I’ve always been a contrarian. When I was I kid, I hated pink and all versions of it, because I wasn’t going to like something just because I’m a girl.
I felt like a warrior for justice whenever I wore blue, or laughed at girls that wore pink (I was also kind of a bully).
Beer is predominantly marketed to men. The marketing choices made by most brewers (include micro-brewers, you guys are not off the hook) are downright disgusting.
This includes sexist commercials, beer labels, naming and hiring practices. The argument is the same be they a large producer or a small time local brewery. Men buy beer, men will buy more beer if there’s a pretty girl associated with the brand.
The thing is that for now, that argument, while idiotic and disrespectful to both men and women, can easily hold water. Men will not (in large numbers) actively avoid a beer just because a woman is being objectified on it and many women still feel excluded from the culture for the same reason.
As with most other fields where women have made progress, the fact is the early adopters have to go through a lot of shit to get recognized. The same is true of beer. When a woman is part of a team that is responsible for actually creating a new beer, this is news worthy.
The problem is that to take that garbage, you have to REALLY want to be there. Neil Degrasse Tyson talked about this at a scientific conference not too long ago. The obstacles he faced as a black man entering science were only surmountable because of his unquenchable and relentless love of space.
I don’t even like the taste of beer. This has been thoroughly tested. My husband, a beer fanatic who runs an excellent Youtube channel and beer blog that any fan of beer must follow, has facilitated my tasting of dozens of beers of every variety. I don’t even like Fruli.
It angers me because I know the only thing a business listens to is the wallet, and I can’t vote with my wallet. As a family, yes we support micro-brewers and try to buy from local brewers as often as possible. We avoid sexist companies and actively seek out information about the people and ingredients involved with each beer we purchase.
But I’m not visible in that effort, because I have no personal stake in beer. I am not in the vlog. I don’t go to events. It’s not my scene. There need to be more women who want to be there and I feel guilty that I can’t be one of them.
So instead, I’d like to issue a challenge.
Ladies, go out there, and try beer. Any beer. All beer. Dudes of colour, this is for you too. Find out if you have a passion for it, and if you do, be an active member in the community. Be picky about what you drink. Demand better from the industry. Help us prove to marketers that white guys are not the sole market for beer, and that they lose business when they don’t take that into consideration.