While on my coast-to-coast beer-adventure, my friends and I stopped in a brew pub around Buffalo because when is it not time for delicious beers when you have good company?
I love brewpubs, but I confess that I’m not skilled at pairing beer with food. The great thing about brew pubs is that they know what pairs well, since they make it all. So here we four (two heterogamous couples) are, torn between the maibock and the amber ale. Female friend decides she wants the maibock, but the rest of us decide to ask for the waitress’s recommendation.
“I think the amber ale pairs well with most foods because it’s really smooth,” she says. “The maibock is also smooth.” And literally right as I’m about to agree with her that a smooth amber sounds great with this veggie dish I am about to order, she says to the group, “Oh, but that’s just my girl brain. Maybe your boy brains are different.”
What the hell?
Did that just happen?
Did you just dumb down yourself–and by proxy, me and the other woman at the table, who is equally disinterested in participating in culinary gender norms– for no reason at all? As an adult woman, probably about the same age as the rest of us hurtling toward 30, what did you have to gain there? Whatever happened to recommending with confidence?
For the record, the correct response on her part would have been, “I like to pair food with the amber, as it is a smooth ale. You might like the maibock, which is also smooth, if you prefer darker beers, or perhaps the lager if you tend toward the light side.”
“Wow–” I prepare to dig into her, but my husband gives me a death glare. I know you don’t want a crying waitress, dear. I think. Or spit in our food.
“Would you like to make that a pitcher–”
I’ll need something to dull the nerves, after all.
Here’s the deal: I don’t believe in it hauling gender norms into our food. I love vegetables, but I am not a woman laughing alone with a salad. I am not a sexy blonde beer nor a tool by which to sell it. I am a human being who likes good food, dark beer, and being treated with respect. I fail to see how my “girl brain” or your “girl brain” can’t compute that craft beer = good, gender bullshit = bad.
Stop selling yourselves short.