WEST LOOP — A collective of Black brewers from Chicago will host a tasting event this weekend, pairing their brews with off-menu items from local chefs.
The Brews and Bites tasting event is 4-7 p.m. Sunday at Time Out Market, 916 W. Fulton Market in the West Loop.
Attendees can sample a “welcome beer” without a pairing and five beers paired with a dish cooked up by a resident chef at Time Out Market, all while taking in live music.
General admission tickets are $80 and include six beers and five food pairings. Beer-only tickets, which include an 8-ounce pour of each beer, are $30. VIP tickets, which include entry to a Q&A session with the brewers and a swag bag, are $100. To buy tickets, click here.
The beer and food pairings:
- Black Horizon Brewing’s Midnight Fist Fight, a citra-hopped hazy IPA, paired with Arami’s salmon, tuna and citrus maki.
- Funkytown Brewery’s Hip-Hops and R&Brew, an American pale ale, paired with Bar Goa’s semolina crusted shrimp with recheado remoulade.
- The Black Beer Baron and The Brother at the Bar’s Harold’s ’83 Honey Ale, paired with Urbanbelly’s belly corn dog.
- Moor’s Brewing Company’s session ale, paired with Polombia’s short rib emparogi.
- Turner Haus Brewery’s Helen, a grapefruit lager, paired with Soul & Smoke’s jerk lamb chop with pineapple salsa.
Haymarket Brewing’s Chicago Uncommon Ale, a collaboration between all featured brewers, will be served as the “welcome beer.”
The event reunites the brewers, who completed a Haymarket Brewing residency in February, Jay Westbrook said. The South Shore native — who is known as “the Black Beer Baron” — collaborated on Harold’s ’83 Honey Ale with Goose Island brewer Sam Ross, “the Brother at the Bar.”
The Residency Collective of Black brewers “was always about, ‘I want to work with these people. I want to build relationships. I want to cultivate fellowships,'” Westbrook said. “A Black beer brewers’ residency was never going to be this six-week thing. It was about collaborations inside and outside the group.”
None of the breweries within the collective operate a brewhouse within Chicago’s city limits, so Haymarket offered a “central location for them to share their wares and show people what they can do,” Westbrook said.
The Brews and Bites event marks a chance for Chicago’s Black brewers to share their passion and skill for their craft, even as they’re underrepresented in the industry, Westbrook said.
The pairing event also offers a chance for Black Chicagoans to try brews that reflect their culture in name, label design and taste. Few compliments have been as satisfying to receive as when a Black patron says, “I don’t even like beer, but I love Harold’s ’83 Honey,” Westbrook said.
“When you invest that energy and that time and wherewithal into making it good, then you put something outside of the can that a specific group of people — being my brothers and sisters — can identify with, it’s so fulfilling,” he said. “… We have so much to bring to the table as creatives: We are the arbiters of cool. We are the gatekeepers of cool.”
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