Ladies call ‘Time Please’ on the Humble Pint Glass
When it comes to male and female choices in the British pub, it seems that stereotypes really do still exist with almost one in two women perceiving beer to be more of a man’s drink (49%), according to a new survey released today. Yet the irony is that history reveals beer’s ancestry as female.
The findings come from a new survey released by Friends of Glass, and ahead of Beer Day Britain (15 June), which also shows that the humble pint glass could be part of the reason why women are put off drinking beer today. 47% of women think that a woman drinking from a pint glass can be seen as unfeminine and the majority (43%) 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 masculine 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 whereas the deities of wine were male. In the creation myths of many pagan societies beer was a gift to humans from females. ”
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 properties when it comes to preserving the taste of food and drink, and beer is no exception. The women 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.
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.
Women and Beer - Fact Sheet
YouGov Survey for Friends of Glass at a glance:
- Nearly one in two women perceive beer to be more of a man’s drink (49%)
- 47% of women think that drinking from a pint glass is unfeminine
- A continental beer glass is a woman’s preferred glass choice for beer with 43% stating this
- 39% believe that using an elegant glass for beer would help change the image of beer as a man’s drink
- One quarter (25%) of women said that using a more elegant glass for drinking beer would make drinking it more pleasurable
- Over one third of women said that they had tasted craft beers (39%)
- 66% of women who had tasted craft beers felt they offered an interesting range of flavours
- 84% of women felt that beer would taste best from glass rather than from tin or plastic.
Reasons why beer is perfect for today’s woman:
- Women rather than men were the first brewers of beer, and in some cultures today they remain as the primary brewers
- Hops are an essential part of beer and it is the female part of the plant that is used in brewing – the male part of the plant stays in the hop garden and has no role in the brewing of beer
- Hops are the second richest source of plant based female hormones (phytoestrogens) – soya is the highest source
- Contrary to popular belief, measure for measure beer contains fewer calories than wine and any other alcoholic drink. It is also low in sugar and carbohydrates
- Beer drinkers are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis (which affects women more than men)
- The major deities of beer are female - Ninkasi and Dea Latis are two of them – the deities of wine are male – Bacchus and Dionysus
- Beer typically contains much lower alcohol levels than other alcoholic drinks – a standard glass of beer is around 4-5% ABV (alcohol by volume), a glass of wine is 11-14% ABV and a glass of gin or vodka is 38-40% ABV
- Beer is the most nutritious of all alcoholic drinks and contains vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates (low levels). The nutrition comes from the barley used in brewing and because it is fermented, Barely is four times more nutritious as beer than it would be if it was eaten
- The yeast that ferments cereal or fruit sugars and creates alcohol reproduces asexually - its offspring are daughters, not sons.
- Option to be put in touch with female brewers, a craft brewer and mainstream brewers to talk more about the appeal of beer to women
- Friends of Glass spokesperson to talk more about glassware (for women in particular) and the role of glass and glass beer bottles in preserving flavour and quality.
For further information contact Debra Pieri at Third Rock Communications on 07801 545462, firstname.lastname@example.org or Amanda Barry-Hirst on 07860 313576, email@example.com
Notes to editors
SURVEY DATA: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,057 GB adults, of which 1,070 were female. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28-29 May 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
Friends of Glass is an influential European consumer forum that supports and promotes the right of consumers everywhere to choose food and drink products in glass packaging. It unites all those who believe glass is the clear choice for taste preservation, personal health and the environment. Friends of Glass was initiated in 2009 by the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) in response to a pan-European survey, commissioned by FEVE in September 2008, in conjunction with the research agency, InSites; which found that 74% of European consumers prefer glass packaging for their food and drinks. Today, this figure has increased to 87%.
BEER DAY BRITAIN: Beer Day Britain shares the same day as Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary as beer was mentioned in clause 35 and throughout the day, there will be ‘National Cheers to Beer’ across the country, which will start at 12.15pm. People are encouraged to raise a glass and toast British beer. The national cheers will go throughout the day as people get to the pub. People are asked to tweet a photo of themselves and use the hashtag #CheersBDB on Twitter. Jane Peyton will be doing a National Cheers in Parliament Square with Big Ben at 12.15pm.
* Demand for Golden Ales has soared by nearly 70% in the UK over the past two years (The Observer, 31/05/15)