In the spirit of Women’s Month, Hayley Slater of popular Long Street bar Beerhouse in Cape Town has initiated the Why Don’t You Ask Her if #SheLovesBeer? campaign to dispel stereotypes around woman and drink.
The idea was sparked by a blog Slater saw on Facebook of men holding their bellies.
“I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed and came across the Brewed with Love campaign. This campaign struck me as unfair. Besides the fact that carrying a child is a lot harder than sipping on your favourite brew, it was the fact that men have this authentic point of reference when it comes to enjoying beer, while advertising portrays women half naked, sultrily gazing at the camera in some awkward pose,” said Slater.
It started with a Facebook group called #SheLovesBeer with 10 members.
“It has grown to 89 vivacious, smart, beer-loving (women). The campaign aims to create a dialogue that celebrates women and gives them a way to engage with beer in a positive and uplifting way. It also aims to provide the opportunity to connect, share, learn, inspire and educate,” she said.
Slater wants to portray the women who work in the industry in an authentic way, showing how many are on equal terms with men.
She also hopes to debunk stereotypes around women and drinking, such as women “only drink pink drinks”, that beer is fattening and bitter and not for women.
Slater arrived at Beerhouse three years ago, after working in the financial services industry in the UK.
She saw the beer industry as an opportunity. She works with her husband, Murray Slater, the product and training manager at Beerhouse. She is the performance improvement manager.
“I thought we would have killed each other by now,” she said. “It is actually so nice to work with someone I trust. I call him the beer whisperer”.
Slater finds herself annoyed at beer-related events when people assume she is just Slater’s plus one.
“People become shocked when they find out I have knowledge and interest about beer. Like any woman working in a male-dominated industry you experience challenges. There was a time where I was the only women working with six men. You could see in that environment that I was expected to be the caregiver,” said Slater.
The campaign will launch on Women’s Day to recognise the women who are leading the beer revolution and to inspire more to join them.