How to dodge the "beer-splainers"Melissa Cole takes the intimidation out of ordering craft beer
There’s no getting around it: beer is still a male dominated world. But as women come more and more to the fore in beer brewing, writing and broadcasting, we got one of the pioneers of female beer writing, Melissa Cole, to give us her thoughts on how best to take some of the intimidation out of ordering an IPA or stumping up for a stout.
20 Years and Counting...
There are certain elements of the beer industry I can’t sugar coat, for example, I can’t tell you how rich I’d be if I had a pound for every time a man had tried to explain beer to me over the last two decades, and only slightly less well off when they’d explained it incorrectly, and with the amount of ‘well actually’ moments I’ve experienced, it’s also kind of a miracle I haven’t drowned.
However, it is getting better out there, with more women brewers visible starting their own businesses or, taking the reins at historic breweries like Fuller’s and, according to research by the female-led industry group Dea Latin, more women than ever consuming beer as their first choice of alcoholic drink - in fact, the only downside to all this is that I now have to queue for the toilets whilst at beer festivals!
And whilst it has undoubtedly improved at a soaring rate for the last five years, there is still a section of society that seems to think that us ‘little ladies’ need to have our delicate selves dictated to, but I’m here this International Women’s Day to say enough!
I say it’s time to throw off the tyranny of pinkness and blandness, to feel ok to loudly say ‘yes, I do like bitterness in my beer’ or ‘bring me my pastry stout in a pint’ and ensure that the mansplainers of the beer world get told where to go. So here are my five top tips on how to start.