Men Explain Beer

And now for something completely different. I would like you to imagine a scenario.

A woman goes up to the bar and studies the beer selection. In the absence of any detailed information on the beers, she asks the bartender for advice.

“What kind of ale is this?” She asks.

“It’s a real ale,” he answers.

This is an answer, but probably not the answer she was looking for. A real ale could be a stout, a porter, a mild, a bitter, a golden, or any one of a number of other variations. Seeing that she is not going to get any more useful information, she decides to try a different method.

“Can I try it?” She asks.

Now the purpose of the bartender telling her only that the beer is a real ale is to let her know that it is not for people like her. This becomes apparent from his next answer.

“If you like lager, your probably wouldn’t like it. It’s an acquired taste.”

At this point the woman (who is this instance is Kamala, but could be any woman who enjoys beer) samples the beer, ascertains that it is a golden ale, orders a pint and drinks it. Because she does like lager, but she also likes golden ales, and stouts and porters and the many other beers which fall under the umbrella of ‘real ale’.

This is sadly, all too common an occurrence for women who drink beer.

A few weeks ago I was in a bar with some friends, and got chatting to a man at the bar.

“Oh you’re drinking stout?” I said, about to ask him how it was as I was considering ordering a pint myself.

“No, no.” He said. “This is a very special oatmeal beer.”

At this point I could have told him everything I know about oatmeal stout, and everything I know about mansplaining, but instead I foolishly told him I write a blog about beer, at which point I became officially desirable and had to spend the rest of the evening dodging his advances.

I have, of course, had positive experiences discussing beer with men, on both sides of the bar. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a conversation with a fellow beer enthusiast. But the kind of conversation I’ve detailed above needs to stop. Men do not need to explain beer to women.


The Great South London Brewery Crawl: Part Four (BrewDog Clapham Junction)

Apparently we can’t resist BrewDog. We included the Aberdeenshire brewery’s Camden bar in our very first brewery crawl in North London, and as Kamala and I stumbled towards Clapham Junction station at the end of The Great South London Brewery Crawl we happened upon the Clapham Junction branch of BrewDog. What could we do but taste some beers?

The Beers


L-R: Kingpin, Dead Pony Club, 5AM Saint, Jet Black Heart

At BrewDog Camden, we had mistakenly tried a selection of non-BrewDog beers, so this time we sampled only house brews.

Kingpin Lager

Julie: It’s basically just a lager, and I feel like this blog is ruining my appreciation for ordinary lager. I have nothing bad to say about this, but also not much good. 6/10

Kamala: It’s crisp and avoids the sharp flat taste we’ve had a lot of today. I feel like I could drink 10 pints, though that’s not necessarily a good thing. 6/10

Dead Pony Club

J: It definitely has some bitter notes, but is also quite flavourful. I’ve tasted some better IPAs today so I have to mark it down. 6/10

K: Best beer of the day! Fruity but not a snakebite. Bitter but not sherbet. The Mecca of beer. 8/10

5AM Saint

J: This is less bitter than the Dead Pony Club, and has more flavour, although it’s still quite hoppy. 7/10

K: The name is giving me flashbacks to last night. I can’t think of anything else… 7/10

Jet Black Heart

J: It’s like drinking cold coffee. Very smooth, but I like my beer with a bit more fizz. 6/10

K: This is the coffee I missed out on this morning. It really is the espresso martini of the beer world. 6/10

The Ambience

J: It’s weirdly quiet for a Saturday night, I’ve knocked points off for the lack of tater tots (our favourite item on the Camden menu) and the weird men sharing our table, but added them on for the flights and the friendly staff. 7/10

K: I’m sitting and they have flights, which makes me happy. But there are men talking about sex next to us…do men even have sex? 6/10

For more information on BrewDog, and specifically their Clapham Junction branch, go to

Next time on Beers and Bouts we remain in South London with the Bermondsey Mile.