Dec 5, 2021
Melissa Hidalgo might be the smartest beer person I know. She has a Ph.D in Literature from U.C. San Diego; is currently a professor of women’s, gender, and ethnic studies at California State University, Long Beach; and, if she wasn’t busy enough with her work in academia, she’s also a longtime beer writer who often goes by the pseudonym Dr. Beer Butch.
Melissa has been writing about beer for over 10 years, but it was a pint of Guinness that started her beer journey well before that. As a Los Angeles native, she was an early organizer of queer spaces in her local community, helping to form a beer education social club called Queers and Beers, as well as a blog called Butch’s Brew, all with the intent of taking up space in what was then, and could still very well be considered, an extremely white, cis, male beer scene.
As a freelance writer, Melissa mostly writes about beer for L.A. Taco, but her desire to tell stories about people, history, and culture transcend food and drink. In our conversation today, you’ll hear her tell her own experience and journey into beer, the prejudices she’s had to overcome in order to explore the industry she loves, what’s changed over the years (as well as what hasn’t), who inspires her, and the preciousness of human connections through a shared passion.