In June of 2015, then presidential candidate Donald Trump made statements calling Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists.
At the time, we at 5 Rabbit Cervecería, a Latin-inspired and Latin-owned craft brewery, had been producing a house beer exclusively for the Trump Tower in Chicago, to serve as their house Blonde Ale. Although we are not normally in the business of making beer for others, it seemed like a good business opportunity for such a small craft brewery like us.
The following morning we informed our business contact at Trump Tower that we could no longer do business with them.
Days later, Univision, NBC, and other corporations that were in disagreement with the positions of candidate Trump, also severed ties with him due to his completely out of line remarks.
So there we were, with dozens of kegs of beer we had absolutely no use for, a precarious position for a small craft brewery. Dumping it would mean taking a massive financial hit, but we were prepared to do so.
Then we had an idea.
What if we called bar and restaurant owners in the area, people with whom we had personal, friendly relationships, and see if they might want to buy a keg or two? That way we wouldn't have to dump all of it away.
The response was unfathomable. All of the kegs we had available were sold within the hour.
By the end of the day the "Trump Golden Ale" had a new name. Chinga Tu Pelo (Fuck Your Hair) became a phenomenon, not because of the speed at which it was sold, but because of its message of solidarity in favor of inclusion, acceptance and respect.
Andrés Araya, founder and co-owner of 5 Rabbit Cervecería, was born and raised in San Jose, Costa Rica. His wife was born in Lima, Peru. They lived in Mexico City for many years before relocating to Chicago, IL. Their oldest daughter was born in Mexico City and to this day proudly tells people she is Mexican when asked her nationality.
The protest isn't over.
As a means of continuing the vision of the beer, and our larger vision of solidarity towards Latinos and Latinas, and other victims of prejudice and oppression, we are pleased to announce the Chinga Tu Pelo Collection: a series of products, apparel, and prints by Chicago-based graphic designer Zach Harris.
Each month a portion of the sales of all products in the collection will go to support a charity that aligns with our vision for solidarity, inclusiveness, and a rejection of the rhetoric of prejudice and hate.
This month's proceeds support:
Latinos Progresando is the largest Latino-led, family-based immigration legal services program in the State of Illinois. With initiatives that span immigration, nonprofit capacity-building, the arts, and youth development, the guiding mission of Latinos Progresando is to deliver high-quality information and resources for people to build secure, healthy, and productive lives.
learn more at latinospro.org