BEER PEERS www.foodtechnology.co.nz 59 sophisticated, and want something bespoke that’s a real treat. Statistics New Zealand senior manager Jason Attewell is more succinct. “There are a lot more women drinking beer since craft beer came about,” he says. So am I part of a revolution? Waikato academic and teacher Nicole Hardy thinks so. In Masters research she conducted ten years ago, Hardy (a keen beer drinker at the time) found that New Zealand’s beer drinking culture was continuously overshadowed by dominant, exclusionary and contradictory themes. In other words, beer drinkers resonated a national identity based on the pioneer man in rural New Zealand who was a ‘hard man’ centred on country characteristics and images. “It is the repetition of these identities and rural spaces in beer advertisements that help to shape the idealised norms of identity,” she found at the time. “Those who are not included in the intended audience of the producers – such as metrosexual and homosexual men, and females – read these advertisements with different sentiments and ideologies.” Hardy laughs at her words today. “When I did my research there was still a huge emphasis on the ‘hard man’ rural image of masculinity, and beer was really at the centre of that.” she says. “But I think nowadays the ‘urban man’ who is sophisticated and modern is more prevalent, which has led to a more diverse range of brews which are more acceptable for females to drink as well. “Funnily enough, I did that research because I was a beer-drinking female who didn’t have a place in the market. But I have changed too over time, moving more towards cider and the occasional craft beer. “Attitudes towards beer have shifted with the more creative brews becoming popular.” A few years ago, brewer Ava Wilson – under the label Beer Baroness – took part in Women’s Collaborative Beer Day in which female brewers from across the world brewed the same recipe on the same day…Unite Pale Ale…to support Aviva (women’s refuge). She was the first New Zealand female brewer to do so. “There’s lots of women drinking craft beer,” she says. “They start on the wheat beers and pilsners, and before long they’re into the IPAs and stouts. “Women know just as much about beer as the men, often have better palettes and are good at matching food with beer.” Not that Wilson makes ‘girly’ beers – she prefers beer for fans of all walks. “I’m not sure such a thing exists,” she says. “At the end of the day, it’s all about good beer. We all appreciate quality, depth of flavour, well-made brews no matter your gender. “I don’t believe there should be any separation, or we should be brewing wheat beers or anything like that specially for women. We appreciate good beer as much as men do, so for me it’s about breaking down those stereotypes.” As one woman who’s finally ‘got it’, I say hooray. Kawerau is home to more than just the dramatic Putauaki (Mt Edgecumbe) volcano, which became dormant about 1000 years ago. In the heart of the Bay of Plenty, Kawerau also boasts MATA beer, brewed by Aotearoa Breweries with total family care and love. Managing director and head brewer Tammy Viitakangas shares her passion of beer brewing with unique Kiwi flavours with her extended family… mum, dad and Uncle Esko. Together they brew handcrafted award-winning micro-brewed MATA in a boutique facility in the town. Surrounded by stunning ranges, vast forestry and abundant lakes, rivers and the renowned Tarawera Falls, Viitakangas says the location is part of the beer’s genuine purity. All handcrafted beers are natural, with no preservatives, additives, finings or added sugars. Using brewed malt from New Zealand, Britain and Germany, the beers include yeast sourced from the USA and New Zealand hops. All beer is brewed using 100 per cent pure artesian water, specially sourced from a local acquifer and transported 16km to the brewery. With labels like Manuka golden ale, Artesian lager, Brown Boy amber ale, Black-Bru dark ale and Tumeke ipa, MATA is a brewery to keep an eye on into the future. www.mata.net.nz NINKASI, a Sumerian goddess in ancient Iraq, is touted as the founder of beer MOLSON COORS, in 2011, rolled out ‘Animee’, a beer engineered for women with colours including yellow and pink REASONS WHY women don’t drink beer include the calorie count, but a pint of everyday pub beer has 200 calories (less than a small packet of peanuts) BREWERS are now giving beers ‘mischievous names’ like Donkey Punch and Double D Blonde to appeal to women CHICK BEER, founded by an American mother of five daughters, is sold in pink and black six-packs, comprises 97 calories and threeand a-half carbohydrates per bottle, and is advertised using a naked cowboy holding a six-pack…but its main detractors are female BEER NAMES upsetting females drinkers have in the past included Nutsack Pistachio Stout, Polygamy Porter and Panty Peeler Belgian Style.
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