Have yinz heard of @afro.beer.chick on Instagram?! Well, if you haven’t, go ahead and just give her a follow now. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
Chalonda White is that Chicagoan beer goddess you see rockin’ a gorgeous afro and poppin’ lip shade, featuring whatever beer she’s got her hands on. But ABC is so much more than cute beer-selfies.
It all started back in 2009 when Chalonda tried her first craft beer. She would bounce around to different craft beer functions with her husband and was quick to realize that there were way more men hanging around than women!
It was then that Chalonda came across Girls Pint Out, a group of craft beer loving women who set up chapters in cities all across the U.S. At the time, there had not been a GPO chapter established yet in Chicago, so Chalonda went ahead got it started.
This was all during the time that her two daughters were young, so she of course, had to take a step back in the beer world. Once her kids were grown, she returned with in 2017 with the brand, Afro.Beer.Chick, in hopes of connecting with more Black people who enjoyed craft beer as much as she did.
She hosts a podcast called @thischicktalksbeer that talks about, you guessed it, craft beer (and other $h!t). After a little hiatus, she is back and just posted a new episode a few days ago. Start with the episode, “Black Girl Magic.” Chalonda is joined by her guests, @blackbeerchick and @kinkysudz , noting that it was the most powerful episode she has recorded to date. You can access her podcast on multiple platforms (Spotify, iTunes, etc), or simply click here!
ABC isn’t partial only to craft beer, oh no! Her and her hubs enjoy Bourbon too! They even have their own respective bars (goals). Together, they manage an Instagram account, @theneatpour, which expresses their love for Bourbon, reviews of trying new ones, and creating a community of Bourbon fans. Check ’em out online, where you can find original cocktail recipes and a link to their blog and podcast.
In 2021, Chalonda is committed to using her platform to connect a network of Black owned breweries to other Black owned businesses such as coffee roasters, or graphic artists, to grow a network because often times, these talented and accomplished business owners or artists get overlooked.
She is also studying for her Cicerone certified beer server exam, a grant she was awarded by her gal pal @blackbeerchick‘s campaign to get 100 women of color to be Cicerone Certified Beer Servers. Wish her luck!
Some of Chalonda’s favorite Black owned breweries include Rhythm Brewing, who has some amazing lagers, not to mention, is female owned and was the first Black owned brewery in Connecticut. She also loves Weathered Souls, who gained much deserved attention for launching the nationwide Black is Beautiful collaborative campaign, designed to raise awareness for the injustices people of color face daily. She looks forward to trying Warcloud Brewing, a forthcoming Black Veteran owned brewery located in California.
I asked Chalonda what are some tangible steps the predominately White Male industry can take to integrate diversity. Chalonda had a serious, take the glasses off moment with me, and shared some true and powerful words I’d like to share with all of you.
“In this day and age, when I come across those counterparts, for me now, I see that people choose to remain ignorant. We have so much access to information, we have all these social media platforms. People know or can find out what is going on when they want to. Just like people can go and see YouTube videos and learn how to make sourdough bread, guess what? You can go and research the social injustices that is hindering and oppressing an entire race of people. The most exhausting part for Black people is we are tired of having to tell people how to treat us when it’s really not hard. At the end of the day we want what everyone else wants: respect. So, just as those people can respect themselves and their friends in other cultures, guess what, we are asking the same thing. We are asking to live in peace, to not have fear of sending our children, our husbands our wives out into the world. We want them to be able to come home safely. We don’t want them to die at the hands of a police officer who is having a bad day, for no reason at all. We’re not asking for anything we don’t deserve. I get asked, “What can we do?” and I have to flip it and say, ‘You know what can be done, what are you now willing to do?‘”
Featured image courtesy and property of @afro.beer.chick