in the book section.

Color Me Drunk Coloring Book

I actually bought the one on the far left: “I Could Pee on This and Other Poems by Cats.” Over the top hilarious! Being a crazy cat lady, it was a must-buy.

But I digress. Here’s where I state that I’m not a hardcore feminist. I’m not out looking to pick a fight with a brewery about their crude, sexist beer labels if I see one. I’ve never had a bartender make sure I really did indeed want that hoptastic bitter IPA in a 22 oz big boy glass. And, I’ve never felt excluded by male brewers, craft beer enthusiasts, brewery reps or the like.

Quite the opposite. I’m a Tomboy. In no way, shape, or form a Girly Girl. Well, I do sometimes do the fancy dress thing with stilettos but am super glad when I come home and put on a comfy pair of jeans and converse sneaks. As a kid, I was always outside skateboarding, playing football, dodgeball, matchbox cars, and dirt biking with the neighborhood boys. I really didn’t have many friends that were girls, except when I played softball in the community league. I have to say it ALWAYS irked me that they wouldn’t let girls play baseball in my hometown. So dumb. (insert massive eye roll)

Where am I going with this rant? It takes a lot to get me fired up and get up on my Feminist Soapbox!

That same night when I saw those gender stereotyping books, Derek and I headed to The Summer House with his parents to score some half-priced burgers. It’s our yearly Monday night tradition. The restaurant’s craft beer list is ‘meh’ to say the least but their signature comfort food is excellent. The waitress came by to get our drink order. She started with Derek’s Mom, Patti, who ordered RAR Brewing’s Bucktown Brown. The waitress’ response, “You do know that’s a dark beer, right?” Patti set her straight with a confident, “Yeah. I know.” Then I chimed in with a “She loves dark beers,” trying not to sound rude or insulting. All the while thinking, “Did you really just say that?”

Ok. Maybe the waitress says that to everyone. I mean, most of the beers in the joint are light domestics and it WAS a hot summer day after all – when most folks probably seek refreshing type brews. I gave the waitress the benefit of the doubt. I didn’t want to overreact since I was still steeping over those book titles I found earlier in the evening.

Then the bartender came by to deliver our drinks since the waitress was super busy. He had a Coors Light bottle in his hand and says “Who got the Coors bottle?” He automatically started leaning over to the left side of the table to hand it to Patti or me. My hands flew up so fast, with fingers pointed towards Derek’s Dad, John. (He loves basic beers. And, that’s cool. Bold brew flavors aren’t for everyone) I didn’t even realize I had done that. Just a natural knee jerk reaction, I guess. AND, Derek had done the same thing simultaneously!! Ha ha! There was no way in hell either of us would be seen with a Coors Light. We all had a chuckle over it. It was like we had choreographed the moment.

Now that was three separate incidents where gender stereotyping bullied its way into my evening. I started to think that maybe, just maybe this happens way more than I actually experience for myself. The thought of that made me wince. There’s a ton of ladies out there that love a great brew.

Look. I like wine. Heck, I like all kinds of alcoholic beverages: liquor, cider, mead, etc. I just really prefer beer most times. But can we pretty please with sugar on top stop assuming that beer is only for boys?

That is all.

(Follow Me On: Twitter & Untappd: @dzyngrl | Instagram: @dzyngrl14)

1 Comment on Gender Stereotyping is Very Real in the Beverage Industry

  1. That reminds me of a video I saw recently. They put hidden cameras and sent people in to order drinks: the girl orders a beer and the man orders something else. And then this happens when they get their drink order.

    Common and frustrating! I once walked into a bar with two male friends. The place was known for their beer selection, and the waiter seated us, handed the beer menus to the guys, then FLIPPED MINE OVER and said, “the wines are on the back” as he handed it to me. I hadn’t said a word, so he should have no idea whether I wanted wine or not. It took everything I could not to rip him a new one, but instead, I ordered the craziest beer I could find on the menu out of spite.

    Keep noticing things and some day they will change! Cheers!

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