"I don't believe that there is anything inherently wrong with drawing attention to a woman-run company in a male-dominated industry or even kitschy femmey branding -- that's their choice, galling as it may be," says Brooklyn-based Lineup Brewing's Katarina Martinez. "It is, however, problematic to assume that your female audience wants a different product than your male audience. That's just as offensive as men assuming that women know nothing about beer and mansplaining DIPAs."
Julia Davis, a brewer at a major Chicago craft brewery we've agreed to leave out of this, put things in simpler terms: "There's already a beer for women. It's called, 'whatever fucking beer we want to drink.'"
Look, making the beer world a more inviting place for everyone is an indisputably positive move -- the issue here lies in how a company decides to go about it. National groups like the Pink Boots Society, Barley’s Angels, and Girls Pint Out have been working towards gender inclusivity for years while more and more craft breweries are coming out as actively opposed to misogynistic marketing and discrimination in the workplace.
And, contrary to McGuire's assertion in USA Today that "[t]here’s plenty of women out there who would say (a women-owned brewery) is an overdue idea," women are getting into the game like never before, with OG female-run breweries like New Belgium, Stoudt's, Full Sail, Lost Coast, and Lazy Magnolia welcoming a generation of newcomers that counts Golden Road, Throwback Brewery, Blue Canoe Brewing Co., and the GABF award-winning Grimm Artisanal Ales -- as well as countless others -- amongst its ranks. While High Heel isn't the first brewery aimed at female consumers (see: Chick Beer), McGuire's venture is coming across more as an annoyingly cutesy marketing ploy than an honorable quest to end sexism.