Why don’t you ask her if #shelovesbeer?
All good stories start with a beer (alright I will be honest – a few beers) and so one cosy winter night, beer in hand, I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed and came across the ‘Brewed with Love’ Campaign, this campaign struck me as unfair. Besides the fact that carrying a child is a lot harder than sipping on your favourite brew, it was the fact that men have this authentic point of reference when it comes to enjoying beer while advertising portrays women half naked, sultrily gazing at the camera in some awkward pose. You only need do a quick google search to find the extent that women are objectified when it comes to advertising beer.
So initially my light bulb moment was to create some kind of meme which authentically portrays women in beer. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that actually there is much more that can be done. The South African beer industry already has some strong women who are playing on equal terms to the men and I wanted to engage them in this campaign to get their views and experiences. And so the #shelovesbeer campaign was born. This campaign will launch on the 9th August 2016 in line with National Women’s Day, to recognise the women who are leading the Beer Revolution and to inspire many more to join us!
What started with a Facebook Group (called #shelovesbeer) of 10 women has now grown to 89 vivacious, smart, beer loving ladies with the aim to create dialogue that celebrates women in beer and to give them a way to engage with beer in a positive and uplifting way. It is also aimed at providing the opportunity to connect, share, learn, inspire and educate.
We really do have some amazing women to celebrate. Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela a lady of many firsts including the first black South African person to be certified as a beer judge through the Beer Judging Certification Programme (BJCP) and the first black female shareholder in a microbrewery in South Africa.
Frieda Dehrmann, Consumer Science and Sensory Manager at SABMiller, Frieda was awarded SABMiller’s Global Taster of the Year 2012 an event that drew 1600 participants from six international regions served by SABMiller.
Meghan McCulloch (Jack Black Brewing Company) and Phillipa Wood (Darling Brew) both pioneers of craft beer in South Africa, starting their brands with their hubbys back in 2007, both beautiful breweries and tasting rooms have opened their doors in the last 12 months.
And of course Lucy Corne craft beer blogger, author, BJCP judge and president of the SouthYeasters Homebrew Club in the Western Cape.
At first we exchanged stories about the challenges we had faced as women who enjoy a brew and are in the beer industry and it was clear that our experiences were all very similar: being offered beer alternatives or fruit beers instead of being asked our preferences; not being taken seriously in our opinions, tastes and advice or people suggesting that you “tart up” your female servers to punt more beers to Joe public. Don’t get me wrong, we are all supported by our male industry counterparts but the reality is that most people already underestimate a woman’s knowledge and understanding before we even open our mouths.
With that part neatly tucked out of the way, we couldn’t have this group turn into a moan fest. We started talking about strategies to deal with this….the main theme that came out was just keep on doing what you are doing gals, surprise them with your equal (if not better 😉 ) skills, expertise, attitude and discerning taste in beer!
The group has now collaborated on the #shelovesbeer campaign, which will showcase the smart and sassy beer lovers across South Africa, with the hope that we can create a platform to connect with more beer souls to explore their passion.
So what’s actually happening on Women’s Day? Well we have already had two brew days. In Cape Town, Lucy Corne and BeerLab’s Lynnae Endersby brewed the dark and hoppy ‘Orange is the New Black IPA’ while in Johannesburg, Amber x Brown Ale ‘African Queen on Vic Secret’ was brewed by Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela & Michelle Erasmus. The ladies’ brews will be available at Beerhouse on Long (Orange is the New Black) and Beerhouse Fourways (African Queen on Vic Secret) on the 9th August.
We have also had two photo shoots with the girls from the #shelovesbeer group for the campaign and used it as an opportunity for an informal networking session to have a laugh and talk about beer. I would like to extend a special thanks to the girls on the ground making things happen (have look at Janine & Precious’ Blog)!
On the 9th August we will go live with a social media campaign via Beerhouse social media using the #shelovesbeer. SABMiller are running a parallel campaign to celebrate their wonderful women in beer and Beerhouse will have an in store promotion with both beers brewed specifically for the day being on tap for free! So come along to have a taste and meet some of the girls!
#shelovesbeer doesn’t end on National Women’s Day, this is a community for women to talk about something they love, exchange ideas, create meetups and share skills. There is a wonderful world of beer waiting for you!
Let’s raise a glass to the women who bring you your beer! Cheers to us 🙂
How to get more involved in the beer industry:
Beginners/Bit of Fun:
- Beer School at Beerhouse: September Dates TBC
- #CraftGeekingAtTwoOkes – Brewery Tour: 27th August 2016
- BeerLab’s Beer School: Cape Town Every second Saturday of the month
- Meet the Brewer ‘Grass Roots Edition’: Beerhouse on Long 24th August 2016 & Beerhouse Fourways 31st August 2016
- Brewcraft’s Saturday Sessions: Next one is 10th September 2016
- Know you Beer: Cape Town 4th October – November 8th 2016
- Siebel Sensory Analysis Course: 17th September Cape Town and 22nd October Durban
- Brewing Beyond the Basics: Cape Town 28th—30th October 2016
- Beer Boot Camp: Johannesburg 8th July 2017 and Cape Town 15th July 2017
- The Bierfest: Johannesburg 2nd – 4th September, Durban 30th September – 1st October & Cape Town 4th – 6th November
- Thousand Sensations Craft Beer & Food Festival: George 16th & 17th September 2016
- Rosetta Craft Beer Festival: KZN 24th September 2016
- SouthYeasters Spring Festival: Stellenbosh 26th September 2016
- Pecanwood Oktoberfest: KZN 29th October 2016
- Cape Town Festival of Beer: 25th November 2016
- Clarens Festival of Beer: 24th February 2016
Brewery Tasting Rooms/Brew Pubs
- SAB World of Beer
- Cape Brewing Company
- Darling Brewery
- Jack Black Brewing Company
- Aegir Project – Independent Brewery
- Copperlake Brewing Company
- RIOT Beer