Women and Beer 

Friday, January 13, 2012 , By Carey Matthews

 

On Wednesday night our brewing intern Deb and I got the opportunity to speak on a panel about women and beer.  The occasion was the screening of The Love of Beer, organized by the Better Beer Society.  The panel discussion only just scratched the surface of this issue, we probably could have talked for hours, but it was a good public forum for this very important topic.  The film was about women in the beer industry, from brewers to bar owners.  The panel was comprised of local women who also work in the industry.  The film and panel brought up some interesting questions:

Is the industry and beer scene changing as it relates to women?  Where will we see changes first?
It is changing and craft beer is at the forefront of that change.  A place you see these changes most clearly is in marketing. When you look at craft beer marketing, the vast majority is gender neutral.  Most marketing focuses on the beer itself, often with a sense of fun thrown in. That being said, the people depicted in the ads are still mostly men. The television ads for the big brewers still generally rely on male-based humor (Man Up?), but even there it seems like you are seeing less pure sexuality based marketing.  Well, I guess there are still the Miller Liteguards in their Eighties style bathing suits, but that sort of thing is less common these days.  That shows already the trend is changing and I believe will continue down that path.

We're also seeing more and more women at festivals and beer events.  It used to be that most of the women there were just dragged along by their male mate, but now we're seeing women really step to the front with inquisitive palates and minds.  Then when you have a woman serving those beers, you set a great example that women do indeed know about beer and are here to stay in this ever evolving world.

Should breweries market directly to women?
This is a tough question.  As a woman, I definitely don’t want a brewery making a special kind of beer just for ladies, complete with pink packaging.  I also don’t want ads that play off of some idea of what woman are interested in, like showing a bunch of gals taking in some suds post shopping or manicures.  So if you don’t play off of stereotypes of women, how do you structure a campaign that is specifically for women?  I just think you don’t.  I think you focus on the product you are selling and don’t rely on masculine stereotypes, which are often just as insulting to males as well.  When you focus on the product, you can escape so many of the pitfalls of gender based marketing. If you make something good, there is no need to sugarcoat it with sophomoric humor and sex.

How do we get more women to be involved with beer?
So if we don’t design ad campaigns directly for women, how do we reach them?  There are definitely ways to think about beer differently that might speak to women.  Beer dinners, where you focus on beer and food together, are a great way for women to think about beer in a new light.  Focusing on the art of beer-the craft behind it, the people who make it, the details of serving it properly from glassware to temperatures-these are stellar ways to access the wonderful world of beer.  I’m a firm believer that there is a beer for everyone, so it is taking the time to get women to experiment, to try new things, and to definitely not cast them off because they haven’t liked beer up to this point.  If women truly prefer wine or cocktails to beer, let’s find beers that mirror some of the flavor profiles of those types of drinks.  It is often the bitterness that is off putting to a new beer drinker, so we can look to estery wheat beers or smooth malty beers or fruity bright beers.  That is what is so great about beer-the vast myriad of styles to suit all tastes.  I find that once you start trying things and finding what you like, your palate starts to open up and soon enough you are a bona fide beer lover.  One of the best things about beer is also the social aspect, sharing it with friends.  Organizations like Barley’s Angels are an even more formalized way to bring women together to discuss and learn about beer.  They get together for tastings, tours, and more in a fun female environment.  Great way to meet new people too!

As a female and a craft beer lover, I am optimistic about the future of beer and women.  All of my female friends love beer, but I know there are scores of women out there that have yet to experience the joy of what a great beer can be.  Let us all make it our personal mission to share the pure pleasure of beer!

Cheers,
Carey

Imag1405_large
Summit gals enjoying a beer on the town (the matching green was just a snazzy accident)


comments powered by Disqus

Are you 21 or older?

  • Summit Extra Pale Ale
    • bottlecap

      Summit Extra Pale Ale

      Brewed year-round

      The brew that launched
      a brewery.

      A craft beer pioneer. We’ve been brewing our flagship Summit Extra Pale Ale for independent thinkers and drinkers since 1986. Bronze color. Gold medal-winning flavor. Caramel and biscuity malts superbly balanced with citrus and earthy notes.

      ORIGINAL GRAVITY

      12º P

      IBUs

      45

      ALCOHOL BY VOLUME

      5.20%

      MALTS UTILIZED

      2-Row Pale, Caramel

      COLOR, (DEG L.)

      Light bronze (12.5 L)

      HOPS UTILIZED

      Horizon, Fuggle, Cascade

      YEAST

      Ale

      ESTABLISHED

      1986

       
  • Summit Pilsener
    • bottlecap

      Summit Pilsener

      Brewed year-round

      Crafted with care from farm to bottle.

      Brewed with Moravian 37 barley grown by our founder’s cousins in the heart of North Dakota grain country. Matured six weeks for a crisp, refreshing malt backbone. Saaz hops add just the right amount of spicy aroma to this authentic Bohemian-style Pilsener.

      ORIGINAL GRAVITY

      11º P

      IBUs

      25

      ALCOHOL BY VOLUME

      4.60%

      MALTS UTILIZED

      Moravian 37, Caramel

      COLOR, (DEG L.)

      Golden (5 L)

      HOPS UTILIZED

      Vanguard, Saaz

      YEAST

      Lager

      ESTABLISHED

      2001

       
  • Summit True Brit IPA
    • bottlecap

      Summit True Brit IPA

      Brewed year-round

      English-Style ale from this side of the pond.

      Originally named Summit India Pale Ale, our True Brit IPA is brewed with a nod to sublimely drinkable English ales. Quintessential UK hop varieties lend spicy, earthy notes with a background of caramel sweetness from the malt.

      ORIGINAL GRAVITY

      14º P

      IBUs

      70

      ALCOHOL BY VOLUME

      6.40%

      MALTS UTILIZED

      2-Row Pale, Caramel

      COLOR, (DEG L.)

      Bronze (13 L)

      HOPS UTILIZED

      Northern Brewer, East Kent Golding, Target
      Dry Hopped: East Kent Golding, Fuggle

      YEAST

      Ale

      ESTABLISHED

      1993

       
  • Summit Great Northern Porter
    • bottlecap

      Summit Great Northern Porter

      Brewed year-round

      A roasty dark beer for the entire year.

      One of our first beers, this award-winning Porter is an ale to enjoy year round. Named after the majestic railway stretching from St. Paul to Seattle, with roasted malts that offer up coffee notes leading to a slightly sweet, chocolatey finish.

      ORIGINAL GRAVITY

      13.3º P

      IBUs

      48

      ALCOHOL BY VOLUME

      5.40%

      MALTS UTILIZED

      2-Row Pale, Caramel, Chocolate

      COLOR, (DEG L.)

      Black (60 L)

      HOPS UTILIZED

      Northern Brewer, Fuggle, Cascade

      YEAST

      Ale

      ESTABLISHED

      1986

       
  • Summit Horizon Red IPA
    • bottlecap

      Horizon Red IPA

      Brewed year-round

      Red and Robust.

      Horizon Red IPA offers up an artful blend of exceptional American hops, creating an intense pine, citrus and earthy character while select malts offer a robust flavor and deep red hue. Originally named Horizon Red Ale.

      ORIGINAL GRAVITY

      14º P

      IBUs

      70

      ALCOHOL BY VOLUME

      5.70%

      MALTS UTILIZED

      2-Row Pale, Caramel, Wheat, Cara Red, Black

      COLOR, (DEG L.)

      Amber (22 L)

      HOPS UTILIZED

      Summit, Horizon, Mosaic, Cascade
      Dry Hopped: Cascade, Mosaic

      YEAST

      Ale

      ESTABLISHED

      2009

       
  • Saga IPA
    • bottlecap

      Summit Sága IPA

      Brewed year-round

      Epic hop character.

      Named after the Norse goddess Sága, drinking companion of the God Odin. New Zealand hops lend a distinctive hop flavor and aromas of kiwi, passionfruit and apricot with a clean, assertive bitterness. An ale worthy of the gods.

      ORIGINAL GRAVITY

      14º P

      IBUs

      80

      ALCOHOL BY VOLUME

      6.40%

      MALTS UTILIZED

      2-Row Pale, Caramel

      COLOR, (DEG L.)

      Rich Gold (9 L)

      HOPS UTILIZED

      Centennial, Amarillo, Citra, Rakau
      Dry Hopped: Amarillo, Citra, Rakau

      YEAST

      Ale

      ESTABLISHED

      2012

       
  • Summit Frost Line Rye
    • bottlecap

      Summit Frost Line Rye

      Brewed in late Winter

      A robust, spicy ale to fight off the deep freeze.

      Frost Line Rye is our “between seasons” seasonal, coming out between Winter Ale and Maibock. Brewed with four select types of rye and floral, citrusy hops to help hasten the spring thaw.

      ORIGINAL GRAVITY

      13.5º P

      IBUs

      50-55

      ALCOHOL BY VOLUME

      5.80%

      MALTS UTILIZED

      US Pale, US Crystal Rye, US Pale Rye, German Chocolate Rye, US Flaked Rye

      COLOR, (DEG L.)

      Red (25 L)

      HOPS UTILIZED

      Summit, Citra
      Dry Hopped: Citra, Experimental Hop #01210

      YEAST

      Ale

      ESTABLISHED

      2014

       
  • Summit Maibock
    • bottlecap

      Summit Maibock

      Brewed in the Spring

      Thaw out with the official beer of Spring.

      This traditional German style earned the nickname “liquid bread” because it was brewed by monks to help them get through Lenten fasting. Moravian 37 malts and Czech Saaz hops give it a toasted sweetness with a little spice in the finish.

      ORIGINAL GRAVITY

      15º P

      IBUs

      40

      ALCOHOL BY VOLUME

      6.50%

      MALTS UTILIZED

      Moravian 37, Munich

      COLOR, (DEG L.)

      Dark Blonde (9 L)

      HOPS UTILIZED

      Saaz, Mt. Hood

      YEAST

      Lager

      ESTABLISHED

      1989

       
  • Summit Summer Ale
    • bottlecap

      Summit Summer Ale

      Brewed in the Summer

      Savor summer with
      every sip.

      This highly drinkable beer is made for sunny days and long nights. With a crisp, clean bitterness. Lightly toasted malts. And an enticing fruity and floral hop aroma with hints of citrus. Every sip is a celebration of summer.

      ORIGINAL GRAVITY

      11º P

      IBUs

      32

      ALCOHOL BY VOLUME

      4.50%

      MALTS UTILIZED

      2-Row Pale, Moravian, Cara Pils, Malted White Wheat

      COLOR, (DEG L.)

      Pale Straw (4 L)

      HOPS UTILIZED

      Mt. Hood, Wakatu

      YEAST

      Ale

      ESTABLISHED

      2012

       
  • Summit Oktoberfest
    • bottlecap

      Summit Oktoberfest

      Brewed in the fall

      Celebrate the harvest.

      Inspired by the ultimate beer celebration, our Oktoberfest offers rich, toffee malt flavors up front with a hop finish as crisp as the autumn air. Like the fall colors, this beer is gone before you know it. Prosit!

      ORIGINAL GRAVITY

      16º P

      IBUs

      25

      ALCOHOL BY VOLUME

      6.70%

      MALTS UTILIZED

      Moravian 37, Caramel, Munich

      COLOR, (DEG L.)

      Bronze (15 L)

      HOPS UTILIZED

      Northern Brewer, Tettnanger, Saaz

      YEAST

      Lager

      ESTABLISHED

      2001

       
  • Summit Winter Ale
    • bottlecap

      Summit Winter Ale

      Brewed in the Winter

      Comforting as a down blanket. And way better tasting.

      One taste and it’s easy to see why the Brits call this style Winter Warmer. Nutty, roasted malt flavor with hints of coffee, caramel, cocoa and a dash of hop spice. It’ll warm your cockles. Whatever those are.

      ORIGINAL GRAVITY

      15º P

      IBUs

      40

      ALCOHOL BY VOLUME

      6.50%

      MALTS UTILIZED

      2-Row Pale, Caramel, Black Patent

      COLOR, (DEG L.)

      Brown (40 L)

      HOPS UTILIZED

      Willamette, Fuggle, Tettnanger

      YEAST

      Ale

      ESTABLISHED

      1987

       
  • Summit Unchained Series
    • bottlecap

      Summit Unchained Series

      Released Periodically

      Where brewers are free to explore their craft.

      The Summit Unchained Series gives our brewers free rein to create any beer style they want. To rediscover and reinterpret obscure traditional brews. Or invent their own. The result? Small batches. Huge flavor.

       
  • Summit Union Series
    • bottlecap

      Summit Union Series

      Released every so often

      The inspired union of new ingredients and time-honored brewing traditions.

      Brewing has always been about discovery. For the Summit Union Series, we scour the globe for new (and sometimes rare) hops and malts. Then we add equal parts craft and creativity to bring you a whole new brew.

       
  • Summit Oatmeal Stout
    • bottlecap

      Summit Oatmeal Stout

      Brewed year-round

      A taste you won’t find everywhere.

      While its cascading rich black color will be familiar to Stout enthusiasts, ours is decidedly different. It's made with naked oats from the UK, for one. Smooth and slightly sweet, with hints of coffee, caramel and chocolate. Sold only on draught in select places.

      ORIGINAL GRAVITY

      13.3º P

      IBUs

      36

      ALCOHOL BY VOLUME

      5.10%

      MALTS UTILIZED

      2-Row Pale, Caramel, Oats, Crystal, Roasted Barley, Chocolate

      COLOR, (DEG L.)

      Pitch Black (80 L)

      HOPS UTILIZED

      Northern Brewer, East Kent Golding, Fuggle

      YEAST

      Ale

      ESTABLISHED

      2004