On a clear Sunday morning in late January, beer drinkers and hungry foodies swarm around Goldspot Brewing Company in Berkeley, forming a line around the block for the first iteration of Homos & Homies, a bi-monthly pop-up event showcasing queer and BIPOC food vendors, artists, and artisans. Patrons mix amid the twinkly lights of the warm taproom and the crisp outside with the garage door wall rolled up. The aroma of sizzling red-chile-sauce-lathered corn tortillas packed with hibiscus blossoms and melted cheese fills the air. Local artist Shaunie B’s Queer series of vibrant and dreamy mixed-media portraits line the red bricked walls.
Cholo Ass Vegan, the Easy Vegan, and the HungryTreeHugger are collaborating on Homos & Homies, with more rotating vendors at future events. After meeting at Goldspot Brewing Company’s Queertoberfest event last year, Cholo Ass Vegan’s David Alires and Taylor Herbert and Alexi Mandolini of the Easy Vegan devised a strategy to engage the community and put their vegetarian touch on popular meals through the bi-monthly pop-up event. After meeting at Goldspot Brewing Company’s Queertoberfest event last year, Cholo Ass Vegan’s David Alires and Taylor Herbert and Alexi Mandolini of the Easy Vegan devised a strategy to engage the community and put their vegetarian touch on popular meals through the bi-monthly pop-up event.
After meeting at Goldspot Brewing Company’s Queertoberfest event last year, Cholo Ass Vegan’s David Alires and Taylor Herbert and Alexi Mandolini of the Easy Vegan devised a strategy to engage the community and put their vegetarian touch on popular meals through the bi-monthly pop-up event. “We like to consider ourselves intersectional vegans because a lot of times vegans get a lot of heat for only caring about animal suffering. And that’s not us. We care about everyone who’s been marginalized, from animals to humans, anyone who’s experienced oppression… To bring this idea of intersectional veganism to light, we have to work with organizations doing this work, like Frontline Farming, whose mission really aligns with us,” stated Alires.
Frontline Farming (which has previously benefited from Goldspot Brewing events) works at the crossroads of food and community, and as one of Goldspot Brewing Company’s community partners, they were chosen to receive 10% of all earnings from the event. Frontline Farming’s mission is to amplify the voices of farmers of color and achieve more justice in Colorado’s food systems. The BIPOC farming apprenticeship program, which aids emerging to intermediate farmers in obtaining key skills to advance toward personal and communal food sovereignty, began in April.
Alires, Herbert, and Madolini also wanted the event’s artwork to reflect the event organizers’ colorful personality as well as the event’s intersectionality, so they hired local graphic artist Brayan Montes-Terrazas to produce the poster. “This is the side of my business where I get to make fun and colorful products that speak to who I am as an artist, an immigrant, and a queer person… I’m super passionate about community building through art and helping more Latinos, queer people, disabled people, and people of color in general come up in the creative industry. Things like this help build trust within the community, businesses, and give voice to marginalized voices,” said Montes-Terrazas.
Goldspot Brewery, a queer-owned and run community meeting spot with a seven-year history, was the ideal location for Homos & Homies. It is devoted to providing a welcoming venue for LGBTQ populations in addition to selling artisan beer. Kelissa Hieber, the brewery’s head brewer, took over as sole proprietor during the epidemic and wants her establishment to be a safe haven as well as a leader in the sector. “We do a bunch of cool community events, because making the industry more diverse and welcoming is definitely my top priority. I started in this industry as a 24 year-old gay woman—can you imagine how easy it was?” stated Hieber. Hieber believes that outreach events like Homos & Homies will help pave the way for a more inclusive and varied craft brewing community in Denver and beyond, as co-chair of the Colorado Brewers Guild’s diversity, inclusion, and equity committee.
Attendees can expect to sample drinks like Goldspot’s acidic Fozzy Pear sour and the balanced and refreshing I Can See Queerly Now Hazy IPA, which will rotate vendors and activities. Cholo Ass Vegan’s coveted hibiscus flower birria tacos; the Easy Vegan’s loaded pierogi potato, a garlic whipped potato with Italian-style walnut “meat,” caramelized onion, and kraut; and HungryTreeHugger’s mindfully-crafted blueberry lavender doughnut, a dessert made from scratch with local ingredients that will nourish both your body and soul
Make a note of the next event, which will take place on Sunday, March 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free admission; 4970 Lowell Blvd.
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