2021’s Pride Month is coming to an end. But the calendar’s “Pride” distinction is the only thing that’s actually over for this year: celebrating the queer community, amplifying queer voices, fighting for equality, working for improved representation and inclusion--these are things that do not and cannot rest for the other 11 months.
We’re happy to report this year’s Pride was able to be a lot more IRL than last year’s. Pride events weren’t spared from the wrath of Covid-19. Thanks to vaccines (we heart you, science!), a lot of the core elements of Pride were able to return this June, namely authentic togetherness and community, as well as visibility.
We hope you’ve been spending the last month celebrating, gathering, learning, acting, raising money and awareness, calling your senators, listening, and supporting. If you’ve got some catching up to do, there are plenty of great articles out there. This Them piece covers the history of Pride Month, stemming back to the 1969 Stonewall Riots. Hand-in-hand, this USA Today story is essential reading, all about how people of color and, in particular, Black transgender women, paved the road forward for LGBTQIA+ equality and Pride.
Finally, queer visibility is growing in the craft beer world. Raise a glass to that and read this Eater article on what it means to have a “gay beer,” and the importance, meaning, and impact of that. TapRm is so psyched to work with several brands representing the queer community, and we want to tell you all about them here, as well as some other LGBTQIA+ brands and businesses we love, just in case you haven’t yet heard. These brands and businesses are sure to become new staples in your roster of favorites, not just for June, but for all 365 days of the year.
Jon Moore and Jason Pazmino launched Gay Beer in December of 2018 to fill a huge void in the craft beer market: there was essentially no beer that truly, authentically recgonized, represented, and spoke to the queer community. Jon and Jason wanted to create a brand that wasn’t just a novelty, didn’t speak to just one group of people, and was a year-long staple, not just a Pride promotion. Gay Beer’s versatile, crowd-pleasing golden lager, the brand’s marketing and aesthetics, and its dedication to supporting different organizations and initiatives benefiting the LGBTQIA+ community all achieve Jon and Jason’s mission of inclusion. As Jason told us in 2020, Gay Beer is meant to be more “Come have a beer with us,’ as opposed to, “This beer is only for us.” “Beer is such a widely loved product by so many people, and it’s such a common product, it’s one of the easiest products to build a bridge with,” he added.
You can check out Gay Beer’s inclusive, welcoming imagery and vibes on their website, where you can also learn about the causes they work with, like The Center for Black Equity, Project Renewal, The Center, Housing Works, the Ali Forney Center, and Hetrik Martin.
Loretta Andro Chung and Sarah Hallonquist met working with Dyke Bar Takeover, an activism group devoted to honoring the LGBTQIA+ spaces that are sadly disappearing every day in America, from lesbian bars to queer bookshops. Recognizing beer’s accessibility and power to bring people together, Loretta and Sarah launched Dyke Beer to help propel this mission to remember these spaces, protect the surviving places, and even create new ones in the form of pop-ups, events, and celebrations. Across New York City, the duo of activists host “queeraoke,” burlesque, open mic nights, “lost dyke bar walking tours,” and more.
Dyke Beer’s first release was a saison brewed with Brooklyn’s Wild East Brewing, and the latest debut is Tallgirl Gose with Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. Tallgirl features blackberries, lingonberries, raspberry, and Himalayan pink salt, and is brewed in honor of Transwomen, Femmes, Drag Queens and Kings, and “all the tall queer girls in our community,” says Dyke Beer. Sarah and Loretta are in the process of setting up a permanent system for their contract brewing operation, so we can look forward to lots more Dyke Beer to come, all in the name of this initiative’s message: “You exist and you are important.”
Beers With Queers
Abby Fried is a New York City-based craft beer professional who started Beers with Queers, a meet-up group that provides a safe, inclusive space; welcomes queer and nonbinary individuals into the craft beer scene; and fosters a link between breweries and the LGBTQIA+ community.
So far, Beers with Queers has seen an excited response, hosting successful and, duh, fun meet-ups at NYC greats like Interboro, Fifth Hammer, and Torch & Crown. And of course, it’s been a busy first Pride month for the group, with hangouts coinciding with Pride beer releases and other fun events at some of the aforementioned breweries plus Big aLICe and Endless Life. Make sure to follow Beers with Queers on Instagram at @beerswithqueersnyc to not only catch future events, but to stay updated on useful resources that Abby shares, too.
We love when a brewery that demonstrates real commitment to inclusion, representation, and equality channels that love and energy into a beer celebrating Pride. We’re proud to work with breweries that don’t just pour beer into a rainbow-colored can and call it a day, but instead use their brews as another means of reaching fans and inspiring them to embrace Pride and push for change all year round.
There’s the Peacock Pride IPA from 18th Ward Brewing; and KCBC whipped up a special Pride edition of their popular IPA, Superhero Sidekicks. Bronx Brewery rolled out its Some Like It Hopped Vienna Lager, and we even got a Pride “cheers” all the way from Oslo, Norway, with Oslo Brewing Company’s Oslove Blonde Ale. More than just great beers, these brews raise money for important causes and the breweries often pair them with LGBTQIA+ events at their spaces.
NYC Queer and Ally Bars
While the point is that everyone is welcome everywhere, as Dyke Beer can attest to, it’s also vital to honor and embrace the spaces that are both safe and celebratory of queer culture. We feel lucky to have access to New York City’s bar scene, which is studded with vibrant spots that provide a community gathering place and also a heck of a good time.
There’s Julius Bar in the West Village, which is iconic, full stop. It’s the city’s oldest gay bar, with tons of history. One little gem of that history? It happens to be where Jon and Jason got to talking about launching Gay Beer! There’s C’mon Everybody in Bed-Stuy, also a venue with absolute killer events. There’s The Exley in Williamsburg, one of those chill-all-day, party-all-night kinds of places. Grey Dog is a community ally, part bar, part cafe, and part restaurant with locations dotting Manhattan. Another ally, this time back in Williamsburg, is legendary dance and meet-up spot Union Pool, which throws events like the PAT queer dance party. Also in Williamsburg is Purgatory, a brand new Place to Be that also hosts Saturday shows with the Tiny Crowds concert series. There’s The Monster, still the place to see and be seen and have a blast, in Fire Island (as well as Key West--vacay, anyone?).Speaking of getaways, the perfect period to this exciting sentence is the Stickett Inn, which is a dream weekend trip for NYC-dwellers, along with, well, everyone else! Here, you can stay overnight, pamper yourself with spa services, and toast friends at the Bang Bang Bar. They even have their own cider. See ya there?