Tara Nurin writes about women and beer for the Ale Street News and Draft Magazine.

Beer isn't just for boys anymore.

The growing popularity of food-friendly craft beers and renovations that help women feel more at home in brew pubs are making malty pop more attractive to ladies. And women in turn are embracing champagne's more savory cousin, says beer columnist Tara Nurin

"Currently, only about 25 percent of women actively drink beer," she says, quoting industry figures. "So it's a huge untapped market and more women are tasting and being converted to beer every minute. Typically, craft breweries don't use the objectification of women as an advertising vehicle, so women don't feel alienated, they're more gender-inclusive."

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Nurin founded Beer for Babes, a social and education group for women that includes a chapter at Harry's Oyster Bar in Caesars Atlantic City. There's no membership fee, just beer-education events like the two she's presenting Wednesday night at Tango's for Tropicana Casino and Resort's "Beer Week," which includes beer specials and other events throughout The Quarter starting Monday.

Nurin says beer enthusiasts love to chat about the microbreweries they've discovered. She's heard less talk of beer cocktails and the finer points of pairing beer with chocolate, but no worries, this "beer crusader" is happy to explain that to both men and women of drinking age.

For example, white and milk chocolate are "so adulterated" with sugar and butter, you're better off matching dark chocolate with a framboise Belgian ale or a Flemish red from Rodenbach. If you just love milk chocolate, try a vanilla porter, such as the Lienenkugel Snow Drift Vanilla Porter on tap at Tango's.

"The easiest (beer cocktail) is a beer-mosa," she explains. "You replace the sparkling wine with a Belgian wheat beer, pour orange juice on top with an orange slice, and you can garnish it with mint leaves and raspberries.

"A beer float is a fairly easy one … but it's easier to mess up," she says, suggesting a Russian Imperial stout like Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewery, and naturally flavored ice cream, such as Breyers' Natural Vanilla. "When you're garnishing the glass, you can be more creative with a stout. I'd probably mix some semisweet chocolate powder with crystalized sugar and garnish the glass with that."

She'll also talk about beers that are like a dessert all on their own, such as the honey-flavored Dogfish Head Midas Touch; Ommegang Brewery's sweet-cherry Three Philosophers; Old Rasputin, a darkly fruity stout from North Coast Brewing Co.; and Great Divide Brewing Company's Barrel Aged Yeti, which tastes like roasted chocolate and coffee.

Contact Felicia Compian:

609-272-7209, FCompian@pressofac.com

Beer Week

Tropicana Casino and Resort,

2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City

Various events and specials, including beer tastings, beer-themed dinners, a beer tour and more today to Friday. Call 800-345-8767 or see

Beer & Chocolate Pairing with Tara Nurin,

7 p.m., Wednesday, Tango's, free chcoclate with beer purchase

Beer Cocktails, 9 p.m., Wednesday, Tango's, free

Beer for Babes


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