It's Just Not a Guy Thing Anymore

By Rowland Wasgatt on Friday, May 3, 2013

Are women more involved today, compared to years past, when it comes to the enjoyment of craft beer? It’s a simple observation, really, about what I’ve noticed over the last decade in terms of craft beer involvement. I admit it, I bought into the cliché that beer just seemed like a thing for guys, and that ladies just preferred wine. Of course, over the years a lot has changed with beer; we now have the distinguishing characteristics between domestic and craft-made beer. With so many styles and flavors being produced at a level locally, I began to see women around me, many I knew personally, drinking and talking about beer with a passion that bested even my experience and knowledge. I was impressed and wanted, no needed, to know why this was happening.

My friend Christine, a pastry chef who lives in southern California, will drive to Arizona just to get Odell 90 Schilling because she can’t get it in California. Locally made California craft beer is what opened her eyes and brought her into the fold. I asked her if she thought women were getting more involved, and she responded simply, “Yes, we are more involved because of the variety of styles and flavors that are created toward a women’s palette, and if shown something they like, their eyes will open up to other styles and flavors.” I liked this very much, and found myself digging into this more.

Another friend, Megan, a teacher here in Fort Collins would run into me from time to time at Odell Brewery. She surprised me when she said that beer had always been her drink of choice and never really wine or liquor. When I asked her about the increased involvement of women and craft beer she asserted, “Oh yeah, there are a lot more of us getting involved because craft beer is more artistic and fine-tuned, where it’s not about how much you drink, but rather about the quality of beer you drink.” I found myself agreeing with everything I was hearing so far, and found it very similar to my own thoughts on craft beer. So, I kept digging further.

I turned to another friend, Erika, a student at the University of Northern Colorado who has always enjoyed the beers at New Belgium Brewery. To her, domestic beers are just boring and bland. Whereas the craft beer she tried, she found really fun to guess what was in it. When she got tired of a certain style she would move on to another style. Posing the same question about the increased involvement of women, she replied, “Yes, there are a lot of factors where women are becoming more ingrained into the craft beer industry. But, I think the biggest reasons are the social sphere that surrounds craft beer, and there’s a flavor that any woman can find at any brewery in Northern Colorado that they find drinkable.”

The greatest thing to drink, for me, is a quality locally-made craft beer. Interviewing Christine, Megan, and Erika challenged the cliché that “beer is just a guy thing”, and I found myself understanding exactly where these ladies were coming from. I honestly enjoyed the insight and learned that their tastes aren’t so different from my own tastes in craft beer, why I’m involved, and why I like to drink craft beer. Women aren’t just drinking beer either. They’re getting involved in talking, writing about and making craft beer as well. It’s not just a guy thing anymore and perhaps never really was. It’s good to have more involvement, for this will help locally made craft beer grow even bigger I believe. Ladies, whether you are recently, or always have been, a part of craft beer culture, welcome to the fold.