In 2008, Richardson resident Trina-Jo Pardo packed her bags and joined the Navy. At 18 years old, she was intent on traveling the country and doing her time so she could pay for college. But along the way, the petty officer second class discovered a new passion that would help steer the course of her post-service studies: craft beer.
"I liked beer, but I was more generally the Shock Top, Shiner kind of beer person," says Pardo, now 27. "I was stationed in San Diego for the last three years of my Navy career, and just being there opened my eyes to what beer should taste like."
Pardo is a soon-to-be graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas and known around town as the DallasBeerBabe, so named for the blog she started while in school. This summer, she'll take her drinking escapades on the road as one of World of Beer's "Drink It Interns."
Pardo is one of four people who were chosen from a pool of more than 7,000 applicants based on their social media savvy and love of all things craft beer. Applicants had to submit a one-minute video to be considered, then answer interview questions before a live panel of judges and submit another video in the final round. (She submitted a feature of the local Noble Cock collaboration beers between Four Corners Brewing Co. and Noble Rey Brewing Co.)
Pardo, who is also a beertender at Dallas' Four Corners, will spend three months documenting her beer-soaked travels for World of Beer on its website using videos, blog posts and its social media channels. This is a big deal for Pardo, who majored in journalism, corporate communications and public affairs at SMU.
As Drink It Interns, "we have full creativity range, which is really neat because I get to expand my creative knowledge and do these cool things I've learned at SMU and apply them to something I love, which is beer," she says.
Plus, the gig comes with a pretty stellar stipend: $12,000 to drink beer all summer. Be jealous.
Before Pardo embarks on her Drink It Internship, we caught up with her to hear about her favorite beers, bars and drink trends in Dallas.
If you were a beer style, which would you be?
"I would be a hoppy pale ale," Pardo says. "A pale ale that's more on the hoppy side because I feel like I'm really chill, I'm not as intimidating as IPA, but I still have the qualities to get the job done."
Trina-Jo's top three local beers:
- El Chingon IPA by Four Corners Brewing Co.
- Velvet Hammer imperial red ale by Peticolas Brewing Co.
- Extra Pulp IPA by Turning Point Beer, a forthcoming brewery in Bedford
Trina-Jo's top three local bars:
- Cold Beer Co. (Dallas)
- Double Wide (Dallas)
- Alamo Drafthouse (Dallas and Richardson), which — pro tip — serves $3 Texas beers on Tuesdays, she says.
What's the most underrated beer style, according to Trina-Jo? Brown ale.
"Not a lot of people give credit to browns," Pardo says. "It's not as strong as porter or stout as a flavor, but honestly I love a good brown because it's really mellow and it's a really relaxing beer. I think you can drink it when it's hot, you can drink it when it's cold. It goes with all the seasons."
And the most overrated style? Sour beers, she says.
"I feel like people make sours and then they get other people to say how much they love sours," Pardo says. "I'll drink 'em, but it's not something I'm like, ooh give me a sour. I'd rather drink a great pale ale."