Gender inclusivity in the American craft beer industry

Authors: Delorean Wiley*, TX State University
Topics: Gender, Women, Social Geography
Keywords: gender, beer, inclusive, exclusive, place making
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 32
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Everyday material objects, including food and drink, can be value-laden with gender (Darwin 2017; Vartanian 2015). Beer is no exception, often being associated with men in contemporary Western culture (Chapman et al. 2018). Historically, brewing fell within the female household duties, as all cooking did (Kalderen & Lindqvist 2018). During the Industrial Revolution, men took over beer production and it became associated with men in Western culture (Kalderen & Lindqvist 2018). Gender equity is a popular topic in the United States (U.S) craft beer industry since most breweries are owned and ran by white men (Brewers Association 2019). As more women enter the market, as both consumers and producers, it is worth questioning if place making is gendered, creating inclusive or exclusive virtual space. To test the research question, a content analysis of 400 randomly selected U.S. craft brewery websites was conducted to look at overall website design, the presence of women (if at all), how they are posed, label design, beer names, and beer styles. Findings suggest that male and female owned craft breweries create virtual environments that are gendered. This is accomplished through physical space design, marketing, website design, and types of advocacy breweries participate in. However, what makes something feminine, masculine, queer, or neutral is subjective. Therefore, further research related to sense of place will improve the overall project. By looking at breweries through this lens, we add to the critical geography literature related to inclusive space.

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