I was a bit surprised to find out that beer is the most widely imbibed beverage after water and tea (thank you wiki), but after my visit to Seattle, I understand why. Historically, brewing beer was a woman’s job (and what fascinates me is, with the exception of a woman serving beer and the beer goddess, they are completely left out of the wiki article, but I digress). After the rise of big industrial brewers, especially in America, the need for home brews and the women responsible for making them has all but disappeared. Advertisers would have one believe that beer is a man’s drink brewed by men, and that women in bikinis get to decorate the brew posters along side of horses, but that ladies ought to leave the beer drinking to men. For many women, it is taboo to enjoy a beer, and rare among the women I know to understand the differences between an ale or a lager. However, that doesn’t keep me from enjoying a nice malty drink or a hop filled creation on a hot day.
After a beer appreciation course at Wellesley College two years ago, I began my journey. To be honest, I didn’t much enjoy a brewsky until after I learned a bit from the Bostonbeerman during the wonderful wintersession course. Granted, I am still learning my fair share about beer, which is in part why my visit to Seattle was such a blast. My friend, Alejandro, showed me around the city via beer tour and I was lucky enough to taste some fantastic creations. People in the northwest take their brew pubs seriously, and it was a treat to sneak a peak into a culture I have just begun to explore.
There were several women in each of the pubs we visited, each with a cold beer in hand, but the culture was still overwhelmingly male dominated. Even my friend mentioned that the lack of women brewers mostly likely constituted a hole in the flavors and creativity of the beers available. While I am hesitant to say whether or not a female brewer would develop different beers just because of her gender, I will say that diversity encourages exploration and growth. Since there is such a dearth in female participation in the brewing industry, who knows what sort of beers are out there, just waiting to be brought into the world (couldn’t help the birthing reference, sorry).
I propose that us GoGirl’s start a revolution, one beer at a time. Grab a group of girlfriends and head to a local microbrewery for a ladies night out. Push your beer taste buds and try something completely new. Who knows, you might discover a new favorite, or even be inspired to create something delicious of your own.