New for 2009 Beer Utopia is going to interview the people in beer. From brewers to bloggers we are going to stay true to our motto and “Tap into the culture of beer”. Our first interview for 2009 is The Beer Babe. Like us the Beer Babe is a beer blogger and reviewer. Her site www.thebeerbabe.com gives a woman’s perspective on craft beer.
1) Tell us a little more about who the beer babe is
I’m a twenty six year old beer reviewer and I live in southern New Hampshire. I’m originally from upstate New York. My dad drinks Bud Light Lime, but I got him to really enjoy Harpoon’s Winter warmer this Christmas. I consider that a success. I am also an archer, a writer, in a master’s degree program for environmental education and design exhibits for a nature museum. I love listening to all kinds of music, and have a large vinyl record collection. The weirder and the campier (like old stereo demonstration records or organ music) the better!
2) How long have you been blogging? what made you decide to blog about beer?
I got started with craft beer tasting about three years ago when I lived in a house with five roomates, and lived down the street from a terrific bevy (beverage center) named Smiley’s. I would regularly go to the bevy and pick up a six pack of something I’d never tried before, and share it with my other five roomies. We’d discuss it, and then try different ones the next week. It was a lot of fun, and we kept one bottle from each six pack that we sampled. At the end of that year though, none of us could remember which of the 150 that we had tried that we’d liked, which we’d hated. So, I decided to start over and begin writing about my tasting experiences initially for my own reference.
As I began to explore the world of beer, I was turned off by the ultra-sophisitcated and sometimes elitist lingo used by beer raters, so I set out to describe the taste and experience of a beer in everyday language, to make it less intimidating for women and craft beer novices to break into the field. I’ve now been writing my site, The Beer Babe’s Brew Reviews, for more than a year and a half.
4) Are women as a whole becoming more interested in craft beer?
Women account for 25% of current beer consumption in the US, and most of that is women between 21 and 30.? It is growing, and sites like www.beerforchicks.com that have hundreds of members, seem to show that women’s discerning tastes have been turning towards beer. I think this might have to do with how social the beer industry is within itself. Women like to discuss their tastes, and to share delicious things with each other, so the social nature of beer is an obvious draw. There are some great women brewers out there, also, and I think that it is only a matter of time before women take up more of a share in the craft beer market.
5) Beer marketing is focused on men, how would you like to see it marketed better to women?
I think that the main problem with beer ads focused on men is that it reinforces the social norm of the Nascar/Football/Toughman who drinks beer to be manly or to enjoy “the big game.” This won’t appeal to women because I don’t think that they’d associate drinking beer with status or power. Instead, I believe that they should be marketed based on taste, refinement, and the sensual aspects of beer. A great craft beer can be as satisfying as a box of bon-bons eaten alone by candlelight. As soon as marketing for beer moves out of blue collar worker’s realm and turns glamorous or refined (I can picture a woman in an evening gown with a tulip glass in hand)
6) What are your top 5 favorite beers at the moment?
This changes daily, but there are a few beers which if I see them I instantly know I will enjoy them.
Weyerbacher Blasphemy, Dogfish Head Burton Baton, Harpoon Rauchfetzen, Unibroue La Terrible and Brooklyn Local One (with hundreds of honorable mentions)
7) are men impressed or intimidated by your beer knowledge?
I think once I get past the few initial test questions (the ones designed to seed me out from someone who’s a good faker, and someone who actually knows their stuff – think My Cousin Vinny…) I am usually accepted, and most of the time the men I talk to seem excited to have found anyone to talk to who has such passion and knowledge for beer. I also get a kick out of bringing a beer to a friend that I know they’ll like but they’ve never had. I don’t think people are intimidated by my beer knowledge, but like everything, I’m not arrogant about it. I just like to learn and exchange ideas as much as I can.
8) What are your goals for The Beer Babe’s Brew Reviews next year?
Instead of making a to-do list for my blog for the upcoming year, I asked my readers what they thought. Fifty-seven percent of them told me I should make an attempt at home brewing, so that’s on my list (it was before they told me, also, but it’ll be a fun adventure none the less). I’ve also really enjoyed my last few tours of breweries, and I’m hoping to hit up more breweries near me for tours and tasting to write up for the blog.