Is the whole micro-brew interest more of a guy thing than a girl thing? Does the type of beer you like say something about how masculine or feminine one is? In her recent post in Contexts, Jessica Streeter asks the larger question: can craft beer reinforce gender?
Believe it or not, there is research that explores this very topic. Back in 1991 Thomas Alley and Jeffrey Burroughs came to the curious conclusion that men like new and unusual foods, while women more commonly like the familiar. Later research would delve into how beer choices are more about assumed gender roles than real ingrained thinking. In other words, we are told men are manly if they drink very dark beer with a high alcohol content, while women and more lady-like if they stick to fruit flavored beers and blond-ish brews.
Of course behind all these choices and presumed gender behavior, there is a marketing strategy that targets groups and attempts to convince them one beer or the other is “for” them. Even if the craft brew types are usually smaller and less commercially famous, there is still a marketing machine that will try to play on and re-enforce gender stereotypes. Streeter points out that even today’s manliest of beers may in the future be considered quite feminine. Trends and commercial strategies play a role, as well as our own evolving self image.
For my part I love fresh fruit, so if any beer out there wants to try and combine my favorite flavors with their own brew, I’m interested. And with that I will deal with the unavoidable comments about my drink choices and questions about my perceived masculinity.
Source: ASA Contexts
Photo: Ruth and Dave / flickr