The wide world of craft beers

In nearly all industries, the scene revolves around men, both those working and those consuming. The beer industry, and by extension, the craft beer industry, is no exception to this. Women are used in this scene as “promotion” and nearly nothing else. This overt sexualization of women draws men to drink their products. However, the growing number of women brewers are making a name for themselves as they begin to finally emerge from the shadows, changing the scene. Unfortunately, stereotypes and harassment are taking their time in catching up with the times. 

According to The The Guardian, craft beer has made a grand entrance in the beer industry, and more and more brewers and businesspeople are finding great new opportunities. Many of the up-and-coming brewers and owners are women, and they’re letting people know they’re here. Many beer companies that have long since established themselves are finally coming around to the idea that female beer drinkers exist and are just as enthusiastic as their male consumers. Women drinkers and brewers already made up a large portion of beer enthusiasts, and that number is growing. However, men in the industry are finding it difficult to overcome deep-set perception and stereotypes. Pia Poynton discusses this prejudice on her girl+beer blog, as she has been a part of the industry for more than ten years. She says she cannot go to any events without facing this prejudice and is often stereotyped as a promo girl simply for her presence. People assume she doesn’t know anything and will begin to ask her questions, abruptly stop, and then go ask others those same questions. For her, these interactions are both irritating and frustrating, and she knows there is a stigma. Instead of feeling like she really knew what she was talking about, men instead criticize her and tell her that she was lecturing them. 

There are some companies that are directly fighting this kind of stigma. The Sparkke Change company is one of these, and they package beers in simple, white cans that have large, conversation-starting print that addresses issues like sexism and assault. The company is headed by nine women, and one of their many drinks has this statement: “consent can’t come after you do.” For them, beer and wine have always led to a great conversation, and they are using their platform to ensure that the estimated 25% percentage of craft beer drinkers that are women know that someone has their back. Unfortunately, some female owners and operators do not support these opinions. One of the co-owners of Two Birds Brewing, Danielle Allen, says that people are often surprised to know that two women run the company, but she says “I have not had any negative instances or thoughts and feelings because of the fact I’m a female. We knew we had the right to be in the industry and we owned that.”

This recognition of women in male-dominated industries, especially in those with such histories of sexism like the beer industry, is very necessary. Companies like Growler Chill are working to ensure that people can continue to enjoy them as long as possible.