GENDERED EXPECTATIONS, GATEKEEPING, AND CONSUMPTION IN CRAFT BEER SPACES
Humanity & Society, with Nathaniel Chapman, Slade Lellock, and Julie Mikles-Schluterman
While women are drinking more craft beer in the United States, the association between masculinity and beer remains intact. Yet, sparse research has considered how involvement in craft beer culture may differ across public and elite beer spaces. In this article, we analyze a questionnaire of 1,102 craft beer drinkers to compare the ways that men and women gain and enact cultural legitimacy within different craft beer spaces. Our focus on public and elite consumption spaces generates two interconnected insights. First, in public spaces, men are assumed to have a natural basic beer knowledge. Women, however, are dismissed as ‘not real beer drinkers’ through men’s gatekeeping. Second, within elite spaces, both men and women must prove their belonging as elite drinkers and ultimately navigate gatekeeping mechanisms. As a result, our work extends consumption and gender literature by showing how inclusive cultural movements rest on the gendering of contextually specific knowledge and the policing of elite status and prestige in public and elite leisure spaces.
Food, Culture and Society 21(3):296-313, with Nathaniel Chapman, Slade Lellock, and Julie Mikles-Schluterman
While beer has maintained a position as the most popular alcoholic beverage among men age 21–34, a recent Gallup poll indicates that craft beer has surpassed wine as the most popular beverage for women in the same age group in USA. In light of this trend, there has been little research done to explore gender dynamics in craft beer consumption and the craft beer industry. This paper seeks to understand the increasing popularity of craft beer among women by: (1) exploring beer as a gendered object, (2) illuminating the experiences of women in the craft beer culture and industry, and (3) examining how gender is done, redone, and undone in craft beer spaces. Drawing from a discursive content analysis of an online beer community, it seeks to consider the gendered nature of beer and how gender is both reconfigured and upheld, allowing for the possibility for new consumption patterns.