Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Can We Just Agree That I'm an April Fool?

Sometimes, my readers, I take you for granted.

I assume most of you have been reading my blog for some time and have a sense of the type of person I am. I assume that many of you know me, have met me, are friends with me, or are related to me.

And so, sometimes, I feel I can be sarcastic, or facetious, and I trust that you'll get it.

I'm going to let you in on a secret. Promise me you won't tell my kids. More importantly, don't tell my wife. Ready?

I'm not perfect. There: I said it.

Over the weekend, I tried a beer from an excellent Québec microbrewery, Dieu du Ciel! (the exclamation mark is part of their name). I have had a few beers from this company, and so far I haven't tried one that I didn't like.

I'm not going to get into the specifics of the beer itself: if you want to read about it, go to the review and see my notes.

Because this beer came in a bottle with what I describe as a somewhat feminine label (a light background with a pixy-like woman with flowers in her hair), because this beer poured a pinkish colour (like a rosé wine), had flowery, fruity bouquet, and tasted light with honey and peach (dammit, I did summarize the review!), I labelled this brew as a "girly beer."

And some of my readers didn't like that.

I also joked, implying that no guy would want to let his guy friends know that he was drinking this beer. That this is the beer that no self-respecting guy would admit to drinking—and liking.

I've already consumed two of them and have a third waiting for me in the refrigerator. I did say that I liked the beer but would most likely not buy it again because I have a preference for stouts and IPAs.

After some thought, and in the interest of demonstrating that I'm not a sexist dick, I reworked the post. It's not a retraction: it's a clarification (I hope) with still some humour (I hope) worked in. It is still entitled Girly Beer, but I use that term in the same light that many people refer to romantic comedies as "chick flicks;" that is, a particular genre of film that has a tendency to appeal to women.

I don't mean to use that term in a derogatory way: if I give that impression, I apologize. I mean no offense.

Besides, I didn't coin the term.

I also don't think that a beer has to be light and fruity to appeal to women. I have female friends who enjoy a hearty IPA or chewy oatmeal stout. There is a movement of women who partake in the appreciation of all beer: the Ottawa chapter of Barley's Angels opened last month, led by a friend of mine who I hold in high regard as an expert in craft beer.

While I believe that beer is generally a gender-neutral product, I do believe that some brewers try to cater to women. And I firmly believe that Dieu du Ciel! attempted to do that with Rosée d'Hibiscus. If they read this post and disagree with my opinion, I invite them to explain their thoughts about the presentation of their beer.

Whether you agree with my opinion or not doesn't alter the fact that I can have that opinion without being sexist. My opinion is based purely on observation and impressions.

The most-positive result of that post is that it opened doors to discussion, and that's probably the best reaction I could receive.

If you still think I'm sexist or out to cartoons, let's discuss it further. The Comment section is yours.

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