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Ladies, womensforum.com wants you to know that they know that beer can be super confusing.
Beer is actually pretty simple. You extract some sugars from some grains, the yeast eats those sugars, you fucking carbonate. You drink it.
I have never been confused by beer (or any fucking beverage). I've been overwhelmed by a large selection of beer. I've been uncertain about what I should spend my money on that evening (a new sour or an IPA I know is good?). I've been obliterated by a really alcoholic and yet quite smooth beer.
Beer is one of the things in my world that is not a source of confusion. It’s a source of joy and, while I’m no expert, “confusion” is not one of the feeling beer evokes in me.
Lots of emotions (including confusion and rage) are evoked by this video though. Go watch it.
Initially, we are confronted with a terrifying scenario:
“You walk into a bar. You pick up a beer menu. You’re a LADY, and you’re not sure what to order.”
Well, thank god this dude is here to answer all of these tough beer questions (some of which he doesn't even get right).
I mean the very first sentence is “We have three great beer options that women will love!” and then this guy suggests two beers and a fucking cider. Cider is not beer, assholes. It’s made from apples. Beer is made from malted grain. The author later mentions that cider is technically not beer, but I guess it’s too hard to think of a third beer. God, even if you wanted to stick with the whole “ ladies love sweet” thing, you could have suggested a chocolate stout or some shit.
Then this happens:
Other times, ordering the perfect beer can be a piece of cake, especially since some of the best beer experts out there are women!
But this women's website doesn't consult one of these lady experts. Instead, we get this fucking guy (who thinks cider is beer). And while he admits that some ladies have really sophisticated beer palates (thanks, bro) he goes on to say that most bitches be ordering things that are on the sweeter side.
[This section has been edited to correct some inaccuracies concerning Lambic.]
Which brings us to his first suggestion: motherfucking Timmerman's.
Timmerman's Raspberry Lambic is a very sweet, almost cloying, beer that clocks in at 4%. When I first got into beer, this was what was presented to me as a "Lambic." Not loving overly sweet things, I wrote Lambic off as something that kinda sucked. I liked the Lindeman's peach one (which is a little more tart than the framboise) but only once I diluted it with a wheat ale or something.
Note: I recently heard that Lindemans may use aspartame to back sweeten their fruit Lambics. This is obviously disgusting.
This is truly unfortunate, because it turns out that actual Lambic is sour. Unfruited Lambic should be bracingly so, but even the fruit ones should be tart. If I had known this (which I would have if I had taken the time to really research it) I would have been drinking this stuff a long time ago because, as you guys know, I always want "more acid."
Does that mean I look down on those that enjoy a Lindemans framboise? No. I don’t give a fuck what you like, if you want something sweet and fruity and a beertender gives you a a fruit beer, he or she probably made the right call. But I do get annoyed when back sweetened framboise is treated as the go-to “lady beer.” I've seen beertenders suggest it to a woman without even asking what she usually enjoys, and that pisses me off.
So this suggestion is doubly harmful as it not only assumes that The Ladies like "pretty red sweet drinks," it also acts as a misrepresentation of an entire style of beer.
Also it's strange to me that he gives “6-10% abv” as the range for Lambic, as the one he just poured is 4%.
Belgians. I really like Belgians. Some of them are sweet and very alcoholic, so at least Ken Hendrick got that kinda right. But “Belgian” is a really broad term. Lambics are Belgian, so really, only one type of beer is being suggested here. “Belgian” also includes Witbiers, Saisons, Dubbels, Tripels, and Quads. This LADY does a great job of breaking down each one.
Then ciders are suggested, but I’m not going to talk about those because they are not beer.
And then there’s just the whole “Ooh! I’m drawn to the pretty red one” thing that kinda bugs me, but whatever, if you want to choose your alcohol based on its color, you do you.
But the whole tone of this video and the accompanying post is so silly and so pandering that it’s almost satirical.
Except it's not satire. It's sincere.
I think my sentiments are best expressed through the (stolen) Facebook status of the woman who owns Metropolitan Brewing:
Dear Media: Please do stop trying to identify what a person will drink based on their genitals. Unless a drinking vessel requires the *actual use* of a woman's delicate flower or a man's joystick, please just stop. Just. Stop. - Signed, the broad who owns a brewery and drinks whatever the hell she wants.
SO ANYWAY. I’m done yelling at womensforum.com (even though they called hops “hoops” and suggest putting an orange slice in ANY beer, which is egregious).
OK, now I’m done.
Let’s leave all the negativity behind and talk about beer. The following beers are the ones that got me into craft beer and continue to hold my attention. I think they’re all pretty approachable, unless you just hate beer, in which case I can’t help you.
1. Chimay Red
This is a Belgian Dubbel and it is delicious. It is sweet, but it is also spicy. This is the first Belgian I was ever obsessed with. Chimay also makes some amazing stinky cheese. They are also one of the few Trappist breweries in the world, which means that it’s all made by monks, which I think is cool.
Dogfish is my everything. Not only do they make consistently good IPAs (60, 90, and 120 Minute), they are continuously inventing new flavors that are less of a gimmick and more of a good idea. My current favorites are Sah-Tea (which has actual tea in it) and Theobroma (which is named after the region where chocolate was first discovered). Neither is overly sweet, but both are very flavorful.
Fun fact: “theobromine” is the name of the molecule in chocolate that makes you happy; it’s very structurally similar to caffeine.
Both beers are part of the “Ancient Ale” series at Dogfish where they take really fucking old recipes and recreate them. I find this to be a lot more creative than some other breweries we’ve discussed. Ahem. Rogue. Ahem.
This one is seasonal, but it’s one of my favorite brown ales ever. It’s fairly malty, but starts out with a hoppy kick. The finish is sweet but not cloying. It’s really well balanced and really drinkable.
I could go on and on describing all of my favorites, but I’m just going to list a few others that I continually come back to.
- Hitachino Wit
- Unibroue: Maudite or La Fin Du Monde or Don de Dieu
- Cigar City (local Tampa brewery): Cucumber Saison, Peach IPA (not sweet at all), Maduro Brown
- Green Flash Hop Head Red Ale
- Avery Maharaja
- Terrapin Rye Pale Ale
- Stone Pale Ale
That should get you started. If there is nothing in there you like, I’m sorry I failed you. If there’s something you think I would like, please tell me in the comments. I’m always looking for new brews.
Oof. Who needs a drink?