RECENTLY, THE online world was buzzing about a ‘women-only’ beer club. The ‘Smarty Pints Society’, as it is cheekily christened, has been launched in the capital by renowned beverage expert Karina Aggarwal and aims to provide a platform to women to get together and enjoy a pint of beer, while being educated about it. There were many poignant facets to that last statement, so allow me to dissect and illustrate.
The fact that the capital needs spaces where women feel safe can’t be over-stressed enough and that would explain the overwhelming response the launch announcement received. It was an occasion that allowed women to come together, an event, which wasn’t in any way related to a high-brow book club or an often-scoffed kitty party. It also passed around a good pint, and this was all too good to be true.
Then there was the part about beer. In my career, I have met more women who enjoy their brew than people with the ‘beer-is-for-men’ mindset—and, mind you, there is a lot of that scum festering out there. In a country where nationalism today is measured by what we eat, drink (or not) and chant, admitting to enjoying a drink is akin to sleeping with the enemy in public! And if we all had a brick for every time an ignorant bartender proudly proclaimed some flaky syrupy pink concoction as “one for the ladies”, we could all build our personal amphitheatres.
Beer (or whisky) is as much joy to women as to men. In fact, given how women are genetically more gifted when it comes to matters of taste—their palates are more sensitive and equipped—they perhaps relish it even more. What allows one to assume that they are only cut out for vodka and other tasteless flavourless onslaughts is beyond any intellectual rumination.
And finally, there was the point about a club, nay, a society, being formed to appreciate this beverage. Beer has always had it tough. Everyone loves it and craves it on a hot day and yet, when it comes to appreciation, we think beer deserves the ‘second-cousin’ treatment. It’s strange that something we feel so friendly and familiar with doesn’t manage to incite our interest to explore it more. On the other hand, wine, single malts, Cognacs, etc—stuff that intimidates more than half the people in all the bars in the world at any given point—we seem to put on a pedestal and revere. I guess mystery does translate to awe and acclaim.
So it is a rare privilege to be writing about a women-only beer club being launched in the capital. Aggarwal’s efforts are timely and well thought-out. I know her style and can vouch for her success at seamlessly blending knowledge with fun. If initial responses are anything to go by, this looks like a successful venture, not the kind one measures in profits and numbers, but the social success that our society desperately needs.
The only lament then is that I and a few million of my brethren might never make it to the club. But wait, Aggarwal says she plans to have ‘bring a boy’ evenings when members can tag one along. Now, the Smarty Pints Society sounds perfect.
The writer is a sommelier