Making My Rounds

It's been pretty slow in the beer events scene in Chicago since everyone is still in holiday recovery mode. For 2018 I have some new ideas to keep this site fresh, fun and full of information.  Until then, check me out on a couple of really cool podcasts. I ended 2017 on BeerDownload and kicked off 2018 on Chicago Beer Pass, It's pretty cool they let little ole me in on the fun to talk about BEER.  

 Photos Courtesy of  Beerdownload.com

Photos Courtesy of Beerdownload.com

 Photo courtesy of   Chicagobeerpass.com

Photo courtesy of  Chicagobeerpass.com

 

 

 

 

Chicago Beer Pass - AfroBeerChick

 

 

Happy Brew Year

 

Happy Brew Year, I hope you all were safe and partied hard at the same time. 2017 is now just a thing of the past that has left us with memories of great parties and new beers that hit the market. It was also the Year of the Haze so I am intrigued to see what 2018 has in store for us.

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I attended some kick-ass parties last year so it was only right that I ended the year at Brew Years Eve, a Lou Dog Event, that was held at Architectural Artifacts an 80,000 square feet antique shop that also doubles as an event space in Ravenswood. 2 floors of beautiful vintage furniture and decor  that you get to browse while drinking one of the 5 crafted cocktails, 10 breweries and 25 beers in the line up. Out of all of the beer listed, Half Acre Lead Feather was my beer of choice for the entire night, a black ale that hit you with chocolate and note of roasted coffee beans. Very well balanced in body and in taste.

 

 Photo courtesy of  Chicago Beer Pass

Photo courtesy of Chicago Beer Pass

The energy was high on the lower level, not just because of the drinks but also because of Run Forrest Run a 90’s cover band that paid tribute to the hottest songs of that decade, ranging from R&B to Pop.  I was quite impressed with their song selection and the ability to fully engage the crowd.

 

I have attended this party a couple of times before,  I had become used to the champagne toast at midnight, but unfortunately, that was not the case this year. At the stroke of midnight, you toasted with whatever you had in your keepsake Brew Years Eve glass, as hugs, kisses, and cheers filled the air. I was a pleasant night to end 2017 and to begin 2018.

 Photo courtesy of  Chicago Beer Pass

Photo courtesy of Chicago Beer Pass

 

 

For more info on upcoming  Lou Dog Events, go to www.loudogevents. The Chicago Ale Fest - Winter Edition will feature more than 150 American Craft Beers with a strong focus on beers only available in the winter on Saturday, January 20th. Use promo code BYE to save $10.00  per ticket. For more ticket information on Chicago Ale Fest, go to www.chicagoalefest.com

 

BeerHoptacular

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I know if I am gonna classify myself as a blogger, I’m going to have to stop dragging my ass and post my stories sooner (so my bad, I promise I will get better).  I’m slowly finding my way back into the beer scene after taking such a long hiatus and  have to get work out a better routine.  So while it should have been sooner, it is better late than never to share my last weekend adventures with you guys.

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On Saturday, November 4th, I ventured over to Cinespace Film Studios for my first  BeerHoptacular, a place that I have been acquainted with a few times, as a working makeup artist on a few projects, so I thought it was really dope that I would be able to go back and check it out as beer event, because I was used to seeing it set up as a production site.   While, Chicago’s weather was not our friend, with the heavy rain, it did not hinder the open and friendly vibe in the space.  When you walk into this massive space you see the breweries were along the walls and t-shirt merchants in the middle.  I really enjoyed  the fact that it was not overly crowded and you were able to move around freely within both sides of the connected studios.

 

Beer, Beer and More Beer! There were just too many beers to just run down, some of my top favs were from Lo Rez, Maplewood, Sun King and Half Acre. Goose Island was also on deck pouring up Bourbon County Stout, which is one of my staple favorites, outside of all those that I’ve named, Prairie Artisan Ales Paradise was my BeerHop fav of that day. It’s an imperial stout brewed with coconut and vanilla, it has a nice light aroma, in which the vanilla and coconut can be tasted but not overwhelming. While at the Beer Museum’s  table, I was able to sample for a very small donation,  Revolution’s Cafe Deth, a rare barrel aged Russian imperial stout release that was gifted to them for the event.  I have to admit towards the middle I started to lose sight of what I was drinking because I started to hit a wall because I found myself opting for the heavier beers, which has me thinking how in the world am I going to survive my first FoBAB.  

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As the party came to an end, I decided to make a quick trip across the parking lot to LaGunitas, for even more drinking (lol what better way to end a party then to drink even more). All in all, I had a damn good time at my first BeerHoptacular, I definitely plan on stepping up my game if I am gonna party with the big boys. Until then, I am mentally preparing myself for FoBAB, because I have heard many many things, that has me scared but yet excited.

Boobs & Craft Beer....Why?

First and foremost, let me issue some serious side eye to the content I am about to post because it just simply vexes my spirit.  I of course had to use  Prince the King of Side Eye, may he Rest In Peace.

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Now that I have gotten that out of the way, I want to ask, why is there soft porn to XXX craft beer IG accounts? Yes, I do understand these are personal IG accounts and people have every right to post what they wish, I just want to know why? This isn’t corporate beer, craft beer does not need a gimmick to gain the attention. Even though they are not representing an individual brewery, I just do not understand the purpose of showing a stout sitting on or sometimes in someone’s ass.  

 

Speaking from a woman’s perspective ( I mean last time I checked I was one), there is no need to sexualize craft beer, women are still trying to gain the notoriety and respect  in this industry, it is sometimes hard to be taken seriously when there is sex attached to women drinking beer. I feel this type of attention sets us back and demeans the hard working women who are in the industry. 

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I personally think it is a damn shame,  when I check my afrobeerchick IG account, I have to look over my shoulder to make sure my daughters do not see these XXX postings with beer. It is already more than enough sexual content on there.  Just show us the beer and please hold the tits and ass, it really isn’t all that exciting. If it wasn’t in poor taste, I would post a couple of pictures from the accounts I have come across, but as I mother, I know my nosy 12 and 17 year old daughters may check my website, so I will refrain, however, it isn’t hard to come across these accounts.  

 

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Maybe, I am a little old school, I just want to be able to enjoy some of the simple things in life without being overwhelmed with sex being attached to it. For years, corporate beer attached sexy models in barely there clothing to their ads, because they needed a gimmick to sell their beer.

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The craft beer community is simple in the art of enjoyment, either you love, like or hate a beer and keep it moving to the next one. A simple picture with a brief description is all that it needs.  There is no need to be a “hey look at me” type beer chick, just being a woman who enjoy a nice hoppy or stout beverage is good enough. Let’s keep the boobs and butts for the other instagram thots. 

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Tocayo 2nd Annual Pop-Up Birthday Party

This past Friday night, I decided to get out and enjoy the 60+ degree Chicago Fall Weather. It was a great night to hit the Milwaukee Avenue strip in Logan Square and venture to the East Room for the first time. Tocayo was celebrating their 2nd birthday after launching in October of 2015 with their flagship beer, Hominy White Ale. 

 

 Photo courtesy of Nkosio of  Chicago Beer Geeks

Photo courtesy of Nkosio of Chicago Beer Geeks

The vibe of the space was pretty chill, as patrons stood around waiting for the live local Indie band by the name of Whitney to perform as well as watching live art being painted by street artist Tubs.  

 Street Artist/Calligrapher Tubs   Photo courtesy of Nkosio of  Chicago Beer Geeks

Street Artist/Calligrapher Tubs

Photo courtesy of Nkosio of Chicago Beer Geeks

Truth be told, I actually missed the Whitney performance, because I ducked out to go across the street for some eats at Revolution Brewpub. I originally only planned to grab a quick bite and then return to the party buttttt, the Jamo-Nilla *Nitro* caught my eye, and I just had to give it a try. Revolution's Jamo-Nilla is an Imperial Stout that was made in collaboration with Jameson Irish Whiskey. Then of course you know how it goes, one beer leads to another, which I ended up getting The Working Mom, that is an Imperial Brown Ale that was aged in Woodford Reserve barrels for 9 months. Both beers were pretty big beers and freaking amazing. I had to cut myself off and go back to the party.  

By the time I returned, while the vibe was still pretty chilled and relaxed, the band had already played. What was once a packed venue, before I made a brief exit, the crowd appeared to have thinned out a bit. I was able to get a can of the Hominy White Ale and give it a try. This was my first time having any beer by Tocayo, I mean it's only right to have birthday drinks with the birthday beer. I found it to be a light wheat beer, with citrus flavors and a sweet finish. I did not realize it until I was was making my final exit they had their Pilsner on draft at the party. 

 Photo Courtesy of Nkosio of Chicago Beer Geeks

Photo Courtesy of Nkosio of Chicago Beer Geeks

All in all, I wrapped up my Friday night with great Chicago weather and beer. I'm a simple woman. Cheers to Tocayo on their 2nd Birthday, looking forward to seeing what else they have in store.  Also, I will like to thank Nkosio of Chicago Beer Geeks for the awesome photos, he allowed me to use for this piece. 

 Photo Courtesy of Nkosio of  Chicago Beer Geeks

Photo Courtesy of Nkosio of Chicago Beer Geeks

Chicago Beer Geeks Sunday Night Spot Light

It is no secret that I am pretty new to this blogging thing and while I am currently working on content for my site, a great honored was bestowed upon little on me by Nik of Chicago Beer Geeks. I recently sat down with him at River Roast and had a nice little chat about my history and future in beer. I never expected for it to turn into such an amazing story.  So please go and check out the story at the link below and in the mean time, let me finish working on some new and exciting content to share with you all. 

 

The Return of Afro.Beer.Chick

Let Me Introduce Myself

Hello! I am Chalonda AKA Afro.Beer.Chick.  (that is such a cool ass name right???)

I just wanted to take this time on my very first blog post ever to introduce myself. I can quickly sum it up by saying, I am a chick who loves beer, but nowadays ummmmm there are alot of us out there. So I am just going to share a little with you. 

Picture it, 2009 on the South Side of Chicago on a crisp fall night, I was introduced to my very first craft beer. It was Goose Island's Sofie that forever changed my palette and at that very moment, I had no idea that beer could have so much flavor.  I also did not have any idea that other ingredients were even brewed in beer beside barely and hops, needless to say I was dumbfounded by this knowledge and yet grateful to gain it at the same time. On that day, I gave up my ways of MGD, Corona and quite a few others,  because I discovered a new taste and had a new appreciation for beer.   Since that first sweet taste of Sofie my palette evolved and  I began expanding my knowledge on the brewing industry. I was amazed to learn that the craft beer community was like a family because there was no competition to be the best, because it was not about competition among breweries as you would find on the macro level, it is about collaboration and the friendships forged over having great beer.  

 In Late 2011, I came across a great group of women who called themselves Girls Pint Out,  they had already established numerous chapters in quite a few states, many of which are still going strong to this day. At that time Chicago did not have a local chapter and with the permission of the founding members Tamera Mullins and Megan Peters, I was able to start a chapter of Girls Pint Out. The turn out at our first event was beyond amazing, it was better than I could have ever imagined, I was ecstatic to see that so many women were into drinking craft beer. While we all shared our stories, I found that we all came from different walks of life. Some were professionals, mothers, young college students, or wives, but despite the category we fell in, we were all brought together by beer.  Unfortunately my run as a local chapter President ran short because I was a mother of 2 young daughters at the time that needed so much of my attention and it became too much to balance. The torch was been passed on to another group of women whom I follow on social media and I see that they are keeping the group alive and well and it continues to grow.  

While I have never actually worked in the beer industry, I have always kept up with the changes and the progress it has made, especially in Chicago. I read various blogs and listen to various podcasts (shouts out to Chicago Beer Pass, keep up the great work Brad and Nik ) to keep me in the loop. I also get to experience the scene by attending numerous events.  It was my coworker who convinced me that I should blog about my beer experiences by stating that it's not that you don't see women blogging about beer, but you don't see very many African American women doing so, which gives it a  different perspective, because I find there are many people who are shocked to find out that I enjoy craft beer.  So now that my girls are older 12 and 17 ( YES! I am almost an empty nester), I am gonna give this a shot. I look forward to making new friends over beers and posting new content to share with my readers. I promise you all that as time goes on,  the website will grow into something cooler (because right now it is a work in progress).  

My goal is to  create stories that you all can relate to as if we are sitting down and having a conversation. So please excuse me if you see an error, (although I will proof read like 1.5 times before posting). I do not want my post to feel as if you are reading a technical manual. So with that said, you may come across a curse words here and there (depending on how much I've had to drink), but I promise I will keep it interesting, because I definitely want to guys to keep coming back.  

To my followers on my Instagram page (afro.beer.chick) , thank you all for the love and the messages I have been receiving urging me to get this website together, you guys are awesome.