The Session #81: Women in craft beer culture

The SessionI am filing this article late because everybody knows The Session is subtitled “Beer Blogging Friday” because it takes place on the first Friday of each month—and clearly today is Sunday. It’s been a long, busy week, punctuated by throwing my daughter’s birthday party this weekend, so I was simply unable to get a post done by Friday this time around.

However this month’s Session is hosted by Nichole (Nitch) over at Tasting Nitch and she’s picked what I’m quite sure has been a lively topic: Women in craft beer culture.

As the saintly Mr. M. Jackson created ‘beer culture’ by focusing on the people behind brewing, let us too take one blog post to contemplate the cultural shift that gender is taking in the beer world.

Feel free to write about what you want as long as it is beer and woman related!

I would love to see some of our historian beer bloggers give a bit of in depth back ground information on history of women in beer culture. Praise Ninkasi and what not, but were there male brewers before the fall of Rome?

Who did most the brewing in early colonized North America?

How is it that most current African brewers are still housewives while modern brewing is male dominated?

Do a feature on a woman in the beer industry!

Have you inspired your significant other to become beer culture involved? Call it, high five your beer loving wife day.

Are there any men out there who think that women in beer is a bad thing? For religious reasons, women aren’t allowed to tour many Trappist breweries and there are still French chefs who believe that a women on her menstrual cycle cannot make whip cream. (Truth.)

Woman’s palate’s are changing the direction of beer! Are women to blame for the recent increase in fruit beers? …

Are there any women out there who are crusading a flag of femininity while milling malt. Tell us your story!

I’m frankly not sure what I can contribute here other than to observe that I’m rather glad to see the rise to prominence of women in the brewing industry for a number of reasons: it helps shatter the myth that women don’t like beer; it helps debunk the last four decades of corporate beer advertising; women historically were the brewers of the household (and the original goddess of beer and brewing, Ninkasi, was female); and (I believe) women offer a different and valuable perspective to the brewing of beer.

Case in point: two of the the three GABF-winning brewers from Bend this year are female: Tonya Cornett of 10 Barrel Brewing and Veronica Vega of Deschutes Brewery, for their German Sparkle Party  and Sage Fight IPA, respectively—a Berlinerweisse-style beer and a sagebrush- and juniper berry-infused ale, both decidedly outside-of-the-mainstream.

Beyond that I wish I had some special insight or fresh angle with which to tackle this topic (unfortunately I didn’t have the time to write that feature on a specific woman brewer as Nitch suggests) but I will point out that for the women out there who think they don’t like beer (and my wife has been one of them for a long time)—try something sour, or wild, or otherwise different from the usual market variety of beer. My wife has taken a liking to the sours (particularly the one with fruit and touch of Brett) over the past few years not because they’re “girly” but because they don’t tend to offer the same thing in malt- and hop-forward flavor profiles. So if you think you don’t like beer, then odds are you simply haven’t found one you do like yet.

Otherwise, seek out beers from women brewers: they make damn good beer.

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