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Become a Pro Drinker With Help From The Beer Chicks

You know those girls who love sports -- and not just because the players are cute -- or the ones who always order up a beer, as others meekly request cosmos and appletinis?  We generally do not like these types of girls due to the swoon-inducing effect they have on men.  Did we mention that they're also often total babes?  Well, lately we're having to swallow our petty jealousies a bit due to a recent introduction to The Beer Chicks, a.k.a. Christina Perozzi and Halle Beaune, a.k.a. total babes who not only love beer but know almost everything there is to know about it. They pioneered the 'beer sommelier' space, and they have a blog, one published book (The Naked Pint), and one upcoming book (The Naked Brewerout in October) to show for their inarguable awesomeness.  Since our beer knowledge is limited to "I think I like Hefeweizen," we've asked them to give us a little education on the matter today.  

BGG: What are your favorite beers?

Hallie: I love a Saison, a Belgian-style beer with notes of lemon and pepper and a dry finish that goes well with food.

Christina: Lately, I’ve been a huge fan of a relatively new style called Belgian IPA.  It's complex and malty like a Belgian Abbey Ale, but then it finishes with big dry and bitter American hops.  It's the best of both worlds.

BGG: What are some basics we should know about beer pairing?

Think about the beer as an additional ingredient.  Pick out the notes in the nose and flavor of the beer: lemon, pine, grapefruit, chocolate etc.  Then, think about the dish and whether those notes would go well with the food.  Sometimes the flavors of the beer will parallel the flavors in the dish, other times it’s beneficial to pick something that cuts through the flavors in the food, like a crisp, bitter, citrusy IPA with a rich, fatty meat dish.

BGG: How is it different from wine pairing, or are there a lot of similarities?

It’s similar in that you think of flavor notes and the nose of the beverage and how that works with the food, but beer has a wider range of ingredients and therefore flavors.   For example, beer can be paired with asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms, sour cherries, etc. (foods that are traditionally difficult wine pairings) so you can create some crazy pairings.  Beer, unlike wine, also has the benefit of bubbles, which work very well with spicy and heavy dishes.

BGG: What are some classic beer pairings that always work well?

Belgian White Ale with mussels, piney-hoppy bitter IPA with a bacon cheeseburger, English Barleywine with blue cheese, and Russian Imperial Stout with a scoop of gelato in it.

BGG: What are some common mistakes people should avoid while pairing?

Don’t be afraid to experiment!  Some of the best pairings come from crazy ideas and happy accidents.  Don’t adhere too much to the rules.

BGG: What's your favorite super cheap beer, or are they all pretty terrible?

The cheap beer that’s in front of us.

BGG: Are there any beer cocktails you like, or is that just disgusting?

We’re fans of beer cocktails actually. As long as they’re well-made, just like any cocktail.  We love a Michelada, which usually uses a light lager of some sort and has a combination of lime juice, salt, and hot sauce -- it's a great brunch beer cocktail!  We recently had a beer cocktail made with stout, rum, egg white, and nutmeg -- that was fantastic!

BGG: Any little-known facts you've learned about beer from your profession?

Beer has health benefits!  Fiber, antioxidants from the hops, vitamin b from the yeast, and lowered stress from the nip of alcohol...

BGG: How exactly does one even become a beer sommelier? We think it might be our calling!

You drink a lot of beer!  We started doing this a long time ago before there were programs to learn about beer as a wine sommelier would.  We came up with the term ‘beer sommelier’ because it seemed to be the quickest way to explain what we do.  Basically it’s like anything, you read a lot, taste a lot, learn from professionals, do beer-pairing dinners, etc.  Now there are courses like the ‘Cicerone’ that test you on all of the details.

BGG: Finally, we'd love to know what you'd pair with this Eggplant Parmesan Pizza recipe from Mulberry Street Pizzeria. We are trying to ensure that our boyfriends still love us, and this pizza paired with the perfect beer seems to be a good way to do it. 

We love eggplant parm!  We’d recommend a Saison Foret, which is a Belgian Saison with notes of pepper and lemon and a dry finish that can stand up to the acid in a tomato sauce.  It should pick up on the pepper and herbaceous notes of the oregano while adding a bright, effervescent note and a dry finish.   A bonus is that it comes in a beautiful 750ml bottle complete with cork and cage, yet it costs far less than a fancy Italian or French red wine -- craft beer is great for a budget!!


Is beer quite possibly your most favorite thing in the world, and this article has you salivating in all sorts of ways? Why not throw a beer-tasting party? Check out the Broke Girl's Guide to throwing one on the cheap at


Apr 03, 2012 - 06:54 AM

recipes, cheap drinks, interviews