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
Precious Katsande started at Beerhouse Fourways back in 2014 as our Admin Fairy, she now runs all of the admin for the store and is a member of the Social Media & Marketing team for HQ. She is studying PR and Communication and her biggest beer goal is to grow from being a novice beer drinker to an adept beer lover.
Janine van Wulven started at Beerhouse on Long in 2013 as a bartender and worked her way up to become the first female general manager, not only does she run the entire shop she is also a key member of the Social Media & Marketing team and created the ‘Pint for a Purpose’ initiative which has raised over R80, 000 to date for charity. These are the ladies who were on the ground for the #shelovesbeer campaign launching on National Women’s Day (9th August 2016). The campaign will address common stereotypes faced by women within the industry as well as those who just love having a beer! They have played a crucial role in creating a community for women to talk about something they love, exchange ideas, create meetups and share skills. It was great to have such strong ambitious women on the ground helping me bring this campaign to life! Have a look at my blog on the concept behind #shelovesbeer: link to blog)
What about this campaign piqued your interest?
Precious: I have just began my journey, I have fallen in love with beer! I have also come across many stereotypes about women in the beer industry, so how could I not get involved in such a bold campaign? From the moment that Hayley and Janine pitched the idea to me I wanted to be involved!
I was given the opportunity to meet and mingle with fierce and remarkable women that are leaders and the backbone of the South African beer industry. There is no better way to spend an afternoon than in great company, with fun conversation and thirst quenching pints!
Janine: Being one of the forerunners of the #shelovesbeer campaign I have had so much fun getting involved in all aspects of organising this campaign from concept and now into a finished product. Having a background in film I naturally took the lead for the photo shoot we did in Cape Town. In this photo shoot I worked with my life-long friend and fashion photographer Gavin van den Berg as well as all of the wonderful women involved in the South African beer industry.
What was your favourite part of the campaign and/or what was the part that you played?
Precious: My favourite part of the campaign was when we went to Brewhogs Brewery, where Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela and Michelle Erasmus brewed the “African Queen Vic Secret Amber Ale”, which will be available at Beerhouse Fourways on the 9th August for you all to try (Lucy Corne & Lynnae Endersby have brewed a Black IPA, ‘’Orange is the New Black’, which will be available at Beerhouse on Long). It was lovely to see women of all ages, from all walks of life, representing the beer industry, showing up and united by our love for beer. We did not all know each other but we had one thing in common, beer! Getting the conversations started was not too hard, these women are confident and love all things beer!
It was very fascinating and educating to watch Apiwe and Michelle in action, getting their hands dirty and working their magic. I’m yet to get over the intrigue of the brewing process; the incredible journey of the grain through the brewing house and ultimately into the glass.
I also really enjoyed hosting the women at Beerhouse Fourways on the 25th of July for our photo shoot. We had an absolute blast and Chloe Boshoff our photographer was incredible. You can feel her love for her art in her attitude and the awesome pics!
Janine: At Beerhouse on Long we shot two concepts in one day, a set of profile pictures and the Grain to Glass concept both of which form the #shelovesbeer campaign. Grain to Glass is our way to show how women are involved in various, if not all of the aspects of the beer industry. Whether it be brewing beer, being a sales rep, a bartender, a manager or even just a girl who loves drinking beer. This campaign shows that girls can and already are do it all in the industry.
I oversaw the Cape Town bio pictures and as tiring as I had to keep my energy levels up, ensuring that we got the best shots while also keeping it natural and fun of all these women, my favourite part was having the time to get to know everyone. When it hit me that we have so many women in the industry (and they are really interesting and cool chicks) I realised that we have something extremely special. A sorority of girls in beer!
What is #shelovesbeer to you and what is your advice for women that want to be a part of the movement?
Precious: #Shelovesbeer to me is about women in the industry taking a stand and saying, we love beer, we drink beer, we speak beer, we make beer and we are unrelenting and unapologetic about that.
My advice to anyone wanting to join this movement is, buckle up, exciting times are coming! Do not be intimidated by what society says about women and beer. We are breaking boundaries, making our own rules and loving every minute of it!
Thank you to all the women that took part in this amazing campaign, from the brewers, to the photographers and to all the girls that showed up and made all this possible, YOU ROCK!
Janine: #shelovebeer women stand out in a crowd full of ordinary. Any girl that wants to be apart of our movement must just do it! I think as a group we have nothing but love for the women that share our common goal and common interest.
Watch out for the campaign that will launch on social media on the 9th August 2016.
Cheers to the girls!
Stay Thirsty, Stay Curious!
Meeting a brewer who has built his company up to become and internationally recognised brand is not something you get to do very often. Our ‘Meet The Brewer’ events are aimed at giving local micro-breweries a podium to shine on. However we do have an inclusive menu that has a range of international treats from 13 different countries. These international brands are well established in their own markets and now look to spread their revolutionary mandates to other far flung parts of the world. We are lucky in SA to have breweries like Innis & Gunn invest in our market and look to introduce us to their unique oak aged beers.
The story of Dougal Sharp and his now global business is one told with great pride. The idea that spawned his impressive range was was discovered by accident. There story is unique and so are the beers. All oak aged in some way and in a variety of styles such as wheat beer, IPA, porter and British strong ale. On Monday we had the privileged taste six of their beers including the limited Vintage edition. The tasting was expertly guided by Rowan Leibbrandt who has an intricate understanding of the brand he represents. As per usual the beers were paired with food by our very own Scott, Roy MacAskill. The chef mixed it up this time and moved away from the traditional method of tasting lightest to heaviest. Roy started with a “home-run” pairing of Innis & Gunn Original and Coconut crumbed avocado, warm sriracha emulsion.
The second pairing is were things started to get more eccentric. The rum finish was paired with a South African treat in the form of maple glazed bacon on stick or otherwise known at Oepsies. It was all finished off with a vanilla forward Filipino Rum, Don Papa.
Third pairing was the White Oak wheat beer and Croque Monsieur.
Forth was a delicious combo of Irish Whiskey finish with homemade Innis & Gunn ice cream,spiced oat cake and finished with Irish whiskey syrup. Superb.
And the last food pairing of the evening was the Toasted Oak IPA with pecan and blue cheese truffles.
To round off the tasting experience we were treated to a very limited Vintage edition that is a beer that can be enjoyed now and in 10 years time due to its oak and bottle conditioning.
Of course the event would not be complete without meeting a brewer. We were able to google hangout, or as one guest called it, Dougal Hangout with the founder and brewer of Innis and Gunn, Dougal Sharp. Guest at the event were asked to write down questions which they would be able to ask him directly. Questions were varied from serious barrel ageing and brewing types to opinions on Craig Joubert to favourite dinosaurs. He was treat to listen to, clearly passionate about beer and his product he also has a humble demeanour that belies his rock star status. All proceeds from the ticket sales went directly to Joe’s Legacy Fund. You can find out more info here.
We too can meeting Dougal Sharp by watching our recording of the Beerhouse Fourways Meet The Brewers event:
Monday night saw the Mash Tun at Beerhouse host the lovely sisters Melanie and Tania of CederBrew for a beer and food pairing worthy of the gods (particularly the god of fish). They introduced their Catfish Ale, Sandfish Weiss, Chubby Head Stout, Cherry Blonde and Jan Pampoen Spicy Pumpkin Ale to a roomful of appreciative and enthusiastic beerlovers, who also found the mostly pescetarian food pairing by executive chef Roy MacAskill exactly as it was intended: mouth-wateringly delicious. As fantastic as the fare was however, there was a larger issue being addressed by the happy gathering.
Consider for a minute the drive and belief it takes for two ladies from the Cederberg to take on the might of the rough and ready, male-dominated and oftentimes misogynistic brewing industry (and to do it with a classy poise so often lacking in beer-filled interactions).
As atypical as it is today however – and as the Beer Whisperer pointed out in the night – it was primarily women who were responsible for alcohol production prior to men discovering metallurgy, building machines and inadvertently kicking off the industrial revolution. From then on, alcohol and every other product became a commodity, and the feminine influence in beer and society was further marginalised as men killed each other on a larger scale than ever before. You’ll forgive the grandiosity, but I’d like to think that from that perspective at least, the advent of CederBrew beer represents a step in the right direction.
Beerhouse takes its collective hat off to you, Melanie and Tania, and if the reception you received on Monday night is anything to go by, we’re confident that we’ll be serving CederBrew beer for many years to come.
“That Devils Peak King’s Blockhouse Brings out my horns” – Lelo