I’m not sure why we didn’t write about this sooner.
Maybe it’s because the notion that a breastaurant chain that prides itself on having waitresses with “signature ‘Girl Next Door’ charisma and playful personalities” serving draft beer at a “teeth-chattering 29 degrees” may be doing a disservice to women or the culture of craft beer in Texas arguably goes without saying.
Maybe it’s because prior to this you actually had to go into a Twin Peaks to try their beers, with charming names like Dirty Blonde, Knotty Brunette and Gold Digger.
Maybe it’s because we all kind of got a slick sense of satisfaction seeing that even though they brought in a small army of booth babes to the Texas Craft Brewers Festival this fall to lure in would-be samplers, the Twin Peaks line was a relative ghost town as beer fans flocked to Jester King, Lakewood, Austin Beerworks and other buzz-worthy breweries putting quality first.
At any rate, news that the Irving location of the national Twin Peaks chain, which was granted a brewpub license last July, will now be distributing their beer across Dallas-Fort Worth in what they are calling 16 oz “Man Cans” was enough to take fingers to keys.
That’s because there’s something profoundly icky about a brewery that touts its beers as “man-crafted” and served in “man cans” while the beer names reduce women down to tired bedroom personas associated with hair color and money grubbing. There’s also something troubling about the idea that these beers are distinctly crafted by big, strong, lumberjack-like men (as the logo suggests), yet served by a scantily-clad all-female waitstaff. ‘Cause, you know, men make things, and women just try to look good while serving them, ya hear?
Equating the size of a beer with masculinity (or the lack thereof, for that matter) isn’t a new thing for the Twin Peaks chain. As one Atlanta-based food writer notes, when you visit one of the restaurants, “you have to make a critical choice that will certainly call your manhood into question: ‘girl-size’ or ‘man-size’? A sissy girl size beer comes in a 10-ounce mug, but a big, strong man beer is 22 ounces.”
It’s a distinction that’s frankly just as insulting to men as it is to women. That all it takes for a woman to be stripped of her femininity is 12 extra ounces of
brain freeze beer, and, by the same token, men are emasculated for deciding to opt for a smaller pour, no matter what kind of responsibility might have motivated that choice.
Let it be said that changing the culture of Twin Peaks as a whole, or the casual brestaurant dining phenomenon that encompasses other chains like Hooters, Bikins, etc., is a lofty (and probably deluded) idea that will not come to fruition as long as men go there to feed “the stomach and the ego at the same time” (y’all, that is actually a DIRECT QUOTE from the “Own a Franchise” page of Twin Peak’s corporate website, so….at least they’re self aware?) but we should all think long and hard before letting these kinds of outdated tactics marketed at the lowest common denominator bros in the bunch start to creep in to Texas craft beer, an industry that has by and large (with a few notable exceptions) relied on quality and integrity of craft.
So, on that note, Texas ladies (and men, for that matter), if you think your oh-so-delicate constitutions can handle it, I’d recommend opting for a can of Martin House Brewing Company Day Break, or the latest Austin Beerworks Heavy Machinery release instead, both terrific beers brewed right here in Texas, and packaged in 16oz cans by brewers who believe you’re actually capable of drinking them.
While you do that, I’ll be here, waiting for some internet bros to call me a lesbian for writing this.
Disclaimer: This article is referencing the Irving location of the national Twin Peaks chain which recently began operating as a brewpub, not to be confused with Twin Peaks Brewing and Malting Co. in Port Angeles, Washington which is unaffiliated with this brewpub and the Twin Peaks Restaurant chain as a whole.