Welcome to the Sisterhood
We speak to BrewDog’s first ladies of craft…
When we set out to change people’s perceptions of craft beer we honestly had no idea how many different attitudes, institutions and people our mission would reach out to.
Although the contents of your glass is – and hopefully always will be – at the centre of the discussion, it would seem there’s so many other frames of reference that inform what people think they and other people should and shouldn’t be drinking before they’ve even started.
Take gender, for example. We recently read this blog - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/14/pint-beer-woman-right - from Naomi McAuliffe and wanted to continue the discussion with some of our own first ladies of craft.
In short, the consensus from us is that beer is awesome and, ultimately, for everyone. It’s your interests that qualify you as a craft beer drinker – whether those interests are in stuff that’s been made with passion, tastes good, uses natural ingredients and goes against the grain – not whether you’re a man, woman, dog, what you drive, where you work or what you wear, right?
Charlotte, BrewDog brewer
“I think the Guardian article makes some really interesting points since beer targeted at women is generally patronisingly marketed and usually bad beer.
“I do wish that real ale branding would buck its image up though, it's all pretty much made for and by weirdy beardy Real Ale Twats (just look at the Viz cartoon!). I can pretty much look past it, but lots of people are put off by that kind of branding, even if the beer itself isn't half bad.
“In terms of women working in the industry, there are not a lot of us. The ones that I have met are so insanely passionate about what they do. Women perhaps have to prove themselves a bit more as I do think that people assume that a man will know more and be more likely to drink beer. When I've asked someone to get me a beer, I've been told that I've ordered a 'man’s drink', which isn't exactly ideal.
“It is also very physically demanding, we have to move tonnes of malt several times a day. When I tell people I work for BrewDog they usually assume I mean in sales or admin, not in wellies on the floor. But we're making it in, slowly.”
Josie, Northern Sales & Key Account Manager
“I think the Guardian article seems a bit dated. Beer culture has moved on so much since the days of women being frowned at for buying a pint it's pretty much nonexistent as far as I'm concerned. In recent years there have been so many fuller flavoured, higher abv beers around that drinking a whole pint would be too much and people have taken to drinking halves and thirds of such styles.
“More and more women are involved through blogging and writing and this has shown that there are women around who really care about beer, plus you only have to look at the staff members of some of the best craft beer bars in the UK to see there are plenty of women out there who have a passion for beer. “
Victo, Assistant Manager @BrewDog Glasgow
“I have been drinking real ale now for around 9/10 years and I think stereotypes as to who drinks real ale have been established. Since craft beer has begun taking over the UK I think the popularity of this style of beer has risen at the same time between both male and females, so there are no stereotypes yet in place.
“I am often asked at the bar for fruit beers and wheat beers by women. I am a big fan of cherries and so I would recommend Short's black cherry porter or we recently had Boon's Boon Kriek on tap which went down a treat in the bar, regardless of gender.
“BrewDog's Prototype 17 has also been a massive hit whenever we have had them in the bar. It's our Trashy Blonde blended with Raspberries. It's a good way to ease into craft beers, nice and fruity, but still pale in colour (new comers to beer are often scared off by big, delicious, dark stouts), with the lovely tartness from raspberries.
"Green Flash's West Coast IPA is probably up there as one of my favourite beers, so that for me would be the best introduction for anyone into Craft beer.”
Kerry, Manager @ BrewDog Aberdeen “I think the article raises a valid point when discussing the “mannish reputation of beer drinking culture”. It is generally a widespread accepted belief that women only want to drink either sweet and sugary drinks, or low calorie, low carb drinks. This is a massive misconception, some may choose to drink these drinks, but I believe you will find as many men opting for a Gin and slimline depending on the bar you visit.
“In a “certain type of establishment” it is a “certain type of lady” who drinks beer. BrewDog is all about changing perceptions. We are passionate about making all people as passionate as we are about great beer, and this should surely include making it socially acceptable for a lady to be drinking great beer.
“I disagree completely with the headline “a pint of beer is every women’s right”. Surely “A pint, half pint, schooner, third or nip of beer is every person’s right.” To insist that women should drink pints in favour of half pints, suggests that a pint is the “proper” way to drink beer. Come to any BrewDog Bar and the majority of our customers will choose a half pint or schooner size, regardless of their gender. Our beers are so full flavoured, and passionately crafted, that we recommend smaller serving sizes to EVERYONE.”
What are your thoughts? Let us know!
Posted in - brewdog-news
- Brilliant article and some brilliant comments from other readers. Great to see BrewDog are keeping intelligent debate alive and well on your blog. Keep up the good work chaps! Lulu08.11.2012
- Barley WIne was traditionally a ladies drink, nuff said... Cstewart05.11.2012
- The underlying issue should of course be about the kind of beer you like to drink, in whatever appropriate sized doses according to the beer,irrespective of gender.
There is a real marketing image issue going on though between "real ale"and "craft beer" though, in defining to the public what's "real" about beer.
The "real ale" image certainly does nothing for the male stereotype, but that's not craft beer or beer in general.psybertron04.11.2012
- I think there is relevence to this article. As a female beer enthusiast, I often get chuckles from my male mates when sharing my love for ale, and mentioning that I look to work in the industry. I think there is still an ongoing stereotype of beer being a man's business, in spite of evolving consumer behavior. The idea of a female prefering bitter pints to fruity cocktails is either linked to high, edgy, cool, hipsterish girl with a hint of sex appeal, or really the butch type. It's as if love for beer by girls had to be linked to a certain lifestyle, and mentality. There is still an ongoing stereotypes, and the fast major brewing companies target females with very light refreshment beers does not help in breaking the image that women do not appreciate beer, or at least do not know how to appreciate it. CB04.11.2012
- The culture of craft beer should be "this beer is ace so I shall drink and enjoy it". Anything beyond that is just pointless. I don't define any part of my identity with the fact I drink craft beer and as such you shouldn't require any specific trait to enjoy it. Like you say, it's for everyone regardless of hat choice, toothpaste preference or gender. You may as well say "craft beer, enjoyed by left handers", it holds just as much importance as saying craft beer is for men.
The article is fairly accurate but is probably more a commentary on wider society. Men and women are separated into two distinct groups when really, there is very little difference. I myself will still be out press-upped by almost all females and I'm sure there are other "males" in the same boat.
Basically, while I'm sure what she is saying is right, it's a tragedy that it needs to be said. It's just a drink at the end of the day.Frenger04.11.2012
- Jesus Christ that Guardian article was painful to read Lol :) yours on the other hand, was awesome !
Fiftysix Dustbunny 04.11.2012
- While I don't work at brewdog, I know a fair bit about brewing since we have a cottage industry going on in our kitchen about once a month. I love beer and brewdog beer, it tastes great and I believe it to setting the standards of brewing for the future. You guys rock and are definitely changing the views of who should be drinking beer. Keep up the great work. Xxx Jill M04.11.2012
- On the whole I think people are more open minded these days, and realise gender has nothing to do with interests and tastes. Yet a woman I work told me to my face without a second thought that I was 'one of those types of women' when I casually mentioned having a pint of beer or two. No doubt she was indoctrinated by parents/society/teachers, etc. when she was younger. Sadly, this kind of indoctrination is still gong on. Girls are given baby dolls and baby prams; boys are still being told they must play with trucks and guns. At a crafts event I was at a fwe weeks back, some parents were absolutely fine with their little boys wanting to make arm bracelets; other parents were horrified. Two girls' parents told them they had to pick pink beads for their bracelets 'because pink is for girls'. So yes, this stereotyping and indoctrination is still going on. It colours every aspect of your life if you're not aware of it, from clothes and career choices to drinking choices. Off for a pint now. Cheers SuzanneK2704.11.2012