Men, I’ve got a bone to pick. I’ve had it up to here with articles written by you (men), presumably targeted to other yous (also men), discussing how to get women to drink beer. Are these articles condescending and offensive? Absolutely! But also, they're almost always flat-out wrong.
Thing is, men aren’t the only ones guilty of writing misguided articles about getting women to drink beer -- some have been penned by women who also have little to no knowledge about beer. And frankly, I don’t know which one is worse: men pretending to actually understand women, or women who don’t know a bock from a black and tan writing beer advice columns. Both scenarios kind of suck. And both make me go on super-femmy social media tirades heavily laced with my most favorite expletives. Not exactly a reputation builder.
There are countless misconceptions about beer that need to be addressed and corrected. And as both a member of the va-jay-jay club and someone who sells and writes about beer for a living, my ego thinks that I’m the perfect person to address the fallacies in the most common “how to get your woman to drink beer” argument. Here we go.
Lie #1: Beer is a manly man’s beverage
The Truth: Women invented beer, fellas, so you best recognize
And women didn’t just invent the finest beverage on the planet; they were also the only ones allowed to brew it for quite some time. The ancient Sumerians, aka the people who realized that beer was a thing, and that it was great, used to worship the goddess Ninkasi: the goddess of brewing and beer. And btw, goddess implies vagina.
Lie #2: Women are afraid of beer
The Truth: It’s not us; it’s (probably) you
Yeah, I'm talking to you, Mr. Extreme Beer Geek that spends his days and nights trolling beer pictures on Instagram, desperately searching for every opportunity to belittle and bully all of us bright-eyed and bushy-tailed craft beer cheerleaders because you didn’t get enough love as a child. It’s not our fault that we were born with boobs and get more likes on one beer selfie than you will on hundreds of photos over the course of a year --regardless of how many rare beer pics you post.
Let's face it, (male) beer fanatics aren't exactly renowned for having strong social skills and dashing good looks.
The geeks that I’m referring to are the ones who completely take the fun out of drinking beer. They tend to be hyper-competitive, heavily judgmental, and unrightfully pretentious. These are the guys that stand uncomfortably close to you at the bar, anxiously waiting for you to order a beer so that they can either belittle you for making such an uneducated choice, or go on a tangent about all the amazing rare beers they’ve drank that you will never, ever be able to try, because you just aren’t as cool as them.
I'm not by any means implying that women are shallow, but I just want to throw something out there, for giggles and shits. Maybe it really isn't the actual liquid that turns us off from drinking beer. Maybe it's you.
Lie #3: All women are on diets, and that’s why we don’t drink beer
The Truth: Some of us don’t hate ourselves
Sure, some chicks might have an irrational fear of beer because they think it's going to make them fat. And hmmmm, I wonder who’s to blame for that? (Yep, looking at you Beer Belly Man.)
It might come as a shock, but not all of us ladies step on a scale three times a day and count calories for a living. Some of us truly don't care if we carry a few extra pounds on our thighs, hips, and waistline. Some of us really (like really) love pizza and wings and burgers and life. And guess what? We love to drink beer, yes, real beer, with our pizza, wings, and burgers.
Oh, and while we are on the subject of calories and beer, all you really need to know is that the caloric content of beer directly correlates to its alcohol content. The more sugar you add, the more booze, but also the more calories you get. Moral of the story? If you ARE counting calories, opt for lower-alcohol beers.
Lie #4: Women love fruity sweet shit, so you should start them with beers like that
The Truth: Fruit beers are terrible “gateway beers,” so that makes no sense
I’m not sure when and where this "women only drink fruit and wheat beers" stereotype came to be, but unfortunately I understand the thought process behind it. Obviously, women are the fairer sex and therefore we have delicate palates that cannot handle anything too abrasive or we will melt. Plus, we love, like love, fruity sweet shit. RIGHT?!?!
Don’t get me wrong, I freaking love me a good fruit beer. But calling a fruit beer a gateway beer is like calling an appletini a gateway cocktail. Both are essentially a gateway to nothing. You can't just jump from super-fruity strawberry shandy to an aggressively bitter double IPA, just like you can't just jump from a disgustingly sweet cosmo monster variant to a Manhattan.
If you do want to get your girl started on the righteous path, a true gateway beer should be a balanced representation of the four main ingredients in beer -- malt (typically in the form of malted barley), hops, water, and yeast?? You give a woman a fruit beer, and she has nowhere to go from there. You give her a pale ale or a dry stout, and the beer-filled sky is the limit.
Lie #5: Women can’t handle bitterness
The Truth: You’re stupid
Hopefully, none of you grew up actually believing that Princess and the Pea bullcrap. Most women don’t aspire to be fragile and weak. Some of us are a little masochistic. Some of us like to have our palates ravaged by big, bold, hop-driven flavors.
Having a vagina has nothing to do with the ability to tolerate, like, or love bitter things. Bitterness, for the most part, is an acquired taste -- for both men and women. Coffee, tea, dark chocolate, red wine, kale, broccoli, olives -- all of these are highly awesome bitter things that most women love. And if we can handle coffee and kale, I’m pretty sure we can handle your coffee-like roasted malts and your resin-like hops, thank you very much.
Lie #6: You can bribe a chick to drink beer
The Truth: Not all of us watch soap operas, and also, your relationship sounds really manipulative
I recently read an article, written by a dude, that addressed the subject of getting women to drink beer, and he recommended trying to bribe us with things like shopping trips and jewelry. That is probably one of the most offensive things I’ve ever read. I can’t speak for all women, but I effing hate shopping and I’ve lost every piece of nice jewelry that I’ve ever been given.
The real issue here is not that your lady-friend/partner/lover doesn’t drink beer. The real issue is the whole bribing thing. Beer is pretty damn fun on its own, and if you need to bribe your better half to do something fun, then you might have to reevaluate your relationship.
The moral of the story: you don’t need to dumb down beer in order for us chicks to “get” it. Keep it real, keep it 100. Women are pretty damn smart and pretty damn awesome. So stop treating us like spoiled little 5-year-olds who need to be bribed with candy to eat our veggies.
Ashley Routson, aka The Beer Wench, is a craft beer evangelist, author of The Beer Wench's Guide to Beer, and a district manager for Green Flash Brewing.