beer business

Sexism in beer – I don’t get it

Yep, two women drinking beer. What's the big deal?

Yep, two women drinking beer. What’s the big deal?

I decided to write this blog after reading another one on sexism in beer, written by some guy named Oliver. The reason is that in it he makes the point that it’s worth adding your voice to the chorus. Just thinking it’s not cool is really not as effective as actually saying ‘‘dude, not cool’’. Cause I’m a total wuss when it comes to face to face confrontation, this blog will have to suffice for me actually saying ‘‘dude, not cool’’.

To tell the truth, on some level I usually to need reminding that sexism in beer exists. That’s not because I’m stupid (at least not entirely, anyway) but more because it simply doesn’t enter my head that beer and women are mutually exclusive, that there’s something unusual or worth noting about seeing a female drinking an IPA.

I read beer blogs written by women, drink beer made by women, go to bars owned by women and beer events run or promoted by women. And I don’t for a second think ‘‘wow, a woman made this beer’’ or ‘‘hey, I’m reading what a woman thinks about beer’’.

They’re just a brewer, a blogger, a bar owner, a promoter. I really couldn’t care less about the gender of the people who make the beer, drink it, write about it or have anything else to do with it. And, because this is the way I think, I tend to project that onto everyone else in the beer community and think that we’re all on the same page.

Ahh, we really haven't come that far, have we?

Ahh, we really haven’t come that far, have we?

But every now and then I get reminded that we’re not. Whether it be some tool making a dismissive remark to a female beer drinker in a social media post or a brewer coming up with some awful, tacky beer name or illustration to decorate a tap head, there always seems to be some example of someone figuring it’s ‘‘just a bit of fun’’ to demean someone else because of their gender.

And this really does my head in. Because it makes no  sense to me at all. Sure, there’s also a bit of outrage but the main emotion I feel when I see this is ‘‘how could you be so stupid?’’. From a business angle creating a brand that effectively alienates half your potential market is just moronic. And it’s even dumber if you hadn’t realised women actually are a potential market.

And if you’re a craft beer fan, belittling the female beer drinker makes no sense either. In fact, it’s in your best interests to encourage female beer drinkers. It works like this, if more people drink good beer, then more brewers will enter the market and make good beer, and then there will be more good beer for you to try. Engaging in behaviour that has the effect of limiting the market for good beer helps no one.

So just stop doing it.

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