CHICAGO — There are only about nine liquor store licenses held by African Americans in the city of Chicago. In the entire craft brew industry, the Brewers Association reports that African Americans own less than one percent of breweries. “Racial and cultural diversity in craft brewing has been an important topic in brewer circles for some time now and is finally getting the attention it deserves, thankfully. Brewer organizations and their members are taking a hard look at avenues to access and inclusivity. What really struck me was the absurdly low number of liquor licenses held by African Americans, especially in a city like Chicago,” said John Neurauter, Co-Founder, Haymarket Beer Company.
“I knew Jay West, as a bartender at Nisei Lounge. He introduced us to his friend Sam Ross, a brewer’s assistant, beer blogger, and podcaster (The Brother at the Bar). They told us that their dream was to brew beer and open their own brewery. That’s when it all came together,” said Michael Gemma, Director of Operations, Haymarket Beer Company.
Haymarket decided to give Sam and Jay the opportunity to not only brew beer, but to also create their own recipe with Haymarket Beer Company brewer, Eric Morrissey. The result of that collaboration is Harold’s ’83 Honey. The goal of the collaboration is to start a conversation about, as well as celebrate diversity in the craft brewing community.
“I got into this game to make beer. But, I realized that breweries weren’t just going to hire a kid off the street, so I became a bartender. And, right now, I’m living my dream. I’m making beer with a great brewery,” said Jay West.
Sam and Jay created the recipe with the goal of making an “unapologetically Chicago beer” that opens up the conversation of diversity and provides a contribution to the community. “We wanted to let people know that there is an opportunity for more people of color to get involved on that side of the business – not just be a bartender, not just be a bar back, not just be a server – but start your own business,” said Jay West.
One more way that Sam and Jay wanted to contribute back to the community was by using honey from Sweet Beginnings, a beekeepers program that employs ex-offenders to tend to the bees and make the honey. “For the ex-offenders who are making the honey, they can now go out and say we make honey, but it’s also in the beer. Now they have something more they can be proud of,” said Sam Ross.
“We’re so proud to be working with Sam, Jay, and Sweet Beginnings to promote more inclusivity and diversity across the board,” said John Neurauter, Co-Founder, Haymarket Beer Company.
Harold’s ’83 Honey is now on tap at Haymarket Pub & Brewery in Chicago’s West Loop. More distribution will be announced soon. The beer is comprised of Vienna Malt (Briess Malting, Honey Malt, Midwest Clover Honey (BeeLove from Sweet Beginnings), and Super Saazer (Hop Head Farms) hops.
For more information about Harold’s ’83 Honey, watch the video at the following link: facebook.com/HaymarketBrewing/videos/540321663535656/
For more information about Haymarket Brewing, please visit HaymarkerBeer.com or on Facebook
Haymarket Beer is distributed by BreakThru Beverage in Illinois, and by Alliance Beverage and Rave Associates in Michigan. Beers in their canned lineup include Joe Maddon’s Try Not to Suck German-Style Lager , Hazy is Lazy™ American-Style India Pale Ale , Blood Orange Blonde™ Ale , Chicago Tavern Beer™ , The Defender™ American-Style Stout , Speakerswagon® German-style Pilsner , Oscar’s Pardon® Belgian-style Pale Ale , Aleister® India Pale Ale , Mathias® Imperial IPA, and Gibson’s Gold Helles Lager.
About Haymarket Beer Co.
Haymarket Pub & Brewery was founded in 2010 by John Neurauter and Peter Crowley in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago. Haymarket prides itself on making high quality craft beer, focused mainly on traditional Belgian and contemporary American styles, and providing delicious made-from-scratch food to its patrons. Haymarket Pub & Brewery also features a full service bar and can accommodate reservations for parties of various sizes. Haymarket Pub & Brewery is located at 737 W. Randolph St. Chicago, IL 60661. Call (312) 638-0700 or email email@example.com for more information.In 2016, Haymarket expanded its brewing operation with the opening of their production brewery in Bridgman, MI. Packaged and draft Haymarket beer can be found where fine craft beer is sold in Illinois and Western Michigan. Haymarket also operates a Taproom at its production brewery located at 9301 Red Arrow Highway, Bridgman, MI 49106. Call (269) 266-5050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.