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!