October 23rd, 2008

Women & craft beer, plus Mad Men

Ms. Mug“Why is craft beer so male-dominated: brewers, retailers, consumers? Do women not get craft beer, do they get the impression that they shouldn’t get craft beer? What’s up?”

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!

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5 Responses to “Women & craft beer, plus Mad Men”

  1. mattfish

    let’s not forget the “citrus cucumber”, which suprisingly contains not only “cucumber”, but also “citrus”.

  2. MC Slim JB

    I love that show for a lot of reasons, but the drinking aspect is certainly fascinating, both in terms of its ubiquity in the business and social culture of the period and the drinks themselves.

    In addition to the drinks cited in the Paper piece, I’ve spotted rye neat (an occasional Don Draper choice), whiskey highballs, Martinis, Manhattans, Stingers, Scotch on the rocks, bourbon neat, canned beer (pre-poptop, so opened with a church key), draft beer, Daiquiris, tiki drinks, Cuba Libres, and a water cooler full of creme de menthe. I’m sure I’m missing many more.

  3. Mark

    I wonder if the show has a historical booze consultant, and how one might enter that field professionally. . .

  4. ljclark

    Oh, right, the water cooler full of creme de menthe! They don’t throw office parties like that anymore.

    God, they probably DO have a historical booze consultant. Gotta look into that.

  5. MC Slim JB

    Oh, and how could I forget the exotic wonder that is Heineken in bottles?

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