THE NAMELESS BEERMAID
Stop Being Such A Cliché W
hen I heard March’s issue was dedicated to women, I began brainstorming for an article
based on sexism in the industry. I wanted to write something that would uncover inequality and dispute male chauvin- ism. In my opinion, women are treated as clichés. With men saying such things as “Get me a beer, woman!” it’s hard to argue. I asked fellow beer ladies- both in and out of the industry- about their expe- riences. Some agreed and some shrugged their shoulders, “You have to be thick- skinned.”
Meanwhile, I stopped shaving my armpits and began listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell. For the first time in 7 years, despite lack of an election, I considered voting. I insisted on splitting the bill. In other words, I became a walking femi- nist cliché. As I fought one stereotype, I became another.
Then I realized: Being a Beermaid is being a cliché. Well, to be fair, my mother realized this. In the thick of my feminism, I was spouting off how “badly” I had been treated. Her reply, “You work at a brewery, what do you expect?” She
meant my job is to sling beers, not liber- ate women. No one wants Gloria Stein- men pouring pints, they want St. Pauli’s Girl. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t milk it: short skirts, curled hair, and painted lips all feed into it, thereby feeding my tip jar.
However, I’ve only addressed one stereotype from one side of the bar. As a beer drinker, I am faced with some- thing entirely else: The “since you are a woman, clearly you have no idea what you’re ordering” stereotype. Women are generalized as wheat-drinking, hop- hating ignoramuses. For example, the first time I took my friend to Hamilton’s he ordered an Avery White Rascal and I ordered a Pliny the Elder. The bartender handed me the Avery. When he and I switched beers, the three of us laughed. Of course I wasn’t offended, just curious why it was assumed a double IPA had to be the man’s.
Some of the most beer-cultured women I know – women who store thousands of dollars worth of bottles in closets where most store shoes – have been met with similar reception. When
ordering a Jolly Pumpkin: “You know it doesn’t taste like pumpkin, right?” or when ordering a Speedway Stout: “Little lady, that’s awfully dark, you may want (insert any light beer).” To get mad over such things would be to take oneself too seriously, which seems to be all too common in the industry.
From the Beermaid who wants to burn her bra to the Beernerdess who fails to acknowledge the difference between a porter and stout, we’re all trying to prove something, all the while fitting the bill of “cliché.” It’s shocking how defensive people get about beer, citing their favorite as THE best and God help you if you disagree. What makes the craft beer industry wonderful is its diversity, yet people pigeon-hole. Though I sometimes discredit a custom- er’s palate when they order a Bud Light, who am I to judge? Next to my Cuvee de Tomme, I’m aging a Four Loko. – The Nameless Beermaid
Agree? Disagree? Let The Nameless Beermaid know what you think: beer- email@example.com
Beermaid Julia Campa (not TNB) @ Pizza Port’s Brewbies Festival Feb. 12th
Consider the history—Imperial Stouts date back to the late 1700’s when Catherine the Great ruled the Russian Empire, and the Brits needed to get their “stout porters” to the Baltic States and Russia. More alcohol meant more malt, and more malt meant more hops.
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