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

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.