All my beer-chugging sisterhood, I need your attention on something that’s triggered me today beyond imagination. Apparently, a Gurugram bar—Ardour 29—located in Sector-29 of the city, has launched a new beer exclusively made for women which according to their own description isn’t ‘as bitter as a regular beer’ but ‘on the contrary it is sweet and super smooth.’ As much as this and the rest of the description reeks of sexism and ultimate level of stereotyping, do these people even know of the inventor of beers?

Women invented beers. A road down the History class will teach you that the earliest remnants of beer found is a Chinese concoction which was around 9000 years old without any knowledge of who concocted it. But historians have certainly unearthed the earliest persons who concocted the first barley beer about 5,000 years ago and it happened to be the Sumerian goddess of beer. Archaeologists discovered “ceramic vessels from 3400 B.C. still sticky with beer residue, and 1800 B.C.’s ‘Hymn to Ninkasi’ which is an ode to the Sumerian goddess of beer—describes a recipe for a beloved ancient brew made by female priestesses,” states a History article.

Additionally, women are the ones who operated breweries and drank beer in olden times before beer-chugging-men took to the trend. Author Jane Payton has done an extensive research and wrote a book on women’s contribution to beer and here we have a hogwash brewery wanting to make a sweet feminine beer for women. This has to be the biggest irony in quite some time.

Now the question of if women can take ‘strong and bitter’ beer is out of the way; can we concentrate on what impact this could have on the society where some people are working extremely hard to blur the gender roles? Ardor 29, you are reinforcing the flawed conception that women are fragile second sex in a metropolitan city where at least some work has gone into establishing equality among men and women in a much cosmopolitan environment. Why do you want this small achievement to also regress with your narrow-mindedness?

Ardor 29, you are reinforcing the flawed conception that women are fragile second sex in a metropolitan city where at least some work has gone into establishing equality among men and women in a much cosmopolitan environment. Why do you want this small achievement to also regress with your narrow-mindedness?

How prejudiced one has to be to think how much beer a woman can take when you have already put a number on it? It is absolutely beneath me to critique your farcical post any further as it looks like a post written by probably a high-schooler as correctly pointed out by a Twitteratti. I understand that putting the onus of the problem on you, Ardor 29, would be incorrect when a lot of other brewers around the world including some European countries have jumped on the bandwagon of commercialising gender. It is truly irrational to ignore the struggle of the women’s movement to scrape of the initial layer of patriarchy, and I must mention it again, in the very cosmopolitan environment and revoke gender stereotypes even in this fairly small space that women living in metropolitan cities have been able to carve out for themselves.

This is all from me, a 20-something-woman, from my work desk, dreaming about the weekend when I can chill with my mug of an ungendered beer.

Picture credit: Glamour

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