Tuesday, 3 May 2011

"A Woman is Like a Tea Bag...

You can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water" Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady 1933-1945.

I'm not usually one to write one of those boring 'gripey' blogs, but I'm going to write a slightly miffed one and invite you to comment at will. Including telling me to shut my trap if you wish.

I shall start my story with another carefully selected quote. You will notice my title and opening line are from Eleanor Roosevelt who championed women's rights and Independence during her whole political career.

"whilst 'brewster' is the correct term for a female in my profession, I like brewer better because I don't think I'm any better or worse than a chap just because I'm anatomically different." Me, some time in November 2010.

OK, so not as famous (give me time) but I still stick by it. For anyone who hasn't met me, I shall give you a little description of myself. I am a medium build 5' 4 1/2", always happy, and I love being with people so have fun whether I'm at work or play. However, I also have the biggest guns you'll have seen on a gal for a while I suspect, love a physical job, and always get stuck in where I can. Oh, and it takes a lot to stress me out, but when I am annoyed, you'll know about it.

So I am getting quite tired of hearing rather sexist comments which are probably prompted by my youthfulness, why can't people give me a chance?
"Don't hurt yourself love, it's quite heavy"
"Who's the forklift truck driver then?"
"Do you want me to drive that back for you ducky?"
"Just you stay over there and let us do it"

The best ones have to be:
"so you're the receptionist aren't you. Who's the brewer then?"
"You're doing a grand job of that cleaning, I've got a whole pile of pots for you to do at mine, love"

I'm used to people asking "So why does a young lass like you want to be a brewer?" I bet they don't ask guys that. On the plus side, most people are surprised but in a good way, that I am the brewer. Talk about challenging gender stereotypes - I'm a white-van man and brewer who does just the same as any bloke in the brewery. I really enjoy the physical side to my job, although I can sometimes be a weenie bit hindered by my height, but that's when I know to ask for help the same as everyone else.

Do I look like a pot-washing, message-taking, adorable duck!? I'm getting a bit fed up of it now, it used to mildly amusing but the novelty factor has worn off. I keep hearing people tell me how incrediby stressed I must be, and that this is an awfully big project to take on alone. I'm not under enough hot water to be stressed. Yet.

A month or so ago, a group of severl brewsters got together and brewed 'Venus-Jade' (4.0% ABV) as part of Project Venus which aims to show off the skills of female brewers. I think this is a fab idea! I did talk to them briefly before they brewed but unfortunately wasn't able to go on the day, I just hope if they do another one I can help.

Women are coming into the beer industry more and more, particularly in the form of micro brewers running the whole show. I'm excited to see women having the confidence to go against the grain in this male dominated environment, taking on all aspects of the business despite an incredulous reaction from many people.

I've got really big muscles too, you know.


  1. I think fellas that appreciate beer know that more and more women are getting involved. One of my friends was part of that Venus project.

    I'm probably stereotyping here, but it's usually white van man, down the pub to watch the footie with ice cold fizzy grog, types, that are the ignorant ones.

    Take it on the chin and brew an award winning beer.

  2. I'm on the case - thanks Mark :0)

  3. Two things: Have you left Kelham Island or just been seconded as it were?

    "Biggest Guns" I might be naive here but WTF?

  4. It's a bit complicated, but basically Kelham are working in conjunction with the Welbeck Estate to set up the new brewery. They employed my on the premise that I'd be running the new place, although I'm also setting up the whole thing really. So I work at Welbeck full time, but Kelham 'manage' me.

    Oh, and big guns = enoooooormous muscles (hence popeye!)

  5. Whew. I was worried on both counts. (-;

  6. Good we'll see that I am correct. I have someone for her. Thanks for sharing this psot so much.
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