As the nation today raises their glasses on Beer Day Britain – the country’s national beer day, initiat-ed by one woman’s passion and celebrated with an official beer brewed by a woman – a new survey shows that almost
one in two women (47%) think that a woman drinking from a pint glass can be seen as unfeminine.
The findings come from a new survey released by Friends of Glass on Beer Day Britain (15 June), which reveals that 49% of women perceive beer to be more of a man’s drink. The findings indicat-ed that the humble pint glass was one of the main reasons why women were put off – with the ma-jority (43%) stating that they would choose to drink beer from a continental lager glass when given a list of glassware options.
Jane Peyton, Britain’s first beer sommelier of the year (2014-2015) and instigator and organiser of Beer Day Britain says: “Women and beer is a fascinating area as there are so many anomalies when you talk to women. They think they don’t like bitter flavours yet many of us love to eat rocket and drink coffee. However, one resounding fact that comes out when you talk to women is that glassware normally used to serve beer in pubs in Britain can be off putting. This survey confirms my suspicions that it’s not about taste for many women but about presentation of this wonderful gift from nature.”
When questioned further, 39% of the 1,000 women who took part in the survey, said that using an ‘elegant’ glass for beer would help change the image of beer as a man’s drink and a quarter said that using an elegant glass would make drinking beer more pleasurable (25%).
And when it comes to the best material for preserving beer’s flavour, one thing is perfectly clear amongst women. A resounding 84% of the women surveyed said that they thought beer would taste best when it had come from a glass container.
Jane Peyton says: “Here’s the irony – many women do not drink beer because they think it is mas-culine but of all alcoholic drinks, beer has more female elements and connections to the feminine than any other. For instance, look at history and you will see that women were the original brewers, look at the brewing and you will see it is the female part of the hop plant that is used and look at the hops and you will see that they are the second richest source of plant based female hormones. Yeast which gives us alcohol is female. In ancient cultures, the deities of beer were female where-as the deities of wine were male. In the creation myths of many pagan societies beer was a gift to humans from females. ”
Beer Day Britain, initiated by Jane Peyton, is Britain’s national beer day. The official beer of Beer Day Britain – Britannia’s Brew – is co-brewed at Brewster’s Brewery in Grantham, which is owned by Britain’s only female brewer of the year – Sara Barton who, to date, is the only female to have won the coveted title British Brewer of the Year.
With new hybrid styles of beer emerging from independent craft beer producers and the rise of Golden Ales*, beer offers so many flavours for both sexes. Over one third of women who drink alcohol surveyed said that they had tasted craft beers (39%) and 66% of these women felt that they offered an interesting range of flavours. 59% stated that the taste is flavoursome full bodied (42%), aromatic (23%) and fruity (19%). Nearly one quarter of women who have tried craft beer said that they thought craft beers are more fashionable (24%) and one fifth thought they were modern (20%).
“Beer doesn’t just offer bitter tastes. It can be just as diverse as wine, offering all kinds of aromas and depth of flavour, which is why I am committed to matching beer to food and demonstrating this broad spectrum,” adds Jane.
Rebecca Cocking from Friends of Glass – the community that prefers to choose glass for taste, health and the environment – and who commissioned the survey, says: “Glass is noted for its prop-erties when it comes to preserving the taste of food and drink, and beer is no exception. The wom-en interviewed clearly identified this but what is really interesting here is their thoughts about beer being a male drink. With the rise of craft beers in Britain and Golden Ales tipped as the new taste of summer, a move towards seeing more continental style glassware in pubs, bars and restaurants may help move away from this outdated stereotype.”
The survey coincides with the week when Friends of Glass and Jane Peyton will be at Taste of London in Regent’s Park (17-21 June). Jane will be hosting a series of beer tastings on behalf of Friends of Glass, in the VIP area. For a chance to take part, visitors can go to the Friends of Glass stand and enter a draw to win a place at a tasting session with Jane in the VIP lounge.