On Sunday, May 26, Right Proper is releasing Strawberry High, a beer brewed by Bobby Bump and Eamoni Tate, The Vibe Queen. $1 from the sale of every glass of Strawberry High will be donated to An Indivisible Art Collective and their efforts in bringing together arts education, community building, intercultural exchange, and neighborhood equity. We talked to The Vibe Queen about her inspiration for the beer.
Per Bobby Bump, “We asked our employees to get into small groups and everyone brings an ingredient that is relevant to them that could be incorporated into a beer. For instance, one of the beers that is still in the recipe development phase consists of a group of 4 employees. One person wants to use Blueberries, one person said pink Himalayan salt, one said seaweed and another ginger. Naturally, we all thought the base of the beer would be a gose. This beer hasn’t been brewed yet and tweaks are still being made (like the seaweed getting 86’d due to… availability). But that’s the gist…it’s evolving to be more like how Eamoni approached me with a concept that made sense and could be executed, supported another local Shaw business [Calabash Tea Bar & Cafe], and is a chance to promote her own brand so I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I was sold on it immediately. The end goal being that our employees can have a chance to make a beer here at the pub, just another perk for working at Right Proper.”
Here’s our lightly edited interview with The Vibe Queen.
Tell us about E.T. The Vibe Queen. Introduce yourself to DC Beer followers.
VQ: I am a professional songwriter, performing artist, and aspiring brewmaster. E.T. are my initials but I just go by The Vibe Queen.
Where were you born/raised and where are you from?
VQ: I was born in Washington D.C. I was raised in Washington D.C. and Maryland.
Tell us about An Indivisible Art Collective.
VQ: An Indivisible Art Collective is a group of socially conscious artists who are passionate about cultivating a diverse arts community in our beloved Washington, DC. AIAC was Founded by Carolina Meurkens and Laquavia Alston and later joined by Maria Miller. AIAC events bring together the community and raise voices of marginalized POC, women, and queer-identifying artists. I premiered Strawberry High during an AIAC Beer and Arts Festival hosted at Right Proper Brookland. When they heard the news that I was releasing the beer for Strawberry High. They were more than happy to host the release party.
Tell us about Strawberry High the song. Is it a song you wrote and recorded and is it available on all streaming platforms? What was the inspiration and what is the end goal?
VQ: Strawberry High is a song I wrote back in 2013. Last year I decided to revisit the song and share it with the masses to begin getting people familiar with me as an artist. I recorded the song in Atlanta. The song is about being carefree and not letting emotional or mental stress weigh you down. My inspiration was getting out of the shower and rubbing myself down in coconut oil. Nurturing myself through an emotional journey was empowering. My end goal is to inspire self-love and self-care. Yes, it is available on all streaming platforms, iTunes and Spotify.
Tell us about Strawberry High the beer. It’s a beer you brewed with Bobby Bump at the Right Proper Shaw Brewpub? What was the inspiration and what is the end goal?
VQ: Strawberry High beer is a Hazy IPA brewed with Strawberry and Lactose, featuring a tea combination called “The Fat Black Pussycat” from Calabash Tea. Bobby wanted to explore ways to include Right Proper employees in the beer process…I naturally saw it as the perfect opportunity to brew a beer for Strawberry High. I came up with the concept and Bobby brought the idea together by helping me come up with the malt bill as well as which hops to use that would contribute strawberry/stone fruit characteristics. My connection to beer comes from my experience as a homebrewer for 3 years. My inspiration is my family and friends who are fans of my brewing recipes as well and suggested I make a beer named after my song.
To be able to have a beer I’ve brewed served on tap in a high volume brewpub is the beginning of a dream come true. The end goal is to inspire diversity in the beer industry.
Do you know of any other poets/songwriters/lyricists/artists who also brewed a beer in conjunction with/in support of their creative works?
VQ: Not that I know of. This was a very rare opportunity so I feel blessed.
When will the beer come out and what was it like working with Right Proper?
VQ: The beer will be released Sunday, May 26th for Memorial Day weekend. We are hosting an open mic for the beer release. Working with Right Proper was great. I got to physically brew the beer with guidance from Bobby. We have the process captured on camera from start to finish.
What else do you wish to tell/share with the DC Beer audience?
VQ: During my homebrew journey; I’ve built a high demand for my beer amongst family, friends, and my community. My dreams of owning my own brewery in the District have led me to find unique ways to begin that journey. So to be able to collab with Right Proper and make it available to the public is truly a success. With the community behind me, one day soon I hope to have my own space to share my beer with the city. For now, I will attract more opportunities to develop as a brewer.