Oh boy--this opens a can of worms. Either this brings about images of massive cleavage on a pump clip or a froo-froo beer cocktail with an orange garnish. Nevertheless, the concept of "lady beers" isn't something that brewers should be embarrassed about.

Truth be told, despite its centuries-old history here in the UK, beer is still deemed a "man's" drink while the ladies stick to wine. Nevertheless, there ARE some "gateway" styles that appeal to the typical wine-drinking lady: fruit lambics, fruit beers, witbiers, saisons, and perhaps some dark barrel-aged goodness. But that doesn't mean that these styles are sub-par or that they don't have the cojones to be called a beer. No! It just means that these beers are opportunities--opportunities to educate and expand into ladies nights.

I complimented a brewer once on a one-off brew of his (that was HOT PINK, coincidentally) and mentioned how I thought it would be great to serve at a potential ladies-only event I was was thinking about as a way to introduce a wine-drinking woman to beer. I was met with a rather defensive "well, we like our beer" response. What the hell? Is a beer only a beer if it has a 5 o'clock shadow? For some reason some brewers resist the notion that one of their beers could be pleasing to a woman who typically prefers wine. Why? That just insinuates that if a non-beer-drinking-woman likes it, it is therefore an inferior product.

So, if you make a beer that you find the ladies take an exceptional liking to, you made a good beer with no gender specification necessary. Embrace the fact that some beers are opportunities to educate and embrace. Just because the ladies like it, doesn't make it a lady-beer. But don't come crying to me, dear defensive brewer, if you make a hot pink raspberry flavoured beer and you've got women swarming your bar.