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:
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.
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.