Guys and beer go hand in hand like sand and surf. Chicks drink wine or some fruity mixed drink, right? That stereotype, deserved or not, seems to be changing as more and more women are learning to love a fine craft beer. Evidence? The growing percentage of women we see at beer bars and festivals. So we decided we would consult with Ting Su, one of the leading ladies of the burgeoning Los Angeles beer scene. Su even has a doctorate degree in beer. Well, she has a doctorate degree in physical therapy (her day job), and co-owns Eagle Rock Brewery in Glassell Park with her hubbie, Jeremy Raub, and her father-in-law, Steve Raub, two dudes who brew some really great beer.
Su, herself an ardent fan of the froth, said it became a personal challenge to her when women would come into the brewery tasting room, step up to the counter to order, and say, “I'm not a beer drinker, what should I try?” Su decided to start a women's beer forum that she conducts at the brewery on the third Wednesday of every month. The first four have averaged about 70 women per month who have come to learn more about beer and their own palates. Su tells us, “You have to realize that the notion that women don't like beer comes from the fact their experience with beer has usually been the tasteless macrobeers like Bud, or some sweet, syrupy beer that some guy recommended because that's the preconception of what they will like.”
Turn the page for Su's top five things women should know about beer.
5. Learn to recognize what you like. Do you something a bit more bitter, or something sweeter? Something aromatic? Roasty? Hoppy? Or something malty?
4. Try everything at least once. Explore as many beer styles as possible to decide what you like and what you don't like. And try them with an open mind — not a preconceived notion that you will or won't like it because, let's say, it's hoppy.
3. Don't judge a beer by its glass. Again, there are preconceptions of what a beer will taste like based on whether it is served in a tulip or a snifter versus a pint. A Belgian and a double India Pale Ale (IPA) may both be served in a tulip but they are extremely different beers, so don't assume the glass means anything.
2. Knowledge of beer is the easiest way to impress a dude. Su points out to women that “knowing your beer is strong social currency to have your back pocket.” Guys don't expect women to know their shit when it comes to beer and, quite honestly, it's a bit of a turn on when they do.
1. Good craft beer is fucking delicious. We recently wrote Brian Hunt at Moonlight Brewing to commend him on his ridiculously tasty Reality Czeck pilsner and pointed out, “We never considered ourselves pilsner drinkers.” Hunt responded, “So it wasn't that you weren't pilsner drinkers. It's that you are good pilsner drinkers.”
“Granted, beer culture is still very much male dominated so it can be intimidating to women who are uninitiated to craft beer,” says Su. “But in actuality women are more keen than the men to pick up the nuances in flavors and can learn to enjoy a nice beer as much or more than the dude sitting next to them.”