Food & Drink

On Tap at Bangers & Lace

An Interview with Cicerone Ria Neri

bangers & lace beer program!

Apparently, beer is the new black. Case in point: Certified cicerones (essentially brew sommeliers) are coming out of the woodwork. We tracked down Ria Neri, the woman behind the beer program at soon-to-open pub ’n’ grub Bangers & Lace in Wicker Park, for details.

How did you get into beer?
I was into home brewing first. I figured getting my certification was the next natural step.

What are you doing for Bangers & Lace?
All of our bartenders have to take a test to be certified beer servers. I want people to learn about what they’re drinking (if they want to).

Tell us about some of the beer you chose.
I picked mostly North American beers. Because I took taste as well as location into consideration, I threw in some Belgian and German varieties. All of the beer pairs well with food.

Have anything extra special on draft?
We’ve got 32 on draft. Dogfish Head’s Palo Santo is brewed in the biggest wooden brewing vessel built in America since pre-Prohibition. It’s aged in South American wood for an oaky, malty flavor. Ommegang’s Cup of Kindness is in limited release. It’s a Scottish ale: robust, malty, sweeter, smoky, and peaty. From Goose Island’s Fulton & Wood series, we carry Minx, a Belgian-style Double IPA, and Dominique, which is like a sour Matilda.

Anything else?
We have themed six-packs that we’re storing in an antique cooler. Try one or get a tasting of all six. Our opening theme is barrel-aged beers.

Bangers & Lace, 1670 West Division Street, at Paulina Street (773-252-6499 or bangersandlacechicago.com).

Photo: Simon Cocks / Flickr

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1670 W Division St
@ Paulina St
Chicago, IL 60622