Equality in beer - highlights from our International Women's Collaboration Brew Day evening

Tomorrow from 6pm we’ll be pouring The Queer Brewing Project’s first creation, a Kir Royale inspired beer. It’s a collaboration with Affinity brewing and is a Black Current Pale Ale. We can’t wait to taste it. If you’ve not heard of The Queer Brewing Project, Lily Waite has set it up to raise awareness for LGBTQ issues and charities – a very worthy cause.

At Beer No Evil we believe in equality – you may have guessed that from our name or from speaking to us. We feel excited and fortunate to be part of this launch and to do ‘our bit’ and voice our support for inclusion within the beer industry – we obviously don’t stop at the beer industry, but you don’t want a long list right now!

In the same vein, last Tuesday evening, we hosted the first in what we hope to be an annual celebration of Women in Beer. We had a guided tasting led by Emma Inch who as you may know, is an award winning beer writer – voted Beer Writer of the year 2018 by the British Guild of Beer Writers’, broadcaster and presenter of Fermentation Beer and Brewing Radio.

What did we try? Some of the 2019 International Women's Day Collaboration Brews and some brews created to support women in the industry and to raise funds for refugees. It was a great line up. More on that in a bit.

The evening started with a brief history and background to women in the beer industry – Did you know women were the primary brewers of beer before the industrial revolution in the developed world, and in some countries they still are? But now in our western society the beer industry is male dominated for both brewing and drinking. With only 17% of women drinking beer at least once a week (compared to 53% of men). And a major barrier to women drinking beer is the male orientated advertising. It’s not hard to think of a beer advert which targets a stereotypical male audience. Both of these stats are from the “THE GENDER PINT GAP A study into GB female attitudes and behaviours towards beer”. This reinforces the message that beer is a drink for men. The gender bias even continues to who has made the beer. Stanford University sociology and organisational behaviour researchers recently stated

“Our research suggests that customers don’t value and are less inclined to buy traditionally male products if they think they’ve been manufactured by women...There’s an assumption that your woman-made craft beer...just won’t be as good.”

It’s time to change this and we’re pleased to say at Beer No Evil we have a more even balance than the above stats above show… On a more positive note there are some great initiatives going on to bring more women and the LGBTQ community in to the beer arena, including The Queer Brewing Project mentioned previously and International Women’s Collababoration Bew Day (IWCBD).

So we mentioned, IWCBD. What is this and why is it important?

Sophie de Ronde, head brewer at Burnt Mill was instrumental in founding IWCBD and worked with women in the industry for involvement and in particular, the Pink Boots Society based in America. In a nutshell, IWCBD started in 2014 and held on 8th March, to coincide with International Women’s Day, the aim of the day is for women who are passionate about beer to get together and brew. It’s an achievement to have such a global presence in only five years, but it shows the driving force of women in the industry and why equality and inclusion is so important…

More details about IWCBD can be found here: https://unitebrew.org/about/

We were also lucky enough to have Jane Peyton join us for the evening. Jane is an award winning drinks educator, writer, broadcaster and founder of School of Booze. She was fortunate enough to have attended the first International Women's Day Collaboration Brew in 2014 and gave some great anecdotes from the day.

Each year there is a different theme, 2019’s was “Forage”. So, what did we try?

Wildcard - United Forage

Jaega Wise, Head brewer and Brewer of the Year 2018, created a very light and easy botanical brew as part of IWCBD with a team of 80 women. Packed full of yarrow, nettle and mugwort, foraged on the day from the Walthamstow Wetlands. We would not have been able to tell you what yarrow, nettle and mugwort tasted like prior to last week, and might not be able to distinguish them in the future, but what a lovely beer.

Mothership - Watermelon Gose

Award winning all female brewery created, in partnership with the charity Women for Refugee Women, a salty sour with watermelon brewed with salt foraged from the English Channel as a nod of respect to the perilous journeys that some refugees have to take to get to a place a safety. This salty sour kept us coming back for more, when initially we weren’t 100% sure we really wanted more! Didn’t find the watermelon – others did – but the salty sensation was great!

Cloudwater/Notch/Pink Boots - A New Chapter

Brewed with Notch in support of The Pink Boots Society. The tasting notes for this IPL are: Apricot, marmalade and pine, with a whisper of coconut. Its light, crisp and clean with a dry finish. We always like a Cloudwater brew and this didn’t disappoint, it was exactly what was promised in the description.

All in all, a delicious evening, with great conversation and information. We can’t wait for our next tasting…

Until next time, cheers!


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