Illinois is surely becoming an epicenter for Black-beer excellence, and this Black History Month will see many Black-owned breweries united in one space for an epic residency. 

To start out Black History Month, West Loop brewpub will host a 6-week residency where 4 of the state’s Black-owned breweries will unite. The residency will run until March 13. 

The four Black-owned breweries include Funkytown Brewery, Moor’s Brewing, Turner Haus Brewery and Black Horizon Brewing. Being based at Haymarket Pub & Brewer, this will serve as an outstanding opportunity for the breweries to experiment as well as collaboratively create together. Additionally, Haymarket will also have up to eight beers available from the four breweries. 

Haymarket’s director of operations, Mike Gemma, explained that there was a great need to support Black brewery owners. Gemma told the Chicago Tribune that “With Black History Month upon us, we thought about what stories do we want to tell, and this seemed like the perfect fit,”

“We’re excited about the surge of Black-owned breweries, and it’s been wonderful to meet (the owners) and hear their stories.” he added. 

It’s no secret that Black-owned breweries are massively underrepresented in the beer industry nationally and also in the Chicago region, which is home to the second-largest Black population in the US. In a national survey, The Brewers Association revealed that only 0.4% of Brewery owners are Black while 93.5% are white. 

Moor’s Brewing’s co-founder Jahmal Johnson shared some of his thoughts about the residency and the revolutionary impact it is having on the industry for Black breweries: “Haymarket putting this program together gave us all the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other and get to know each other’s history and motivation,” he said. 

“Everyone has their own story and vision, and it reminds me of a revolutionary time. I’d compare it to when hip-hop started. Hip-hop in its purest form was just a cool thing to do, and it turned into this multibillion-dollar industry.”

Moor’s launched on Juneteenth in 2021 and has been growing in success in the Illinois region and beyond ever since. 

Chicagoans can also expect several events to experience the results of the residency: Moor’s on Feb. 5, Feb. 10 and Feb. 18; Funkytown Feb. 17 and Feb. 25; and Black Horizon March 11.