Sexist Texas Brewing Presents: Man Cans! For Manly Men!

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Today’s spotlight brewery is the Irving location of Twin Peaks, which is expanding it’s brewpub operation to sell growlers of “man crafted beer” and distribute “man cans” across the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Unfortunately, sexism in beer marketing is nothing new. Despite the increasing numbers of women both making and drinking beer, and the efforts of folks like the ladies of Bitch Beer to actively make the case for women’s rightful place in the craft beer community, breweries like Twin Peaks and Deep Ellum continue to profit off of the idea that beer is a man’s game – no ladies allowed.

The ladies of Bitch Beer brought this newest incidence of blatant sexism in the Texas beer industry to our attention when they covered the man can release – and why, though possibly unsurprising from a breasturant chain, this is still something we have to call out and talk about. In her post, founder and blogger Caroline Wallace explained:

…there’s something profoundly icky about a brewery that touts its beers as “man-crafted” and served in “man cans” while the beer names reduce women down to tired bedroom personas associated with hair color and money grubbing.

The man can fits in pretty well with other merchandise available in their store, including a Knotty Brown shirt featuring a woman straddling a keg that proudly says, “I’d tap that,” and the I’m the Man shirt, on which the man in question exclaims, “Of course I love you, now get me a beer!” But really, you need to look no further than their current menu:

twin peaks menu

It isn’t just that they call their beer “man crafted” and aim to distribute it in “man cans,” or that the beers are all named in ways that glorify the objectification of women. It’s also about how the beer gets to your table, and the purposeful message that Twin Peaks is selling. Wallace continues:

There’s also something troubling about the idea that these beers are distinctly crafted by big, strong, lumberjack-like men (as the logo suggests), yet served by a scantily-clad all-female waitstaff. ‘Cause, you know, men make things, and women just try to look good while serving them, ya hear?

In the world of Twin Peaks, where the whole world – or at least the whole restaurant – is your man cave, women and man-made beer both exist solely for the manly’s man’s consumption.

twin peaks man cans

Let’s be clear: this isn’t just about the man cans, or the manly growlers, or the sizes available for customers when they order their beers (man size or girl size – oh so clever), or even the scantily-clad young women who make up the waitstaff. Each one of these things on their own seems almost laughable: a tired, worn-out attempt at recapturing a narrow and limiting understanding of what it is to be a man. But the fact that they seem so innocuously ridiculous is where the problem lies: Twin Peaks is making money marketing toxic masculinity, and that is a huge problem.

It isn’t just that they are adding to a chorus of advertising that actively convinces women that beer isn’t for them. They are reinforcing ideas of what it means to be a man that are limiting for their consumers and our society. Men don’t just drink beer – they drink man-sized beers made by other men. Objectifying women is OK, because their cute lady server thinks it’s funny, too! It’s all just a big joke, right?

But these ideas about masculinity and gender seep into our society. They inform people’s expectations of others and sense of entitlement to objectifying and consuming women’s time, attention, and – in the worst scenario – their bodies. They police masculinity and involve men in this process, who then are left with only the tiniest margin for error in their daily lives and choices – are you a man, or a girl?

If you’re in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and looking for a good local beer this holiday, try Revolver Brewing’s Blood and Honey or Martin House Brewing’s Day Break. With so much great Texas beer to be had, there’s no reason to waste your time with a man can.

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About Author

Genevieve Cato

Genevieve Cato is a feminist activist and a native Texan. While not writing for the Burnt Orange Report, she can be found working for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, serving as a community member of the Communications Committee for the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, and drinking copious amounts of pretentious local craft beers.

4 Comments

    • Hey MAN,
      let us look at some numbers on Craft Beer Industry growth before we start throwing words like ridiculous around.
      Dr. Bart Watson, a Stanford and University of California, Berkeley, graduate who has an educational background in political economy and a Ph.D. in political science, is the Chief Economist for the Brewers Association. At this years GABF, Dr. Watson presented some very interesting data with regards to women and the craft beer industry. Here are a few statistics for you: Females 21-34 represent 15% of total craft-beer consumption.
      Women account for 25% of total beer consumption by volume, and 37% of craft-beer consumption in the United States.
      Now, let us take this step by step.
      Nationally women account for 85% of all consumer purchases, and 75% of women identified themselves as the primary shoppers for their households.
      If we are talking about targeted marketing, with the aim to be the selling of a product in conjunction with continued business growth and upwards sales trends, it is absolutely not in the best interest of craft brewers, or craft related businesses (bars, restaurants) to alienate 37% of the demographic that consume their products and/or patronize their establishments. Nor does it make sense to alienate 75% of a demographic group that are self identified as the primary household shopper.
      It is the goal of the Brewers Association to have the craft beer industry taking up 20% of the market of beer sold by the year 2020 (see http://www.brewersassociation.org/news/ba-insider-growth-craft-beer-segment-sky-limit/ ) That goal will not be reached if 37% of the targeted audience is alienated.
      If your argument is actually predicated upon the idea of “targeted marketing” that is fine, but consider:
      Who is being marketed to?
      The last time I checked Bud/Miller/Coors had the “I don’t care I just want to get wasted and try and score chicks” and the “it’s not sexist because it’s supposed to be a joke” target audiences covered. The craft beer industry, those of us who have been working in this industry for years, have worked our asses off to make a better product. There is absolutely no reason we should fail in the marketing end zone.

  1. I supposed that a small start-up company like Deep Ellum brewery just came up with clever names instead of just calling it “Deep Ellum Light” or “Deep Ellum Lager” and that they are targeting a certain market, but now I know they are sexist women haters attempting to keep women out of their brewery and the craft beer game in general. My girlfriend loves Dirty Blonde from Deep Ellum, its honestly the only beer I’ve seen her buy regularly. I’m not the biggest fan of DB I’m more of a fan of the other Dallas brewery, Lakewood.

    My girlfriend’s salon markets exclusively to female customers. I get my haircut there because she became great friends with the stylist. I don’t feel excluded or that the salon is not for people of my sex. They are a small business and they know that the majority of ppl walking into a “Salon” and paying those ungodly prices are not men with shabby hair and beards like me.

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