To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, we’ve once again spoken to a select few of the many inspirational women working within the craft beer industry today. This time we spoke to Wander Beyond Designer Tina, the creative force behind the award-winning brewery’s otherworldly aesthetic. Discover more interviews and Women in Beer content here.
Why do you think it’s important that we have a day that celebrates women?
I think it’s important to celebrate the achievements of both women and men and to me, IWD is a step towards celebrating equality rather than a specific gender. Having specific days like IWD and IMD helps people stop and think about issues that may not turn up in conversation for everyone in everyday life.
What are you enjoying drinking at the moment? What is your go-to beer?
We’re often very busy at the brewery so my go-to beers at the minute have to be local. We’re very lucky to have our brewery a 5-minute walk from Cloudwater and Track, I love nipping round after work to try their latest hoppy creations or fresh sours. The quality of beers from both these guys is always top so it’s comforting to know whatever you choose will taste great and how it should. Also, we always have a little stash of something dark, imperial and preferably barrel aged to drink at home
What do you love about craft beer?
I love the diverse amount of beers out there and how much everyone is pushing the style boundaries at the minute. I also love the different places it can take you, whether that’s different countries you’ve never been to or places right on your doorstep you wouldn’t have known existed.
Saying that, the longer I’m in the industry, the more it becomes about the people and the friends you make along the way. We all have this giant thing in common but we’re all so different, it’s never boring!”
As an industry how can we encourage more women to get involved in craft beer?
I’d say to anyone new to the scene, try lots of different beer styles and check out some of the great festivals and events. There’s always a beer to fall in love with and always an event right up your street.
From personal experience, I’ve found the craft beer scene to be very welcoming and inclusive to both women and men, beer cicerones and beer novices, so I’d also say don’t be nervous about being new or not knowing anything or anyone!
One of my favourite things at a beer festival is to be approached by someone who ‘doesn’t like beer’ but has been dragged along with friends and they ‘may as well try something’ whilst they’re there. I’ve had several occasions where I’ve given them tasters of all sorts of different styles and then they’ve fallen in love with at least one of the beers.
How do you see the role of women in craft evolving as the wider public becomes more aware of the high-profile examples of mistreatment of women at the hands of powerful and influential men?
I think the main thing we will see is more of an equal split between genders in the craft beer industry in the next few years. Speaking from my experience working in small-medium craft breweries, I’ve seen lots of breweries already have women working in them but they are still made up of more men than women. This isn’t because the craft beer industry doesn’t want to employ as many women, or that we don’t think they’re as good, it’s just we don’t always see as many women applying for brewery jobs. This is already changing and I’d expect to see the distribution of genders to be more equal in the coming years, throughout all the different roles within a brewery. This change in diversity will hopefully set a good example of equality for other industries.
Can you talk us through your creative process?
When we began the team all had a love for the outdoors and adventure in common so my artwork personifies brewing ingredients to explore and play with that.
The idea behind each beer specifically comes from all over depending on what’s going on at the time, where I’ve been, a dream I’ve had, the conversations I’ve been involved in. An idea can come as an ‘aha’ moment or it can slip in subliminally. For example, recently I’ve been working on the idea for some barrel releases where the artwork features a variety of felines, it wasn’t until after I’d finished the first pump clip that I released the idea had probably stemmed from a conversation I’d had with a friend a couple of days prior about her dopey but amazing cat.
I’ve always loved drawing so once I’ve got an idea the next bit is always heavily hand drawn. Sometimes I’ll sketch up ideas on paper and other times I’ll go straight to drawing digitally on my Wacom tablet. I then mess around with colour schemes and positioning/composition.
Finally, I always show my work to the other members of my team where possible. As we’re such a close team it’s important to me to gauge their reactions and make sure everyone’s happy with what I’ve made. This inclusivity is a bit of a theme in our brewery, from recipe design to imagery ideas, everyone can have a say on what happens, this makes the end beer really exciting and something we’re all proud of.
How do you think design in the craft beer world can challenge gender stereotypes?
Design is a powerful medium, it has the ability to influence and change peoples minds. With the craft beer audience becoming so varied and widespread, we have an outlet that can influence a lot of people, we need to be mindful of the messages we portray.
Through education, conversation and an expansion in our market, it’s widely accepted now that our industry doesn’t need explicit, demeaning or sexist imagery to sell anymore. The values and ethos of a company are important and a product should be promoted responsibly.
As designers, when we do portray gender in our artwork it’s up to us to challenge gender stereotypes and explore not only gender but identity as a whole, tackling all sorts of inequalities and stereotypes.
We are also in the position to create design without gender or any bias, most of my work tends to have no gender, our little hops characters aren’t boys or girls they’re simply a Citra hop or a Simcoe hop, that identity seems to work for them!