Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Fruit Based Drink for the Lady?

After reading about recent attempts to persuade women into the world of beer on twitter; especially from two of our biggest ambassadors Kristy McCready and Melissa Cole, I could not resist my own two-penneth on the subject.

At the risk of over simplifying the issue, I think there are couple of key areas.

Awareness of the existing myriad of beer flavours
I know many women who love to drink proper beer, and are not bashful about pint glasses.  As it should be, but they are in the minority.  There are many beers on the market today which whilst not exclusively, in my experience seem to appeal to the feminine palate.  Saltaire Cheeky Kriek and Elderflower Blonde; Brewdog Tokyo* and Westmalle Triple stand out.  So we can clearly assume that our sister drinkers do not have a problem with the beer that is available, just lacking the chance to try some, or maybe the assurance that anything coming from a hand pull does not taste like the floor of a working men’s club.
A decent half pint glass
Let me say right away – this is not a desire to see a women’s glass, far from it.  I would love to see a vessel that anyone can really enjoy a half pint serving in.  The enemy is the highball glass, the half-sized straight-sided pint glass less so.

When trying to enjoy what you are drinking, I find it near impossible when drinking from a highball glass.  It is fine for spirit/mixer combinations, as that is what it was made for, but when trying to enjoy a double stout or Belgian style IPA by the half (as this is a civilised way to drink them) the pleasure of such beer is definitely diluted by the glass in which it is served.  Personally I ask for a Belgian beer glass (usually the Duval) to drink from for this kind of beer.  This simple change of receptacle makes a half pint measure much more pleasurable.  Both is terms of enjoying the aroma and taste of the beer; but also the tactile interaction with an interesting piece of glassware.

For more regular use I am somewhat fortunate that my local beer temple (The Swan Inn, Ulverston) has festival glasses as the default pint glass.  This offers marking for third, half and pint to line, and I often order half pints in this way and I know that my beer loving friends do appreciate and agree with me on this subject.

Pretty please, we do not need gaudy branding of “Beer for women” This is only an extension of some of the atrocities that have been committed by breweries already.

I could go on at great length (and often do) on this subject, so for more find an excellent piece by Jeff Pickthall here.

It can be hardly surprising that some women have an aversion to beer when it is marketed like this.  Personally I find it abhorrent.

In Conlusion
Women in pubs drinking beer?  More the merrier!


  1. If I had a penneth for every time I've seen the "fruit based drink for the lady" headline you could have a lot more than two ;o)

    You're not oversimplifying things - you are spot on. We need to improve all the things you mention and more besides.

    Beer menus in pubs, better glassware, barstaff that have been trained about the beer they're serving, better packaging and an end to puerile advertising and branding that shouldn't have survived the 70's.

    Not just for women but for all non beer drinkers but especially for women.

  2. I know what you mean about the title, I should have put #irony or #facepalm after it.

    Thanks for your feedback.

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