Wanted: Female beer drinkers

CAMRA summons Ninkasi, calls on women to try real ale

Aug 6, 2002 - Britain's Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has launched a new campaign to encourage women to try real cask ale, Britain's traditional pub drink. It features a modern version of "Ninkasi" -- the 4000-year-old Sumerian Goddess of Beer.


The CAMRA campaign is a key feature at this week's Great British Beer Festival and includes a 60-foot banner and life-size cut outs of the Goddess of Beer as well as a "live" appearance by Ninkasi. This is supported by posters, beermats and leaflets in thousands of pubs across the country.

"We think real British beer is something to be proud of and it should be marketed to women as well as men," said CAMRA's Mike Benner. "Almost all the advertising we see on our TV a real turn off for women. Ninkasi, the new Goddess of British beer, is here to change all that."

Ninkasi, worshipped by one of the world's earliest civilizations, is thought to be one of the early brewers of beer. She was worshipped by both men and women at a time when ale was made and served exclusively by women.

CAMRA decided to adopt the cult after its research revealed that less than a quarter of British women had tried real cask ale in a pub, Benner said. The research found:

* Over one fifth (22%) of women don't drink real cask ale because it isn't promoted to them
* 17% of women think it is "old fashioned"
* 29% don't try it because their friends don't drink it
* 17% think it will make them fat!
* Only 23% of women have tried real ale in a pub
* 19% of women would try real cask ale if it were served in more stylish and fashionable glasses

On Tuesday, CAMRA introduced 10 "female friendly" ales at the GBBF. They are:

Brains Dark - Cardiff - 3.5% alcohol by volume - dark brown mild, sweet mix of caramel and roast malt flavors.
Caledonian Golden Promise - Edinburgh - 4.5% - the first organic British beer, floral and fruity and quite hoppy.
Hop Back Summer Lightning - Salisbury - 5% - fresh and hoppy, light almost lager coloured which is quite dry.
Oakham JHB - Peterborough - 3.8% - straw coloured bitter which is floral with grapefruit and kiwi flavours, a firm favorite with most real ale drinkers.
St Austell Tribute - Cornwall - 4.2% - full bodied and malty with fresh citrus nose.
Taylor Landlord - West Yorkshire - 4.3% - well balanced and dry bitter which is spicy and hoppy.
Charles Wells Banana Bread Beer - Bedford - 5% - launched last year, quite sweet and tastes and smells of bananas.
Woodfordes Nelsons Revenge - 4.5%- Norwich - very fruity with creamy malt flavors.
Youngs Waggle Dance - London - 5% - brewed with honey.
Beartown Wheat Beer - Congleton, Cheshire - 5% - dry and bitter wheat beer.

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