Sexism in Beer

Here’s an article about a family-run Franconian brewery.

Exciting, right? Oh how I love Franconian beer, and I’m thrilled to see a new generation of brewery owners stretching the boundaries of traditional brewing. The region needs more breweries like these. But there are many problems with this article, and that’s what I want to talk about.

First of all, it’s not a big deal that the new managers are women. What is a big deal is that the new managers are progressive. Women have always been involved in breweries. A Franconian brewery churning out “insurgent beer styles” is far more subversive than female-brewed beer.

Second, the author says, “but their craft beers are as un-girly as you can imagine. These are strong, sophisticated, aromatic and memorable brews.”

Does that mean girls are weak, unsophisticated, smelly, and forgettable? Or just the beer brewed by girls, such as “Shirley Temple” beer? And does he mean the actor, or the drink?

Third, if two sons had taken over the brewery and done exactly the same thing, there would be no shock and awe at their “strong, sophisticated, aromatic, and memorable brews.” There would be nothing about how the beers “appeal to women but they’re also definitely bro-friendly.” Because it would just be BEER. The Meinel sisters profiled in the article aren’t brewing “craft beers for women,” as the author suggests. They are brewing craft beer for everyone.

As great as the new management of this brewery sounds, we need a new generation of beer writers who get it, who can report on these things with intelligence and objectivity. That, or the author should stick to writing things like:

They have one foot in the camp of tradition and the other in the craft beer camp, which means they are preserving the best in age-old venerable Franconian beer styles and turning out the best in innovative craft beer.

Because isn’t that the important thing?

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