On the first Friday of every month, there's a beer blog roundup called The Session. Someone picks a topic, and everyone blogs about it. This time around, Tasting Nitch is all about the womenz: Scary Beer Feminists or a Healthy Growing Demographic?
While I'm sure you all think of me as the world's most insightful hermaphrodite, I am, in fact, a man. A single, 35 year old man. Yeah, I'm not really qualified to speak to the female experience in the beer world. That being said, I think I'll come down pretty solidly on the "Healthy Growing Demographic" side of the argument. Nitch forwards a few ideas for topics, including historical profiles, current profiles, and a few others (I'm curious to see if anyone takes the bait for "Are there any men out there who think that women in beer is a bad thing?" Yikes, who would think that?). What's more, I'm not really one to get into identity politics. So I'll limit myself to a few observations, starting with one of Nitch's suggestions:
Woman's palate's are changing the direction of beer! Are women to blame for the recent increase in fruit beers?If so, only because beer marketers are morons. It seems like not a week goes by without some ridiculous article about how beer confuses womenz (for real, the article suggests three options that women might like, one of which is a cider) or how some corporation is seeking to implement some hairbrained scheme to trick women into liking beer. So indirectly, maybe women are to blame for an increase in fruity beers (or for the notion that an orange is a good garnish for beer), but only because some sexist executive somewhere got it into their head that women only like beer that is sweet and fruity. Pshah.
Well fear not, female readers, I've gone to the trouble to curate a custom category on this blog that's perfect for you! Read it, seek out some of the shelf wales (or trade for the more obscure ones), and rejoice. Oh sure, it's just an archive page of beers I've rated an A, so you menz don't need to feel left out - they're for you too. Funnily enough, the first beer listed is a Framboise, but hey, guys like that too. At least, this guy does. In addition, you could check out these pages too, I'm sure you'd enjoy those beers.
Riddle me this, dear reader: is the beer bottle a phallic symbol? I guess it depends on your perspective. For drinkers, it might be. It's certainly got the shape for it, and fluid can shoot out of that bottle like no one's business. But for a brewer? Well, they're sticking fluid into a hole in the bottle. And for certain bottle-conditioned beers, well, that fluid changes over time into something beautiful. Or something. I'm not good at this. Let's move on.
Just about every month, folks from my work get together at a local BYOB for a beer tasting (amongst other libations) and fun. Of the folks in attendance, there are only really two major beer nerds. I am, of course, one of those. The other is a woman. The mixture of men and women amongst the group is about even, and I've pretty much given up trying to predict what people will like or not like. I just bring the best beer I can in the hopes that someone will see the light (and so does my female partner in crime). Every month, it seems like the most popular beer is a different style. Double IPA? Sure! Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels? You bet! Sour ale aged on fruit? Why not! Funky saison? Hell yes. Leinenkugel's Berry Weiss? Um, not for me, but some folks like it a lot, male and female.
Nitch sez that she doesn't want this to turn into a "bah humbug, let people drink what they want," type of session, but like I said, I've kinda given up trying to predict how people will react to stuff I bring to beer club. And quite frankly, I don't see a difference between men and women when it comes to beer. Ultimately, it's just beer. You drink it. It's not that complicated, and your reproductive parts don't really play a role. Amiright?