ANN ARBOR – Though we’ve come a long way from the attitudes surrounding the stereotypical 1950s housewife, there’s one quaint stereotype about women that persists into our day and age: the one that says ladies don’t like beer.
To help dispel this notion, nearly 100 women attended Sunday night’s “Real Women Drink Beer” event at the tap room of Wolverine State Brewing Co., where they were treated to massages, manicures and pedicures, catered snacks from From the Hearth Foods, live music courtesy of Ru Knoedler, brewery tours, and, of course, plenty of Wolverine beer.
“I love beer; it brings people together,” said Rudi Schwartz, 25, of Clarkston, who studies history at Oakland University and attended with her mother, Doreen. “Really, this country probably wouldn’t even exist without beer because the American Revolution was planned in taverns.”
Schwartz hopes to open a brewery of her own in Clarkston with a former Michigan friend now living in Texas — and the blessing of Doreen. “My friend quit his job to study marketing full time, and I would be in charge of the brewing,” she added.
She and her fellow attendees of various ages and walks of life were able to learn more about brewing and the beer business from special guests like Stacey Block, who brews for Arcadia Ales in Battle Creek, and Ginny Sherrow, who co-owns the Fenton Winery & Brewery and brews with her husband, Matt.
“I’m pleasantly surprised by the turnout,” said Block, who noted the mix of women who were already into beer as well as their curious friends who wanted to see what all the fuss is about. “We’ve taken many women back through the brewery for tours, and they’ve been as interested in the process as they are in the product.”
The event was such a success that E.T. Crowe, Wolverine partner and chief marketer, plans to organize more in the future.
“Unfortunately for many women their only real exposure to beer is through the sexist ads directed at the guy standing next to them,” Crowe said. “But we are seeing a definite upswing in women beer drinkers as more and more of them discover beer has flavor — it doesn’t have to be the pale yellow, slightly warm stuff someone hands you in a red plastic cup anymore.”
So what does the future hold for women and beer?
Crowe prefers to look ahead with rose-colored beer goggles. “If we can continue to show women that good beer can offer a huge variety of options in taste — whether it be bitterness, sourness, fruitiness or general fabulousness — I think the sky’s the limit.”