Monday, November 2, 2009


My writing partner, Hallie Beaune, and I - aka your favorite beer chicks - are guest bloggers this week on The Penguin Group's blog! Check out what we wrote about how our relationship with beer went from hate to pure unadulterated love.

Our Love Affair with Beer
Monday, 11/02/2009

(View entire post here)

People ask us all the time, while wearing thinly veiled expressions of shock and bewilderment, how it is that two young [sic] women became beer experts? We are, in turn, often surprised by this amazement, but have discovered, through many heart to heart discussions with these people, a somewhat universal, preconceived notion of how one becomes a beer expert. It goes a little something like this: Two small babies are sitting in an empty wading pool playing with their Malibu Barbies (heads only) in the dusty backyard of a shotgun shack. They see their Uncle Billy Bob/Billy Ray/Bobby Joe, staggering in his sweat-stained, wife-beater t-shirt, take a big swig of Coors Lite and then smash the can on his forehead. Right then and there, the two dirty babies look at each other knowingly, both thinking the same thing... when we grow up, we wanna be beer experts!

While it's true, we were "different" girls - the kind who liked football and muscle cars (Christina), and who dressed up as The Phantom of the Opera for Halloween (Hallie) - when we imagined what our future lives would hold, our dreams were filled with the classics: ballet shoes and Academy Awards, not bottles of artisanal craft beer. Beer wasn't even a glimmer in our wide eyes. We didn't seek it out, and it certainly wasn't something we expected.

Our real love story with Beer is kind of "When Harry Met Sally"-esque. When we first met Beer, we hated it, yet were mildly intrigued by it. And over the next couple of years when we'd run into Beer again, our opinion of it didn't improve much. The Beer we knew lacked substance, it thought it was the best thing around, it just wanted to keep things "light," it just wanted to get us drunk and take advantage of us. But then one day, much later, Beer approached us in a different way, with charisma and style. It had depth and originality, it was interesting and diverse. It began to reveal its secrets to us. We found that Beer actually had many layers and flavors we hadn't known before. It was more than just blustering machismo. So we decided to give Beer a chance, and discovered that when Beer was being true to itself, when it wasn't trying to water itself down to the lowest common denominator, we actually liked Beer. A lot.

Then we started socializing with Beer, not thinking too much about the impact it was having on our lives, but all the while growing closer and closer to Beer. Before we realized it, we were ignoring our old friends - like that sweet, cute Apple Martini and sneaky strong Harvey Wallbanger, who was always good for a laugh - and spending a great deal of time with Beer. We denied it of course, but we were falling in love with Beer. And becoming intimate with Beer was bringing other wonderful things into our lives, like the taste for nuance in finely crafted food, local quality ingredients, well-made wine and spirits, cave-aged cheeses, complex chocolates, etc. Beer kept bringing us these wonderful gifts. Whether it was the sour ale made from cherries growing in a small Wisconsin town that seduced us, or the Belgian-style Triple brewed with sage picked from a brewer's backyard, craft beer continued and continues to reveal to us an endless variety of flavors, it keeps us interested and coming back for more.

We want everyone to share in this passionate experience of knowing craft beer. When you open yourself up to the wide world of craft beer you'll find a love that you can't deny, and a favorite beer all your own. Harry said it to Sally, and we said it to beer, "You know, the first time we met, I really didn't like you that much." This week we hope to enlighten your lives one beer at a time. It took Harry and Sally 12 years and three months. It might only take you one sip.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Christina! Great post, it’s really interesting to hear about the changing relationship you had with beer. I’m part of BitterSweet Partnership here in the UK, which was set up to address the fact that UK female beer drinkers are, percentage wise, lower than in many other countries. We’ve done some research and found that UK women are deterred from trying beer because of its reputation, which over here can be similar to the one you describe at the beginning of your post. We aim to help more women on a similar journey to the one you had – to enjoy beer as the charismatic, stylish drink that you and I know it is! Our website is at – it’d be great to hear what you think.