Beer marketing continues to be horrible and outdated
“We have been subjected to decades and decades of advertising that has not existed in Europe. Women are objects of sex and affection in advertising especially in beer.” - Audra Gaiziunas, Owner of Brewed For Her Ledger
One must only experience a single Super Bowl in their lifetime to understand the role of women in the fictional world of beer advertising. Let's just say, the words, "I can't stop staring at her intelligent persona" were never uttered in reference to a beer commercial. Ok, maybe those words were never uttered ever. But the point is, even if the beer being advertised in said bikini-centric commercials aren't necessarily the beers I'm after, they feed into the perception that the world of beer is a man's world, and women, if they belong there at all, are to be pushed to the sidelines.
It should be noted that every woman I spoke to reiterated again and again how supportive their fellow male brewers are of their work. Breweries that still market their product by shaming and objectifying women are basically the equivalent of that one kid in high school who was quoting Napoleon Dynamite years after it got old. No one wants to be friends with that kid.
I had the great opportunity to speak to Michele Lowney who has been in the beer industry 17 years, spending time at Scotland’s Heather Ale Ltd. and Caledonian. I asked her why these gender stereotypes surround beer, and she replied simply, “It’s tradition.” That sums it up perfectly. At least in the USA, it's considered "traditional" to think of beer as a beverage centered around testicles and testosterone. Yet, Lowney also mentioned that women were historically the first brewers. She spoke about how women were the healers, the keepers of the home, and therefore responsible for the beer production. In other words, they were the OG beer connoisseurs. Many of the women I spoke to pointed to the Industrial Revolution as the period in which this started to change. As beer was taken out of the home, women were taken out of the equation.
It's 2015, and the notion that a strong beer belongs strictly in a man's hand is as outdated as the notion that a woman's place is strictly in the home.
A blonde woman walks into a bar. Bartender says, “What are you having?” Blonde says, “The double IPA.” Bartender pours her the beer. The blonde thoroughly enjoys her damn good beverage. That’s it.
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Kara King is a production assistant at Thrillist and knows nothing about wine. Read her notes from the pub at @karatillie.