No one would argue that beer brewing and beer drinking have historically fallen under the domain of men. Men developed the recipes, brewed the beer, and ultimately enjoyed the fruits of their labor. That’s not to say that women were completely absent from the brewing and drinking; however, women have typically not been associated with craft beer brewing or even known as beer enthusiasts. With an increasing array of craft beer options on the market today, however, more and more women are choosing to dabble in the brewing process and certainly imbibe in the finished product. With that in mind, the team at Cheers All offers the following Woman’s Guide to Beer.
For the Beer Drinking Novice, Order a Beer “Flight”
If you are new to the world of beer drinking, or at least to the world of craft beers, one way to dive right in is to order a “flight” of beer. Picture miniature beer glasses typically served on a wooden platter that offers a taste of four or five craft beers. Most breweries and trendy pubs will offer some carefully selected flights that showcase their beers or that offer a range of tastes and aromas. You may also be able to create your own flight if there are specific beers you want to try.
Learn the Lingo
If you want to hang out with the guys, or you’ve found a group of female beer connoisseurs, knowing the lingo will help immensely. With beer, color, clarity, aroma, and taste all matter. Familiarize yourself with what is available so you can order and enjoy with confidence. For example:
- Fruity beers. Yes, this is the stereotypical choice for women who want to venture into the predominantly male world of beer drinking. Nevertheless, there are some exceedingly tasty options in this category. Brewers have looked to the gold standard, Belgium beers (Lambics), and married those with sour beers and sweet fruits to create next generation craft beer options. Expect everything from mangoes, strawberries, apricots and blueberries to pears and watermelons during the summer months while winter brings a hint of fruits such as plums, blackberries, and cherries in rich porters and stouts. Beers to try:
- Oude Kriek Cuvée René by Brouwerij Lindemans with its hint of cherries
- Samuel Smith’s Organic Strawberry Fruit Beer by Melbourn Brothers Brewery which tastes like …you guessed it. Strawberries.
- Karvanda Gose by Doolally that produces a sour fruit taste with its Bengal Currants
- Belgian Witbiers with their citrusy undertones. If a pilsner or stout is too heavy for you yet, try a Belgian Witbier. Your bartender might add some lemonade or Sprite to add a bit of sweetness while the commonly included orange peels evoke a citrus, tropical smell. Also look for an option that uses sweet lime, mandarin orange, or tangerine. Options to try include:
- Belgian White by Blue Moon Brewing Company
- Hoegaarden Wit / Blanche by Brouwerij Hoegaarde
- St. Bernardus Wit by Brouwerij St.Bernardus
- Bocks, Stouts & Porters: Rich, Dark and Chocolatey. For the veteran beer drinker, it might be time to get more adventurous with your craft beer choices. Give a dark ale or lager a try. Although people tend to associate these styles with heavy beers made for burly men, there are plenty of women who favor the strong bitter taste of darker beers, such as:
- Vanilla Porter by Breckenridge Brewery
- Cherry Chocolate Bock by Samuel Adam
- Guinness Draught Stout by Guinness
Join A Woman’s Beer Group
If you are reading this, you already know that beer drinking is not just for men! With that in mind, why not find other like-minded women to hang out with, talk about brewing, and enjoy some craft beers. For example, you might try:
- Barley’s Angels – With 164 chapters, in eight countries, this group aims to expand the appreciation and understanding of craft beer among women through events.
- Hash House Harriers – Hash House Harriers, a global organization with over 2000 chapters all over the world, including Antarctica, is a group of women called the “Harriets” that run and then drink beer.
- Pink Boots Society – Also found in eight countries, the ladies of the Pink Boots Society host dinners, own breweries, and cover just about any aspect of beer drinking and brewing.
If you are a craft beer drinker, visit the Cheers All website to purchase glassware and other merchandise geared toward beer lovers.