CAMFA Series #1: Color

CAMFA is a program Women Enjoying Beer created and developed to help teach internal (within your company) and external (consumers) customers about beer. Educated beer sellers, servers and tenders as well as educated consumers are a boon to us all.

Today is the first of 5 in this series to dig a bit deeper on why CAMFA is important, can make a big difference in the knowledge base of your internal and external clients and therefore support and grow business.

CAMFA C = Color

When people think about color of beer, hopefully it’s more of the ‘colors’ of beer – plural. Beer color comes from the ingredients and primarily from the grain used in the process. Of course the other ingredients can play a part as well, albeit much more nominally.

When WEB hosts events, speaks, and educates, we encourage people to not be a beer racist. That is – to not judge your beer by its color. That’d be just as bad as any other color racism.

Color can give us some ideas of what MIGHT be in the glass, what flavor/s we MAY encounter and enjoy, or be indicators of other characteristics of the beer experience we’re going to engage in.

That said, color is only color. Color is not necessarily flavor or body or mouthfeel or alcohol content or aroma. WEB feels it’s very important to make sure people don’t always equate certain colors of a beer with anticipated or expected flavors and so forth.

Would you agree that someone asking for a ‘dark beer’ may or may not really understand what they want? Are they making the assumption that all dark colored beers are robust, high in alcohol or otherwise all lumpable into the same narrow definition? That’d be incorrect, shortsighted and opportunity missed.

Don't judge your beer by the color

The same goes for ‘light beer’. One thing about using the word ‘light’ in beer descriptions is that there is a misnomer that light beer is only light color and light flavor hand in hand. Once again, implementing beer racism of any sort, dark to light and back again, is something the beer community needs to continue to work to change.

With all the chatter and discourse, writing and blogging that swirls around craft/beer these days, to pigeon hole any kind of beer because of its color is doing yourself, your tastebuds and of course the beer a disservice.

What a great idea it’d be if we all drank our fresh, high quality beer – no matter what it was – from opaque vessels or were blind when we partook? Then we wouldn’t have any beer racism.

For now, be sure to educate on what color of beer means, how it got there and how diverse your beer can be no matter what color it is (in relation to other aspects of the beer experience).

Tomorrow: CAMFA Series #2: Aroma

Recommended Resource: Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines



CAMFA – Let's Cover Color

What can color tell us about our beer?

C = Color

It may tell us what kind of malted barley’s were used. It can tell us – perhaps – what flavors we might encounter.

Are there hard and fast rules to what color indicates which flavor or hoppiness or alcohol content? No – nothing  absolute. Can it give us an idea? Sometimes, yes.

With color we can consider hue, Lovibond, opacity, and clarity of the beer. Can these things tell us something? Go back and start at the top of this post.

CAMFA = Color Aroma Mouthfeel Flavor Alcohol.

Here are few good resources on Color, the “C” of Women Enjoying Beer’s CAMFA concept.

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Debunk Beer Myths

Debunk the things you think are myths to you. Let me give you a few examples of myths WEB is working on debunking.

1. Women Like Beer. This is the truth. This is the truth for women who are independent thinkers, have friends (of all genders) supporting their choices, have been given the opportunity to learn about beer, have not been patronized or slighted, have been invited into the conversations about beer. If you’re a beer oriented business, you better get a move on in properly including women. Hint: Beer is not a gender product; it’s a passion product. Sell it sexless.

2. Women are Women. Not Girls (this is a bad choice of group title), Chicks (so is this – especially since is soft porn…connection anyone??), Babes, Broads, of Ladies. DO NOT trade out sex for intelligence. Men don’t call themselves the Dick Drinkers, Beer for Boys, or other gender labeled titles…why would women subject themselves to these titles?? If you’re part of one of these groups, I strongly recommend renaming the group. It’s not important what you think a name is clever. What’s important is what resonates and how it speaks to the rest of the population. Step outside yourself when you name a group to see how it could be interpreted. Sexism in the beer world is sadly partially perpetuated by women – these titles are counter productive.  This is a good naming example.

3. Color does not equate universally to flavor. If I had a dollar for every time someone says they don’t want or do want a ‘dark beer’, I could fly my entire monthly WEB meet up to Belgium. Twice a year. AAAUGGGHHH!!! Color is related to color of ingredients, specifically the roasted (or kilned) level of the malted barley or other ingredients that have color to them. Yes, there are relations yet not foregone conclusions. Drink blindly. Don’t be a beer racist.

Go forth and debunk.