I went to a very fancy professional networking event a few years back (Boston, US). Engrossed in conversation with fellow suit-wearers, we ambled towards the bar to get started on drinks. “What local beers do you have?” I said, and promptly got the only one that venue had (the other option was one of the big usual ones). My (all male) conversation partners stared, then one of them said, “oh, I suppose that is an option, right”, to then order one as well. The other ones went with the Chardonnay. Like everyone else in the room.
That episode stayed with me. Beer shaming should not be a thing. Beer is a perfectly valid choice, and not just for foreigners. I am the daughter of a hop farmer, so what I am doing and how it feels in a suit-wearing professional environment is fuel for another rant at a later time. It pains me though that beer seems to have THAT much of a reputation problem in some circles.
Being seen drinking wine of whatever provenance always seems to top any beverage of the beery persuasion you might be holding (don’t get me started on the glassware, outside of Belgium). If venues even have any beer beyond the two, three obvious ones that come with the contract.
Wine seems to make you look sophisticated. As if that wasn’t made on a farm as well, grown from the soil, with a process part art and part science, made with love and respect for tradition. Like beer. Particularly in areas where wine doesn’t or didn’t traditionally grow.
It seems to be a whole lot more of a class thing than it needs to be. And it bugs me. The perceptiveness of my palate can be applied to anything I put to it. Which very much includes beer. Suit or not, that is a valid choice.
Someday, when we all get to go out again, we shall meet up. And hopefully still find good places to go to. And they better have some good beers… I will insist.