The BLager

Ask me anything   Guest Blog!   Beer drinkings and bloggings. Creator of world's first FemTO brewery: female owned, Toronto based, smaller than a micro but mightier than a mega.

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    Women and Beer: A 4,500-Year History Is Coming Full Circle - Atlantic Mobile →

    qhrumphf:

    beeriousgirls:

    Awesome article!

    Speaking of female brewers…

    Women and Beer: A 4,500-Year History Is Coming Full Circle

    Reuters

    It was just moments after I finished an IPA tour at the Great American Beer Festival with Julia Herz, the Craft Beer Program director for the Brewers Association. “Women drinking beer!” one guys said, pointing up to the “womenenjoyingbeer.com” booth. Two of his male friends gave a laughing grunt, and one took out his phone to capture the moment for re-telling.

    The idea of women in the beer world is often parodied and, occasionally, openly mocked. But why?

    The oldest known record of beer brewing comes from Ancient Egypt, where beer was made and sold almost entirely by women. After the colonization of America, women were the family brewers, crafting rich beers from corn, pumpkins, artichokes, oats, wheat, honey, and molasses. Settlers of the colonies drank large quantities of beer as a nutritional break from a diet based largely of salted, smoked and dried meats. Beer was such a staple that there was even something called “bride-ale,” a beer brewed and sold during weddings with all proceeds going to the bride, and “groaning” beer, which was consumed during and after labor by the midwives and mothers.

    But as we shifted from an agricultural-based to an industrial-based economy, beer brewing left the privacy of the home and became another commercial, large-scale product run almost entirely by men. At the same time, the variety of beer available became more limited and actually caused most of the unique regional beers that had been developed over centuries to become extinct.  

    Thanks to the “good food” movement, a push to recognize local, organic, and high quality-flavored food and beverages, there has been a steady increase in craft beer at the expense of large-scale facilities. Because of its emphasis on creative flavors, food pairings, and the DIY hobby culture it steams from, craft beer gives women slightly more opportunity for inclusion—even if bros still struggle to take them seriously.

    A Question of Taste

    In Colorado, one of the most brewery-rich states in the country with 154 individual facilities, there are only 10 women total who are known to be a part of the main brewing process.  The main obstacles that women continue to face in this industry include perceptions of taste, media influence, and preconceived notions about their skill and ability.

    For more women to be involved in the beer industry it helps to increase the amount of women drinking beer. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 20 percent of women prefer beer over other alcoholic beverages. “You have to have a beer drinker before you have a woman beer professional,” says Teri Fahrendorf, President of the Pink Boots Society, an all-female organization to help women in the beer industry.  

    Beer is for guys, as just about any Budweiser or Coors television ad will remind you. The role most often played by women in these spots is either the sexy waitress or the would-be girlfriend. “The Swedish Bikini Team doesn’t make me thirsty, certainly not for beer,” Fahrendorf says. “To me, every guy in America who wants to drink beer is already doing it, but every woman who wants to drink beer may not be doing it. It has to start on the consumer level to really grow the industry.” 

    “Beer is universal, it’s probably the second-oldest fermented beverage behind mead and more and more people realize that there is flavor potential there,” says Ginger Johnson, founder and owner of Women Enjoying Beer. Because of the flavor potential and that yearning for local, home brewing has become a popular hobby with over a million people brewing beer at home. Many home brewers take that hobby to the next step and end up opening their own microbrewery. But even though plenty of home-brewers are women there is still skepticism about their roles when it comes to business.

    “I have two male partners and it’s challenging to have my voice heard,” says Inna Volynskaya, voice of reason (her official title) at Headlands Brewing Co. “We all do sales, we split up accounts. I’ll get a phone call, like, ‘Hey I went to do this sale and the guy doesn’t like me; I think he prefers someone with a skirt show up,’ and I deal with that a lot.” What she’s dealing with is the perception that female sexuality can sell a product more than the product can sell itself, which devalues both the women in the company as well as the product trying to be sold.

    Implicit sexism comes not just from inside the industry but from consumers as well, many of them have the assumption that the brewery and the beer inside is made by men. Fahrendorf, who was one of the first woman brewmasters in the U.S., says that they would come into the brewery and ask to talk to the brewmaster.

    “I’d say, ‘I am the brewmaster!’” she says, noting she would get into the occasional argument about it with some of the costumers. “One guy was like, ‘No, there’s some guy back there doing the heavy lifting right?’ and I said, “Well, he works for me and I’m doing the heavy lifting!”

    Regardless of perception, women do have the physical strength as well as the mental aptitude to make good beer happen what it comes down to is both the desire and the confidence to know they can do it. Even if they’ve been out of practice for a few decades (or centuries) women have the art of beer brewing running deep in their veins. With the return to quality and small batch brewing, the craft beer industry allows the creation of both new interesting flavors and stronger community involvement, and women are finding more interest leading to a slow but steady rise in the field. 

    “We belong here. You can’t let people make you feel a certain way,” says Emily Engdahl, creator of Oregon Beer Country. “As women it doesn’t matter that we’re women, we belong in any industry that we want to be in.”

    Yeahh! I have to say, living in the US I did see a lack of women in the brew place. Now that I live in Canada, I can’t believe how dichotomously gendered drinking habits are - nearly at list half of my female friends are on a strict diet of “Mom Juice.” And working at a craft beer bar, I would say at least 2 out of 3 women request either a “light beer” or wheat beer. 

    Just saying that, Oregon is literally light years ahead in this regard.

    — 10 months ago with 7 notes
    flavorpill:

“There is an ancient Celtic axiom that says ‘Good people drink good beer.’ Which is true, then as now. Just look around you in any public barroom and you will quickly see: Bad people drink bad beer. Think about it. “ — Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
13 of the Best Literary Quotes About Beer on Flavorwire

#beerquotes

    flavorpill:

    “There is an ancient Celtic axiom that says ‘Good people drink good beer.’ Which is true, then as now. Just look around you in any public barroom and you will quickly see: Bad people drink bad beer. Think about it. “ — Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

    13 of the Best Literary Quotes About Beer on Flavorwire

    #beerquotes

    — 11 months ago with 203 notes
    #beer quotes truth 
    You Won’t Know if You Don’t Cask
A quick overview by the National Post about the journey of England’s @Beavertownbeer to @caskdays. #oncask

    You Won’t Know if You Don’t Cask

    A quick overview by the National Post about the journey of England’s @Beavertownbeer to @caskdays. #oncask

    — 11 months ago with 1 note
    #beer  #england  #toronto  #cask days  #Cask Ales  #on cask  #beavertown beer 
    A couple people showed up for @caskdays #oncask

    A couple people showed up for @caskdays #oncask

    — 11 months ago with 1 note
    #oncask 
    Let the games begin @caskdays #oncask

    Let the games begin @caskdays #oncask

    — 11 months ago
    #oncask 
    Drinking a @shinerbeer while listening to @evradio peer pressure’s sweater weather mix makes this fall evening perfect

    Drinking a @shinerbeer while listening to @evradio peer pressure’s sweater weather mix makes this fall evening perfect

    — 12 months ago with 1 note

    TBW 2013: My Top Picks

    Toronto Beer Week is upon us, and in the flood of events and happenings across a myriad of venues one may be overwhelmed with the deluge of choices and stick to familiar locations or breweries. DON’T. The awesomest part of TBW is the opportunity to taste lots of beers that perhaps you have never tried or even heard of. So go out, expand your horizons, and taste something that you might not get to during any other week of the year. 

    Here are my top picks of places to go and things to try:

    Premium Beer Experience: Thursday Sept 12th 6pm-pm @ Berkley Church

    Believe it or not, there are still a few tickets left for this event which serves as the kick off party for TBW. Head to the beautiful Berkley church tomorrow night to taste everything from beer cocktails, new boutique beer products, rarities, and even some one off casks.

    We Live For The Funk: Saturday Sept 14th 7pm @ BarVolo

    Ever had a sour, bacteria ridden, barrel aged, wild yeast fermented, bug laiden beer? No, it’s not the fear factor of beer - it’s the old timey Belgian inspired way of doing things. And the trend has spread to brewers across North America. $5 gets you in the door and a limited edition wine glass to taste some truly experimental products from Quebec and Ontario - and some funky tunes to set the mood as well.  Plus, I will be there - possibly wearing pink plaid or something equally terrifying.

    Brewer’s Backyard Septembiere  Sunday September 15th 12-4 pm @ The Brickworks 

    What beats drinking pints in the crisp fall sunshine? Perhaps only getting in touch with your inner francophile while drinking in the sunshine. And stuffing your face with poutine. And crepes.

     For this pop up beer garden event, the Brewer’s Backyard is teaming up with Keep 6 Imports and pouring an array of bieres Quebecois. Dieu de Ciel!, Le Trou du Diable, Les Trois Mousquetaires, Dunham, Hopfenstark and Charlevoix will all be on tap - and some special bottles will be available too. And the aforementioned Quebec foodstuffs will also be available. Mais, c’est super genial quoi!

    Oh yes, I will be here too. Drop by and say bonjour.

    1st Annual Beer Cocktail Showdown Monday September 16th 6:30-8:30pm @ Beer Academy

    Not all of my friends like or drink beer, a devastating reality that perhaps some of you suffer from as well. If that’s the case, round them up and head over to the Beer Academy for the  first annual Beer Cocktail Showdown. During the event, the cities top bartenders will compete to concoct the most dazzling beer cocktails OF ALL TIME. Or something. Anyways, the fun part is that the crowd gets to be the judge of the winning cocktail, which will also be served Wednesday at the Beer Bistro during the Golden Tap Awards.

    — 1 year ago with 4 notes
    #Toronto Beer Week  #TBW2013  #Beer  #Toronto  #things2do 
    #barbeer: if you have had it, you have no idea what you’re not missing!

    #barbeer: if you have had it, you have no idea what you’re not missing!

    — 1 year ago
    #barbeer 
    Brewers and #beer drinkers at the @torontobeerweek event @3030dundaswest

    Brewers and #beer drinkers at the @torontobeerweek event @3030dundaswest

    — 1 year ago with 1 note
    #beer 
    Excellent beach #beer, excellent beach day #toronto #mikkeller

    Excellent beach #beer, excellent beach day #toronto #mikkeller

    — 1 year ago with 1 note
    #toronto  #beer  #mikkeller 
    I’ve been quiet lately.  But that doesn’t mean I have been ignoring beer. Instead, we have decided to go steady. Or something.
This is my second year volunteering for TBW and helping out with the homebrew competition. I am a homebrewer myself, and since I have moved to Toronto I have been trying to encourage more events to bring homebrewers out from their garages and comingle, as well as build more interest across the GTA in this (awesome) hobby. 
Some of my earlier attempts in creating interest and events were successful, in the way that copying is the ultimate form of flattery. Others were flops, in the sense that coordinating schedules across breweries is really difficult. Oh, and although Mayor Rob Ford can smoke crack and run with thugs - having homebrew at an event is a huge impossibility. So there’s that. 
Thanks to a lot of people doing a lot of favours for me, I’ve finally got the act together for this awesome event on August 4th. You should come, chat with homebrewers, beer drinkers, and professional brewers. AND THERE WILL BE AWESOME MUSIC WITH AWESOME BANDS AND AN AWESOME DJ. Because live music is something that Toronto is really, really, really good at. And making music and beer is something we all start doing in our garages. So why not make a night of it?

    I’ve been quiet lately.  But that doesn’t mean I have been ignoring beer. Instead, we have decided to go steady. Or something.

    This is my second year volunteering for TBW and helping out with the homebrew competition. I am a homebrewer myself, and since I have moved to Toronto I have been trying to encourage more events to bring homebrewers out from their garages and comingle, as well as build more interest across the GTA in this (awesome) hobby. 

    Some of my earlier attempts in creating interest and events were successful, in the way that copying is the ultimate form of flattery. Others were flops, in the sense that coordinating schedules across breweries is really difficult. Oh, and although Mayor Rob Ford can smoke crack and run with thugs - having homebrew at an event is a huge impossibility. So there’s that. 

    Thanks to a lot of people doing a lot of favours for me, I’ve finally got the act together for this awesome event on August 4th. You should come, chat with homebrewers, beer drinkers, and professional brewers. AND THERE WILL BE AWESOME MUSIC WITH AWESOME BANDS AND AN AWESOME DJ. Because live music is something that Toronto is really, really, really good at. And making music and beer is something we all start doing in our garages. So why not make a night of it?

    — 1 year ago with 1 note
    #toronto  #music  #homebrew  #3030 dundas west  #the junction  #toronto beer week  #Things to Do 
    I made that. Then I drank that. #homebrew #blackipa #tasty #beer

    I made that. Then I drank that. #homebrew #blackipa #tasty #beer

    — 1 year ago with 7 notes
    #homebrew  #beer  #blackipa  #tasty 
    New outdoor set up. All grain black IPA on deck!

    New outdoor set up. All grain black IPA on deck!

    — 1 year ago with 4 notes
    #beer  #homebrew  #DIY  #black IPA