October 23rd, 2008
Women & craft beer, plus Mad Men
Thanks to the cheeky, thoughtful and good-hearted Lew Bryson, chronicler of all malt beverages, for asking me this question and thus providing the basis for my last Ms. Mug column for Ale Street News: Women and Craft Beer: It’s Complicated. Topics of discussion: reasons why craft beer (and beer in general) is male-dominated; women’s perception of beer as fattening; how to introduce women to craft beer; and whether women prefer fruity, “chocolatey” beers.
While we’re on the topic, check out this Boston Menu Pages post, Mad Men, Round Two: The Cocktails (brought to my attention by the photographer Matt Demers, who did the portraits for LUPEC Boston’s Little Black Book of Cocktails). It admires the period cocktails that appear on the show — Peggy Olson’s Brandy Alexanders and Betty Draper’s Tom Collinses, not to mention Don Draper’s Old Fashioneds and Roger Sterling’s Martinis — before pointing the reader to two pages scanned from the 1949 edition of Esquire’s Handbook for Hosts. Titled “Something for the Girls” and “Something for the Boys,” the pages list — you guessed it — gender-specific cocktails to serve at parties.
There is plenty of fodder for discussion here, but the thing about this post that really got me was this conclusion: “If you are feeling ambitious, replicating some of these seems like a very fun activity. Otherwise, be glad that we have bars like Temple Bar to carry out your vintage cocktail sipping.”
Um … Temple Bar? Other than a Vesper and a Death in the Afternoon, TB’s cocktail menu runs more along the lines of the Lemontini and the Cherry Breeze (otherwise known as “something for the girls”). And to think there was a time when girly drinks included Bronxes and Clover Clubs!