Hallie Beaune, left, and Christina Perozzi stop by Cole's (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles…)
Hallie Beaune and Christina Perozzi have several ambitions for Saturday's LA Craft Beer Crawl downtown. One is to improve upon the traditional drink order of heartbroken country stars: a shot and a beer, repeated as necessary.
"A shot and a beer is a pretty well-known order, but the beer is always crappy," Beaune said. As professional beer sommeliers under the mantle of the Beer Chicks, this naturally wouldn't suffice. So at the crawl, they're hosting a panel on high-end beer and whiskey pairings to remedy that. "Once people get into the craftiness of any drink, the idea of paying attention to what you're drinking becomes a way of life," she said.
The third-annual crawl commandeers the many downtown bars owned by Cedd Moses' 213 Nightlife group to showcase dozens of local and national microbrews, alongside panels on L.A.'s metastasizing beer culture. If downtown L.A. already seems like a safari for the bendy-elbows crowd, Perozzi and Beaune want fans to hunt bigger game.
They've curated a strong list of locals (Eagle Rock Brewing Co., Hangar 24, Black Market and Smog City, among them) and national breweries, and guests can rove the Historic Core sampling from each at the 213 network of bars — Cole's, Casey's, Seven Grand, Golden Gopher and the like. Although it's nigh impossible to find a bar in L.A. that doesn't carry at least a few decent taps today, the crawl focuses on exploring and learning about new favorites in a walkable, easygoing scene.
The panel talks — gallivants through sour beers such as Guezes and Lambics, Italian beers that are finally matching the country's culinary reputation, and the beer pairings with Highland Park whiskeys (from Scotland, not northeastern L.A.), pivot off all the recent interest in good beer to broaden palates even further. But the Beer Chicks don't neglect the old adage that beer is proof your deity wants you to be happy.
"There is a cult of specialty beer," Perozzi said. "But beer is for the people and it's supposed to be fun. It doesn't have to be about the dude in his basement with all the home-brewing equipment. We love that dude too, though. "