Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Top Beers to get Your Girlfriend Drinking Beer Part 1

Ten years ago the famed beer critic, Michael Jackson made the observation that women are utterly ignored by the brewing industry and this rings as true today as it did then. For the big brewers the only place women come into the equation is how many can be fit, scantily clad and usually wet, into a commercial aimed solely at the lurid desires of men. Now I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy these sort of ads, usually a lot more than the beers they promote; but doesn’t it strike one as odd that this massive worldwide industry completely denies the existence of the fairer sex as consumer?

Recent articles on Crafty Pint about the very worthy worldwide efforts of the Barley’s Angels to attract more women to beer, and this piece in Beer Bar Band about the recent Women of Brewing dinner in Melbourne have gotten me to thinking. I’m no expert on the world of big business but it makes no sense for an industry to exclude half the population for no good reason other than the vague idea of what is socially acceptable for each gender to drink. This is where, like Hannibal at Trebia, the craft industry can completely outflank the enemy and utterly crush them, slaughtering every third male and selling the women and children into slavery. By the execution of mayors and government officials we shall create a vacuum, then we shall...what? I’m doing it again? Sorry, wrong blog. As I was saying, a massive adoption of beer by the sort of women who would otherwise prefer wine would strengthen the industry to no end.

Now I’ve met several ladies whose knowledge of beer matches that of my own, ask any of the girls at the local Taphouse about their favorites on the tap list and their knowledge will put you to shame. But the truth remains that beer, for the moment, is still seen as a masculine beverage and considering the stuff we’ve had to endure for most of this country’s recent history it is not hard to see why most women with a refined, mature palate prefer wine. But with the rise of craft beer this need no longer be the case, I will stand by my declaration that beer can stand toe to toe with wine in all respects and, to put it in no uncertain terms, fuck you if you disagree.

So, to aid in this I enlisted the help of my fiancé, Sarah as my test subject. Sarah is 24, likes white wine, cider and things with vodka in them. I subjected her to a battery of peer reviewed scientific tests and experiments, which means I ploughed her with gallons of alcohol and recorded the results. Hey, every cause must have its martyr... With this hard won information I have devised a list of several beers that I think would appeal to the tastes of the girl whose only real experience with beer comes from being vomited on by an overzealous suitor at a night club. Our aim as always is to educate, do not preach, simply try to teach and with these weapons in your arsenal even the pickiest of tastes will find something to enjoy and hopefully lead to a wider appreciation of beer in all its varied forms.

Stone & Wood Pacific Ale: Okay, I’m not affiliated with S&W in any way, I do not get paid or receive any form of benefit. I’m just saying, I enjoy what they do. There is a reason why this is the critics’ choice. Good taste is beyond gender, nuff said. This picture sums up my feelings about this beer:

Grand Ridge Natural Blonde: This is a stunning wheat beer from one of my favorite breweries. Crystal clear, this is one of the country’s finest wheat beers, with hints of citrus, coriander and bubblegum. Wheat beer is a good way to show the fair beer maiden that beer isn’t all about bitterness, the softer, more delicate flavors. A session is something best shared so pull out a sixer of these fellas out when you drinking partner happens to fall in the female demographic. As the Grand Ridge website suggests, an ideal companion to an alfresco lunch or a picnic in the sun.

Holgate Chocolate Temptress: I tend to avoid stereotyping but I must say I have noticed that women and chocolate are quite fond of one another. A general lack of understanding of dark beers in this country means that a girl whom dislikes light and crisp lager will flee from a something as dark as the Temptress like a vegan from a Yorkshire pudding wrapped in bacon. Remember though, there is a reason it is named the Temptress; very moreish and warming, it is dark as Guinness but tastes like a rich dessert. This is one to save for the romantic fireside chat...

Lindemans Lambics: Fruity Lambics are about as far from mass produced lager as you can get. Indeed most who bypass these colorful bottles for cartons of VB and Pure Blond wouldn’t even realize they are beer, but beer they are. These are not novelties but the result of a complex form of brewing mastery known as spontaneous fermentation, which from what I can gather here entails some form of bloody sacrifice to the Gaulish god of brewing Sucellus. They come in a range of flavors – Kriek (cherry), Cassis (blackcurrant), Framboise (raspberry) to name but a few. Redoak also makes a Framboise but I haven't yet tried it, judging by their other offerings though its quality is not in doubt. It is difficult to articulate just how awesome these beers are and are well worth trying no matter what your gender. It is beer like this that help further shift the uninitiated’s view of beer as just consisting of bland lagers.

I'll have the second half of the list up as soon as Sarah sobers up... Remember, binge drinking is bad unless it is done in the name of science, then it's all good! Seriously though, this issue with binge drinking is only going to go away with a better education and appreciation for alcohol. And outlaw shots. Shots are the tipping point where a good night goes off the rails and the next thing you know you wake up naked in the bush fighting with dogs. I have lost count how many times this has happened to me. Don't do shots, drink beer!

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