A Fem “ale” Society

16 Apr

I’m going to let you in on a secret.



There’s a secret society. Of women. Who love beer!

Its name: Dea Latis.

How cool is that?

Now, I suppose I shouldn’t say it’s a secret society. It’s, well, not. But ever since I saw that Simpson’s episode about a gazillion years ago during which Homer finds out about the Stonecutters, I’ve always wanted to be a part of one.

So, when I found out about Dea Latis, I did a little squeal of excitement.

The group was formed in 2010 and is named after the Celtic goddess of beer and water. Its mission: to bring beer back to women and change their perceptions about the drink.

For someone who spends much of her time trying to goad her girlfriends into trying whisky, this appeals to me ten-fold!

Co-founder Ros Shiel says she got into beer when she took on a PR role at the British Beer & Pub Association and went on a beer appreciation course.

“ It really opened my eyes to the wonderful world of beer – until then I had, like many women, been of the opinion that beer was either brown/flat or yellow/gassy and both were wildly fattening! I remember the IPA was a revelation, and so was the cherry beer with dark chocolate,” she told me.

Dea Latis: a women's only beer drinking society. How cool!

The group now has 60 members, made up of female brewers, pub operators, marketing and PR people, and beer writers and bloggers, amongst others. It aims to put on at least two themed events per year (such as a beer and chocolate matching, which is where I discovered the group) and a talk with a woman in the beer industry. Everything is done on a volunteer basis, on limited funds, so the more people that discover it, the more events will happen.

Ros says she hopes more women will give it a go, but adds it’s hard in a country where much of the beer marketing is targeted at men.“It’s true that beer, in the UK certainly – does have a pretty blokey image: advertising’s all about men watching sport or other male bonding stuff, beer brands all sponsor men’s sports like football/rugby.

“[Also] the pint glass is a big turnoff for a lot of women, so we’re keen to see smaller, more elegant glasses become more widely used and indeed that is starting to happen.”

Co-founder Ros Shiel speaks during the beer & chocolate tasting.

There is also the “beer belly” issue, which means most women shy away from beer because of worries over weight. Ros counters: “Beer has fewer calories than wine, measure for like measure. Drunk in moderation, beer isn’t fattening.”

And while she doesn’t expect the whole industry to change overnight, she’s happy at least putting it out there that women love (or can come to love) all the amazing qualities that beer has to offer.

“I think if we can just get more women to consider drinking beer more often, and get more brewers to consider women in the way they market their beers, we’ll have done what we set out to achieve,” she concludes.

Want to get involved ladies? Memberships cost £40 a year and information can be found here.

2 Responses to “A Fem “ale” Society”

  1. Jen April 17, 2012 at 3:49 am #

    My Dad was born and raised in Belgium and his entire family still lives there. I enjoy assuming the finer characteristics of the Belgian culture, including their taste in food and drink. They have a marvelous beer selection – some of them the finest beers I’ve ever sampled. Hear hear! for raising women’s interest in the fine drink!

    • gwiltypleasures May 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

      Ps: glad to see another lady who loves beer! It’s a great thing to find pleasure in 🙂

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