This is a post from 2011. Not much has changed for me in regards to beer. Okay, I take that back. I now officially a hop head after living in San Diego. My big love is still Imperial Stouts and nutty Porters. Enjoy!
I was watching a discussion happening on Twitter which I saw tweeted by @LadiesOCB. The topic? QUESTION: Do we need women targeted beer marketing campaigns? What is the right way to target women, if at all?
My first answer? Nope, we just need good beer to market to real beer drinkers, not pandering the same sexist ways.
A wee light bulb went off in my head and I realized I’m having the same argument about women and games. You don’t need to do anything special for women to play your games. JUST MAKE GOOD GAMES. If you make good games and respect your playerbase, women will play them. There’s nothing magical about attracting girls and women to your games.
The game goes for beer. IF you make GOOD beer, break out of your sexist adverts and don’t “dumb down” beer, women will drink it. Period. Respect your product, respect your audience, no matter who they are, and you will be successful. Sure, you won’t make as much money as the top three “American” beers. Craft brewers and indie game developers have a lot in common. They have passion for their product and they want to bring as many people into their world.
I think that products like Chick Beer, are sexist and stereotyping. Women do not need pink packaging and yet another dig about how we should all watch our weight. It’s sexist and insulting to women and to men. If your beer is good, then ALL people will drink it. This beer isn’t a beer for women /made/ by women. It’s a marketing idea that someone created. I mean, “Chick has Beer Cred. We are brewed in Wisconsin by the second-oldest, tenth-largest brewery in the United States.” As a beer geek, I know exactly who’s brewing it and why.
I admit, I am saying this without trying the beer. And I could tear the website claims up over and over because none of it is factual. That really isn’t my point. My original point was to write about how I felt about this sort of marketing and how it is damaging to women. It reminds me of all the times I’ve been told “Girls don’t play hardcore games”, “Women don’t get strategy” “Are you shopping for (insert man of your choice)?”.
Instead of ranting more about all this, I’ll get back to my point. I’d love to interview and write about women who are gamers and beer drinkers. The women who play what they want because they like it. The women who drink Ryes, IPAs, Stouts, Porters…beer across the entire spectrum. There are many women homebrewers, too. I’d love to hear from them.
Unless you’re following me on the Facebooks or the Twitters, you have no idea that I just visited Germany. For that matter, a brief visit to France, and traveling in Switzerland. There’s a whole bunch of things happening in my life which have me lower than I’ve been in *years*. So, my good friend and colleague, Iain, brought me over for a visit!
You can see some of the photos I updated on my public Flickr account. Apparently, I’ve hit my monthly upload limit so the rest will have to wait until January.
I had visions of writing a most excellent travel diary, but I have failed. I’ve got a cold right now, so I find that I don’t care. 🙂 I suppose I could share a bit of my favorite bits of the trip. First, Swiss Air is quite delightful. Such polite people, plus I had an empty seat next to me on the trip over. SCORE!
I arrived in Zurich, and waited for Iain to show up, so we could catch the 3 different trains we’d need to get to Villingen, where he lives. Coincidently, it is also where the game I work on, Bullet Run, is developed. Yes, I’m working on a First-Person Shooter game. I’ve found that even tho I’m crap at it, I have a lot of fun playing with the community. And they think I’m just as much of a dork as they are. Heck, my main leader in my community is a very funny Brony. At any rate, I’m digressing like a sick person. *WACHOOO*
I was happy that I had picked up a HYOOOOGE puffy down warm coat for the trip, because it was cold as cold balls. I was actually okay wandering about in a hoodie with layers of tights/socks. Until it RAINED AND SNOWED. Fuck it; it was big awkward bulky way-too large coat for the rest of the trip.
We pretty much spent the first couple of days just hanging out, listening to music, enjoying good beers (‘natch!) and foods. We played some board games; I gave him a copy of Flame Wars: The Card Game of Extreme Moderation, which I had backed on Kickstarter. I also left him my copy of Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre since I can easily get another copy here. He introduced me to Kamisado, which I immediately loved. He helped me order it at the LGS. He also helped me order Mord im Arosa, which I had played in Austin at my game meetup. One of the women brought it to the event; she picked it up at some sort of board game swap. And the person who had it originally, picked it up when they were in Essen for the big huge board game show.
Anyway, we also wandered around town looking at neat buildings/art. We went to the Franciscan Museum Villingen, specifically for the Magdalenenberg, the Iron Age chieftain’s grave. IT WAS SOOOO COOOL.
We also wandered over to the Acony office, where I could say hello to the devs I had already met, and meet the rest of the team developing Bullet Run.
Some of our other travels:
Stuttgart for the Die Wel der Kelten aka The World of the Celts. Centres of power – Treasures of art exhibit. It was AMAZING. Too bad we were not allowed to take photographs, as there were some stunning pieces. We also continued on looking at the rest of the museum, featuring the history of Baden-Württemberg. I also had my first tasty Glühwein. In the pouring rain. Whilst freezing.
Which lead to MORE Glühwein drinking after we missed our train back home.
Alsace, France. My goal was to see many more awesome Medieval buildings and check out the Christmas market. Oh, and drink some tasty, tasty Alsatian Beer.
You could say I found both. Okay, so Leffe is Belgian, but I did have a tasty Croque Monsieur sandwich!
Esslingen: We went here specifically to catch the Esslingen Medieval Christmas Market. It’s side by side with the regular Christmas Market, but much more interesting! Well, the most interesting is that it is actual Medieval reenactment, which is awesome. Music, shows, foods, and games. It was fantastic. Of course, more Glühwein and Schwartzbier!
I think I enjoyed this Market the most, being the history dork that I am. I captured lots of photos of the same buildings, because they were so beautiful. Rugged handsome men stoking fires was pretty awesome, too. 🙂 Rawr. The great part about doing all this with Iain is that he’s a reenactor history nerd, too, so I don’t have to explain /why/ I loved it so much.
After a heap load of touristing, it was nice to chill back at his place for the rest of the trip. There were so many fantastic moments, and I’ll treasure this trip forever. It was good to leave my stresses behind (which are many; some I’ll share this coming week) and get inspired and invigorated. Right now, I’m ill with a cold and drank way too much beer at game day. I’ll just leave you with one of my fave sights from Stuttgart.
Why yes, to no one’s surprise, my “B” blog will be about…BEER.
I first started my foray into beer in high school. I know, who didn’t? Well, back then the drinking age in Texas was 18. I drank a LOT of the standard cheap beers, which I never did like.
I would find things like Anchor Steam, Fosters (back in the old big tin oil can days), Red Stripe, and the like. There wasn’t too much variety to be found in Texas…well…anywhere hardly at that point.
I pretty much stopped drinking beer and mostly drank cocktails. As I got older and my palate changed, I started trying something different. Guinness. I liked it much better than the pale ales & lagers from my younger days. Still, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted out of a beer.
Finally, more and more craft beer started showing up in Texas. Red Hook, Alaskan, Sierra Nevada, and more. This pub my ex and I used to hang out at called JW Rovers in Round Rock, had a “Drink your way around the World” or some such challenge. If you drank X amount of beers, you got into this great club. Name on the wall, special T-shirt, and events.
So we set out on a journey to explore every beer style we could manage to get our hands on. I decided I hated fruit beer (Sorry Pete’s Wicked) and loved Stouts (Thanks Red Hook for the now defunct Starbuck’s version of Double Black Stout). I fell in love with Belgian beer, and decided I just wasn’t up for Canadian beers. Okay, so I’ve changed my opinion on Canadian beers after spending 5 weeks in Montreal. ❤ Unibroue now. Same for the Griffon Red Ale by Brasserie McAuslan/McAuslan Brewing.
I digress. HOW I DIGRESS.
I’ve since discovered heaps of places to find information about craft beer on the internet. I’ve been lucky to live in hubs of good beer, both large independent brewers and small craft brewpubs. I discovered so many great beers while living in Seattle, and was gobsmacked by the craft brew culture which exploded in Austin over the last 10 years. (Hint: Look for Jester King in bottles. They’re definitely selling in SoCal right now.)
All my best outings are paired with beer. I enjoy sharing beer and teaching people about beer, just as I do board/card games. That’s why I’ve always been so passionate about my Board Game/Beer Geek meetups. Maybe you’ll join me at one and learn about great beer and fun games.
Why yes, I am enjoying Stout Day! Picked up my Untappd badge, too! I’m enjoying an Old Viscosity by Port Brewing, which is a mighty tasty beverage. I won’t even get into how amazing OLDER Viscosity is.
“Not your Dad’s Wimpy 30 Weight is how our original label used to describe this massive chewy and thick beer.
Code named by our brewers-”The Big Black Nasty,” this is monstrous dark ale is brewed to no particular style. Thick and sludgy like oil from the crankcase of a wheat threshing combine, Old Viscosity blurs the boundaries of Porter, Stout, Old Ale and Barleywines.”
What Stouts did you or are you drinking for Stout Day?
I already know I failed my mission just a bit in regards to my recent claim. I promised to write a blog post each day of the week for Speak Out With Your Geek Out, but I failed. But I swear, I have a great reason! Why? I was hosting the Girl Geeks Of Austin Monday Board Games & Brews event! Each Monday night, we have a group of women who drop by the Black Star Co-Op. So, it’s actually combining numerous geek things. Board games, craft beer and sustainable/local foods. And it is a co-op! One of my birthday prezzies to myself will be to buy a membership there. Such fantastic people.
I’ve posted before about why I started the game night. I’m all about supporting ALL people playing games; I believe everyone can find the right games and great people to play with. The difficult part – If you don’t already play games with people, how do you meet people for games? How do you find games? Board games can get pretty expensive; it is hard to justify buying a game if you don’t know anyone who plays them.
I’m an organizer geek; a nexxus. I LOVE bringing people together to do amazing things. I love meeting new people when I host an event and watching people discovering new people. It cheers me to see people make friends, share their info and talk about planning exciting games, dinners or whatever with each other. I like turning people on to new games and new beers. I like to encourage women & girls to play games.
Back to my Board Game & Brews night. Many of the women who come to the game night have never played board games. Or they’ve done family games like Monopoly, Sorry, Scrabble. There is nothing wrong with these games; for many people it is the first taste of gaming & socialization. Yes, even with family!
But many want more. They’re interested in games they see around. They want to not be talked down to or ignored in a game store. They want to do something creative and they want to socialize with other like-minded geeky people. No matter your geeky bent, while you’re doing a geeky activity, you get to learn more about people. You get to meet others who grok (look it up) you.
I’m not great at teaching people to play games. I yawn when reading rules. I am best learning as I play, so I usually stick to pretty easy to explain games that I’ve played a lot. Or some casual card games. Fluxx, Poo, Apples to Apples & Guillotine and many others are easy to teach and easy to learn. Then there are some dice games like Zombie Dice, Cthulhu Dice and some board games like Tsuro and Dixit.
How do you get started with your own group? Meetup.com is fantastic to start in finding a group. Volunteer to host a meetup. Most meetup group owners are DELIGHTED to find more people to host events. I know I am; I can’t do everything and be everyone. As example, we have people who do fiber arts and I do not. So I encourage our fiber arts geeks to host their own meetup event on our same group page.
- Pick a place you want to host an event. A shop, a pub, coffeeshop. Get to know the people working there so they know to expect you.
- Choose how often and what day you want to do your event. It doesn’t have to be weekly like mine.
- Get yourself into Social Media so you can advertise your event. Good thing about Meetup.com? You can do so much in it.
- Show up. Even if no one does, show up. When I first started doing the Monday Steampunk Meetups at the Wayward Coffeehouse in Seattle, I was there at a small reserved table every week. Eventually, one or two would show. And as the word got out, more people showed. I kept up with advertising it on the local steampunk mailing list. Having our small group talk to others at the other local events & conventions, brought more people out. After a few months, there was anywhere from 10-20 people ever Monday. Stick to it and it will succeed.
- Greet everyone. No matter what else is going on, remember you are doing this for a reason. Make sure everyone is welcome. When you have regular people, you can dub others to be greeters. No one should ever feel unwanted for a social geek event.
- Have fun. If you’re not, no one else will. You may try and try again, but eventually you’ll get the hang out of it. Sure, epople will “Why don’t we meet on X side of town?” “Why can’t we ever do Y together?”. I always say, “GREAT IDEA! You can put something together and I’ll promote it. Unfortunately, I can’t take on another event, but I want to help you succeed.”. AND MEAN IT.
Hell, I’m Donna and I’m a Geeky Organizer.