The bittersweet relationship between women and beer

Claiming that girls don’t like beer seems ridiculous to me. However, take a look at beer advertising (that of the men require Fosters/Carlsberg as confirmation of their masculinity ilk) and there’s no denying that beer is a decidedly masculine area of the booze realm – something the cloud of testosterone hanging above The Great British Beer Festival when I went last year would confirm. Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find a man who would admit to not liking beer whlist supping on a Pimms, but I know plenty of women, who without scorn, can refuse to touch the stuff.

Despite this, plenty of women do love and drink plenty of beer, and in the last couple of decades it has become far more common-place for women to enjoy the drink without question. Pre ‘ladette’ 90’s, women would probably have been frowned upon for ordering a pint in a bar, and despite being offered ‘a lady’s glass’ once, I have generally been able to happily order pints without raising eyebrows, but it does seem a shame that we had to pretend to be ‘one of the boys’ for so long to make the shift, and suggests we’re still not on entirely equal territory.

The Bittersweet Partnership has been set up to celebrate and spread the word of how much women enjoy a pint, and while I think that posts such as ‘cooking with beer’ and ‘beer cocktails’ are counter-productive, and almost insulting in the way they ‘appeal’ to female cliches, the project is otherwise a good idea. Providing a place to read about things such as The Wandsworth Beer Festival, written by a female beer expert, without having to wade through a website obviously aimed at men is refreshing, and although such an overtly feminised site still suggests a ‘them and us’ attitude to women and beer, it’s certainly feels like a step in the right direction.

They are also working with bloggers to get the ‘girls heart beer’ message out there, featuring guest writers on the site, and sending deliciously beery packages to people like me who will further spread the love. I can’t profess to have come up with a nifty glaze for chicken using it, or to be amazed that I can drink it without making people think I’m a lesbian, but I can say that there is nothing better than a cool glass of Kasteel Cru in a sunny garden, after a long day at work, whoever you are.

5 Responses to “The bittersweet relationship between women and beer”

  1. Lizzie Says:

    It always makes me immensely sad that I don’t enjoy beer. I keep trying though…

  2. Helen Brown Says:

    Just last week I was offered the ‘lady’s pint glass’ for my Coors in a local establishment.

    The barman obviously wasn’t familiar with my non-ladylike ways.

  3. Helen Says:

    I am a massive MASSIVE beer fan. There’s a festival next week at Earl’s COurt. We’re going on the Tuesday if you fancy it?

  4. sleepwear1 Says:

    I am always baffled if, when ordering a pint, it raises eyebrows at the bar. I feel that in a modern society, does it really matter who drinks what?? Saying that, I am a quality snob (and cringe when I do over hear the ordering of alco-pops). And trying to feminise beer in the marketing to women, I agree, does just pander to the US/THEM stereotype. Maybe I’m being naive, but I’m not sure people are really that judgemental… do we not all have better things to think about/discuss when out for a pint?

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