To Each Her Own: Ending the Craft Beer Cold War

To Each Her Own: Ending the Craft Beer Cold War by Hanna Laney | Ladies of Craft Beer.

It’s true. Unfortunately, women make up a small percentage of craft beer drinkers. While I swell with pride at the fact that our numbers continue to grow everyday, I see a disturbing trend lurking–a culture clash emerging that threatens not to encourage the rise of women in craft beer, but to destroy it. The battle lines have been drawn between die-hard female connoisseurs and those women just entering the world of craft beer. Sadly, I have even found myself engaging in this sort of beer-centric snobbery. The arguments are vitriolic, staid and twinged with the sort of moral finger-wagging normally reserved for side-of-the-road political protests.

It’s simple, really; seasoned connoisseurs look down their nose at newbies enjoying a light lager and the light beer drinkers see their counterparts as insufferable snobs. This argument is perhaps best personified in the popular bumper sticker, stating, “Real Women Don’t Drink Light Beer.”

 

This argument is not new among women. An equally detrimental argument exists between stay-at-home moms and those mothers who work outside the home. Journalist Ellyn Spragins wrote of this dichotomy in The New York Times, elaborating, ”Stay-at-home moms are sure they are better mothers than working moms. And working moms think the stay-at-home contingent doesn’t have a clue as to how much they love their children or how hard their lives are.”[1]

Similarly, those die-hard beer drinkers swill their stouts pretentiously and the light lager crowd seethes with anger towards them. No one wins. To what end do these arguments strive? They serve no grander purpose than to divide women against each other and decay the increasingly important woman’s voice in craft beer and, indeed, the world.

 

In this craft beer culture, wherein women are the vast minority, it seems silly (and darn near catastrophic) to start drawing lines in the sand. By creating needlessly divisive partitions among us, we only weaken the role of women in craft beer.

Craft beer is an experience. This experience is meant to be savored and appreciated. What first drew me to craft beer was the level of thoughtfulness of the entire process. Passionate brewers use artisan ingredients coupled with traditional and cutting-edge technique to produce a delicious concoction meant to be shared. In this craft beer culture, wherein women are the vast minority, it seems silly (and darn near catastrophic) to start drawing lines in the sand. By creating needlessly divisive partitions among us, we only weaken the role of women in craft beer.

 

 

Tap Handles at Great Divide… what to pick?

Working for breweries, I have seen certain beers gain a reputation as “chick beer,” “cougar beer,” and the decidedly nefarious, “bitch beer.” These beers are often lighter, fruitier or lower ABV. I understand the female beer connoisseur’s conundrum; no matter how tasty, light beers are often seen as the bygone vestiges of the unfortunate relegation of women to a lower class of beer. Drinking the heartiest, darkest beers is a political message. However, we simply perpetuate that stereotype by tying a female beer drinker’s worth to the color of the craft beer in her glass. Many breweries today are churning out delicious, artisan, lower ABV, lighter beers that we should embrace as worthwhile additions to the craft beer world.

I may enjoy an uber-bitter IPA as my beer of choice. You may prefer stouts, porters, Scotch Ales or winter brews. Some others may prefer light lagers and fruit beers. By encouraging a diverse palate, we can better ourselves as beer drinkers and unite to encourage other women to enjoy craft beer. Cheers to all types of beers!

[1] Ellyn Spragins, “Is My Mom Better Than Yours?”, The New York Times, July 2001.

 

 

This wonderful article was written by Hanna Laney from www.ladiesocb.com (Ladies of Craft Beer) and urgently needed to be shared in my opinion.

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