COCONUT FLOWER BEER VS. COCONUT FLOWER BEER FOR WOMEN
While the R&D activities were ongoing for Coconut Flower Drops and Coconut Flower Wine, one day Vaani said, “Let’s create Coconut Flower Beer.” So we both decided to take up various beer brewing lessons. We built a network among brewers and developed valuable friendships. We carried out R&D on our beer, collaborating with a head brewer with extensive expertise. And one evening, after working on this project for nearly seven months on the basis of the name Coconut Flower Beer, out of blue, Vaani said, "Let's call our beer ‘Coconut Flower Beer For Women’ and we could encourage both men and women to try our beer.”
My first reaction was negative as I have seen the backlash over such gender specific names for beers in the past and I said, "No, we may not get support from male drinkers and some female consumers may not agree.” Immediately, she said, "Almost all of our male relatives and friends drink beer or alcohol, whereas most of our female relatives and friends don't, and many haven't even tasted it. Of course, a couple of them do but they limit themselves to champagne, wine or cocktails. They stay away from beer due to the perception it is a male drink."
She added, "You know, when I was 19, my uncle was having a beer and I decided to taste it. After trying it, I told my uncle I didn't like the taste. The next day, my aunt called me into a room and asked me, did I taste beer? I said yes and before I even finished my sentence, she slapped me hard. I still remember the whole episode. My family members don't raise their hands, but for the first time I was struck by my aunt, despite saying I didn’t like it. I panicked, cried and I was very confused, because my brother had also tasted beer, it was fine for him but not for me, because I’m a woman. I want to change this stigma because the perception still remains. Let’s change it together! Let’s start our journey in Britain and move forward to other countries! People will understand what we're trying to achieve if we explain well. There are many gender specific products, for example, separate perfumes for women and men, so why not beer for women with a positive intention? We could encourage women to try our beer as well as encourage men to show solidarity.”
Our chat continued for more than six hours, while we exchanged various experiences and views. We finished our conversation by agreeing on the label name 'Coconut Flower Beer For Women'.
OUR BEER IS GENDER NEUTRAL BUT OUR PURPOSE HAS GENDER
Coconut Flower Beer For Women, it's 'not' just for women. It can be enjoyed and experienced by people of all genders. Our intention was not to alienate any group with the name of our beer. Please don’t construe the name literally. Our intention is solely to raise awareness, provide solidarity, and challenge the deep rooted stigma in many cultures towards women drinking beer. We see ourselves as global citizens, with an obligation to call out wrongdoing anywhere in the world. We were saddened to see videos, news and posts on social media of women being assaulted, attacked, judged, punished and persecuted for enjoying beer or alcohol. So we decided to challenge this.
Anyone should be able to drink anything, hence why we have created a Coconut Flower Beer that is designated to make women feel more invited and welcome. Ultimately, we want to eradicate the negative stigma towards women drinking beer or alcohol worldwide.
THE CORRELATION BETWEEN BEER HISTORY AND WOMEN
Nearly 7,000 years ago, beer brewing began its development in Mesopotamia. Women innovatively integrated grains of cereal with herbs and water, cooked them, brew them and invented beer. By the start of the late 18th Century and the Industrial Revolution, new methods of making beer had evolved and women were increasingly barred from participating in alcohol production. So women’s contribution gradually started to decline and was forgotten. Almost for the last 200 years, western societies have viewed beer brewing as a male-dominated field.
A STUDY INTO BRITISH FEMALE ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOURS TOWARDS BEER
There are more than 2,000 breweries in the UK and the beer industry is booming. Nevertheless, the UK has one of the lowest percentage of women beer drinkers compared to other European countries.
According to the recent study and Yougov poll, only 17% of British women drink beer compared to 53% of men. Almost half of young women (48%) do not drink beer or have not tasted beer. It discovered that male-oriented advertising and ‘being judged by others’ are the two main barriers. Besides this, the misconception of the taste and calorie count also deter women from trying beer. The study also discovered that female attitudes, perceptions and beliefs about beer have not moved on from a similar study conducted a decade earlier, despite the beer industry trying to evolve and be more inclusive. Sadly, most women still hold a negative opinion about beer and perceive it to be a man’s drink!
*Statistics from 'The Gender Pint Gap' report, study led by a British group Dea Latis, partnering with YouGov in 2018.
Made for women, Loved by men.
Allow yourself to enjoy any gender specific product, for example, using products made for opposite or other genders, without hesitation, shame or embarrassment!
THE CHIEF MINISTER OF GOA SAID “I HAVE BEGUN TO FEAR NOW, BECAUSE EVEN THE GIRLS HAVE STARTED DRINKING BEER”
Goa, a state in western India, is one of the most popular destinations, visited by large numbers of tourists, seeking its white sandy beaches and nightlife. Sadly, the Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, in 2018, addressing a gathering at the Youth Parliament said: “I have begun to fear now, because even the girls have started drinking beer. The tolerance limit is being crossed.”
Indian women generally hide their drinking habits from their family or relatives and only open up in front of a handful of people who they are very comfortable with. The offensive remark made by the Goa Chief Minister stoked up a controversy and some women in India boldly took to social media, posting pictures of themselves posing with beer bottles and mugs under the hashtag #GirlsWhoDrinkBeer in response to the Minister.
A 60 YEAR-OLD WOMAN IN ACEH WAS PUBLICLY WHIPPED NEARLY 30 TIMES FOR SELLING ALCOHOL
When we talk about Indonesia, it reminds us of Bali. Yet in the same nation, where holidaymakers enjoy surfing, beers and beautiful beach, a 60-year-old Christian woman was convicted of selling alcohol, whipped nearly 30 times with a rattan cane, in front of a crowd of hundreds in Banda Aceh, a conservative Indonesian province in 2016. While many onlookers found the punishment hard to watch, some shouted insults at the victim, and recorded the heart-breaking incident and shared it online. This has sparked plenty of debate on Facebook.
THE FIRST MALAYSIAN WOMAN SENTENCED FOR 6 STROKES OF CANING FOR DRINKING BEER
Malaysia is well known for its diversity of races, religions, and cultures, where non-Muslims are free to drink alcohol. To our surprise, in 2009, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, a 33-year-old Muslim model was sentenced to six strokes of the cane and a fine after she was caught drinking beer in a hotel night club in eastern Pahang state. She defiantly asked for the punishment, usually carried out in a closed prison, to be carried out in public, in a case that fueled debate about tolerance in this multi-racial country. Since the case provoked a fierce debate and brought the attention of international media, the authorities in Malaysia overturned the ruling and had her punishment for drinking beer commuted, and instead she was required to perform community service. The controversy may have subsided but it has left a bitter aftertaste.
A CLASH OF CULTURES, 30 MEN ATTACKED YOUNG WOMEN FOR DRINKING ALCOHOL AT A PUB IN MANGALORE
In the Indian state of Karnataka, a right-wing Hindu vigilante group of nearly 30 men barged into a college-town pub and attacked several young women for drinking alcohol in 2009. The attack that was filmed and then broadcast on national television, has shocked the viewers and stoked a national outcry. The footage exposed the group chasing and beating up panicking women. Some of the women tripped and fell after being dragged by their hair, and were then kicked. The leader of the group, Pramod Muthalik has said it is not acceptable for women to go to bars in India. He argued that assault on the women was justifiable because his group is preserving Indian culture and moral values, accusing the women of having loose morals for being out drinking. The attackers were arrested, but all accused including their leader have been freed by the court in 2019 because there wasn't enough evidence. The video proof of the actual assault was not admissible in court and very few of the women who were attacked were willing to testify, fearing a backlash. The Indian Express newspaper said such attacks "further encourage a latent puritanism, the kind that is deeply threatened by modernity and dark subversions like women enjoying alcohol".
OUR BEER AND BEER GODDESSES
Coconut Flower Beer collections are named after the ancient goddess:
· Ninkasi, the tutelary goddess in ancient Sumerian religious mythology, who would prepare beer daily to 'satisfy the desire' and 'sate the heart'.
· Menquet, the ancient Egyptian goddess, who was responsible for brewing and was pictured as a woman holding two jars of beer.
· Dea Latis, the Celtic goddess of beer and water, who was worshipped in Roman Britain.
The name Coconut Flower Beer for Women challenges head on the stigma surrounding women consuming beer and alcohol, and at the same time we encourage men to enjoy our beer in a show of solidarity.
My first beer tasting moment was not a pleasant memory. A memory with a bitter scar. This is one of the many reasons which drove me to name our drink - Coconut Flower Beer For Women.
Vaani, co-founder of Neitiv
I had my first beer in 1995, with my college friends. None of my female friends had beer that day, one of them said beer is for men and not for women. Sadly, 25 years on, this perception hasn’t changed. We are glad to name our beer 'Coconut Flower Beer For Women'.
Keeran, co-founder of Neitiv