How often, it must be asked, has India been at the center of an enthralling, brutally honest debate surrounding beer or for that matter, any form of liquor?
Truth be told, India often makes headlines and forms informing debates about concepts such as the growth of its IT industry, the great feats of its cricket team, tiger, its widely-debated national animal, and where seen in the last debate, then the booming start-up industry.
Alcohol or the spurt of liquor growth and India are about as frequent in the news as is relief in the rising threat of climate change. No?
But then, change is the most important constant that governs us. A few days back, the above actually came true when India kicked off a rather interesting debate about a beverage that, according to many, is the most consumed in the world, alongside coffee: beer.
Here’s what happened.
When a Gurgaon-based brewery-pub known as Ardor 29 made news launching a drink it called the first female-beer in the world, it didn’t expect that what this would do would be to launch an avalanche of both opposing and likable, admirable and critical reactions.
Therefore, suffices to say that the cocktail- actually a mocktail- called world’s first ladies beer went onto generating what could only be described as polarising reactions.
While many women took to Twitter enraged and some applauding the sense of creativity bestowed to a drink none had hitherto heard of – ladies beer- what started was a series of backlashes in response to the brewery’s sense of creation.
Many food bloggers and tasters were quick to shove the so-called ladies beer under the carpet or show it the hammer. One blogger, in particular, Monika Manchanda suggesting rather brutally that it was, ‘better to drink a juice instead of a non-strong non-non-bitter beer.’
The response to this criticism, it could be said, make some sense. The spokesperson responded rather sensibly, minus the rhetorics:
I am sure you can figure out that it (Summer Beer) is a little sweeter, little smoother than normal slightly bitter beer and also more delicate, hence the term Female which marks a sign of respect and not an embodiment of a female’s physical characteristics.
But all said and done, here is what you may think of not being so abrasive or highly critical of the concept of ladies beer.
1) For starters, can we have any possible discussion in the landscape of evolving tastes, habits, and choices without spinning a creation into a web of a feministic debate?
This is not to say that sexist marketing doesn’t do its share of prompting knee-jerk reactions and diluting vital pieces of communication with the unwanted sexist disclaimer.
2) If the men-folk can have something like a man-bun, why can’t there be just a drink typified for the ladies? And if so, then who says, the smooth taste is supposedly a marked gesture to portray women as a soft, gentle gender? Where do those ideas float from?
Additionally, here is some food for thought.
All said and done, if 007, someone who likes the Martini shaken, not stirred, can have a complete change in the character sketch for the future, the buzz around the town suggesting that the revered British secret agent would be played by a girl, not a man, then why can’t there be a thing as a ladies beer?