So, after reading this post over at Meta Cookbook about gender and craft beer, one of my favorite things to explore, I got to thinking about the craft scene not being biased against women per se, but instead against the idea of the feminine woman. Stay with me here, it’s going to get awkward.
I named my blog Stouts & Stilettos for a reason. Yes, there’s the basic idea that of course I adore stouts and am known to rock stilettos, but there’s more to it than just that. The idea of the stiletto represents more than just footwear. The stiletto is a sexy shoe. It makes your legs look longer, shapelier. It’s the epitome of femininity. Lead psychologist Paul Morris at the University of Portsmouth says, “high heels may exaggerate the sex-specific aspects of the female walk” (source).
The combination of the glamour that is the stiletto combined with sexy stouts was the perfect way for me to tell you right away 1) this is a site created by women, 2) we like craft beer, and 3) we’re proud of both of these things.
From my very beginnings of being in craft beer I loved that being girly, feminine, ‘pretty’, or however you choose to describe it, set me apart from a sea of unkempt beards. It makes me unique. I’ve had some pretty big names recognize me because I’m easily identifiable with my big curls, fun sun dresses, and contagious personality. I’ve been told that ‘it’s my thing’ and I love that. When I walk into a bottle share in my cute dress and boots slinging some awesome beers, I feel powerful. When I sit at the corner of the bar in my LBD and heels sipping a big ass IPA, I feel sexy. I don’t need to wear a work shirt for you to know I’m into beer. My beverage choice is the give-away.
At the same time, you get these glances and eye rolls from people as if they are thinking ‘there’s no way SHE knows shit about beer.’ Sometimes I almost feel like now I have to go out of my way to be extra girly just to breakdown your stupid stereotypes. I’ve been drinking beer for 7 years (legally) and writing about it for almost 5 now, and not just for Stouts & Stilettos. I do my homework daily. Untappd says I’ve had over 2500 unique beers. I co-founded a goddammned beer week people. I consider my craft beer resume pretty great, especially given that I’m 28. But all you saw was this girl in a ridiculous pineapple print dress, a woman in tight jeans and a cute scarf, or maybe even leggings and whoosh out the door any of that goes.
I don’t care what any of you want to wear. I don’t think my perception of whether or not someone else knows craft beer comes from the fact that they are or are not wearing a brewery’s t-shirt, male or female. I personally don’t prefer to wear pants in general, I hate sneakers of all varieties, and t-shirts definitely aren’t my jam. It’s rare that you’ll see me wearing brewery gear unless it’s my signature Chateau Jiahu necklace. Do I dig that stuff? Some of it. Do I care if you want to wear it? Not at all. I just like to dress more femininely. I need to be ME. So I instead elect to do the only thing I know how to do 100% perfectly, and that’s just be Tierney.
So, hi! My name’s Tierney. I am passionate about bringing women into craft beer while advancing craft beer itself. I love drinking craft beer. I also don’t give a shit if you think my outfit says otherwise. Just wait, I’ll drop some knowledge on you.