Lucy Gonzalez Parsons: Chicago's Revolutionary | Revolution Brewing
Menu Rev Rewards

Brewpub + Restaurant

Hours

Mon-Tue / Closed
Wed-Thu / Noon-11pm
Fri-Sat / Noon-Midnight
Sun / Noon-11pm
Kitchen / Service stops 1 hour prior closing

Address

2323 N. Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

773-227-2739

Taproom + Production Brewery

Upcoming Closures

Sunday, October 3 — Closed for a Private Event
Friday, October 22 — Closed for a Private Event

Hours

Mon-Tue / Closed
Wed-Thu / 2-9pm
Fri / 2-10pm
Sat / Noon-10pm
Sun / Noon-6pm

Address

3340 N. Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

773-588-2267

Lucy Gonzalez Parsons: Chicago's Revolutionary

Our first canned Saison pays tribute to a legendary labor activist from the neighborhood and benefits a charitable organization helping women and children in Chicago.

Since 2017, the women of Revolution Brewing have worked to develop, brew, package, and sell Spirit of Revolt in celebration of the women who make our industry and our communities stronger. The proceeds from that beer go to benefit Connections for Abused Women and Their Children (CAWC) – a tremendous organization providing resources, services, and advocacy for abused women and families in Chicago. While working for social change, CAWC also provides a shelter for adults and children, counseling, advocacy, and a 24-hour hotline for people affected by domestic violence. Our 2020 Spirit of Revolt party at the Taproom was the last big event at the Revolution Taproom before the lights went dark for a bit.

When 2021 rolled around, things were still uncertain. We were unable to gather the incredible women of Revolution for the usual effort. Circumstances kept us apart. So the question became, even in a difficult year, how do we honor the unflinching spirit and righteous resolve of the women who fight for change?

We found the answer, as we usually do, right here in the neighborhood.

Revolution, as a term, means a lot of things to a lot of people. But as a true embodiment of anti-establishment action and unbending resistance to the status quo, it’s hard to find a better example than labor organizer, anarchist, and working-class champion Lucy Gonzalez Parsons.

Born Lucia Ella Gonzalez Waller in Texas in the early 1850s, she and her husband Albert Parsons left behind anti-interracial marriage laws in that state and moved to Chicago in the 1870s. From there, they both became firebrand labor organizers – joining the Socialist Labor Party and the International Working People’s Association. Self-educated Lucy became known as a powerful and persuasive orator. She wrote for publications like the Socialist and founded the first working women’s union in Chicago.

In 1886, Lucy and Albert Parsons led an 80,000-strong procession of working men and women to demand reforms (including the eight-hour workday) as a national strike began. That outpouring of humanity demanding better conditions is remembered as the first May Day parade in history. Days later, a protest for the eight-hour workday turned into the Haymarket riots and Albert Parsons was soon after arrested and executed as a co-conspirator following a widely criticized trial.

Lucy fought through her grief to continue the fight for labor rights for more than five decades afterward. In 1905, she helped found the Industrial Workers of the World, which has endured into present times and is still based in Chicago. She continued to speak, write, demonstrate, and advocate for the oppressed and overlooked for the remainder of her life. In 1920, an official from the Chicago Police Department referred to her as “More dangerous than a thousand rioters.” Her pioneering views of race and gender as part and parcel of the struggle for working-class freedom continue to illuminate today’s discourses over how to achieve equity and inclusion in all facets of our society.

Lucy Parsons, “the Goddess of Anarchy,” lived in Chicago until her death in a house fire in Avondale in 1942. Even then, Chicago officials seized her books and papers in an effort to stifle her message and erase her legacy.

But times change, her work and words were rediscovered and reappraised, and she’s rightly recognized as one of the leading feminists and labor activists in the history of our city. In 2017, the stretch of Kedzie Avenue in front of our brewery from Emmett to Addison was named Lucy Gonzalez Parsons Way by the City of Chicago.

While we can’t fully convey the breadth of her achievements in such a way, we hope that by donating our efforts for the benefit of women and families in Chicago, we can honor her spirit.

Lucia, a Dry-Hopped Spelt Saison will be released Friday, May 21 at both the Taproom and Brewpub. Like Spirit of Revolt, sales of Lucia will go to support CAWC.

Innovation Brewer Andy Lautner built this new beer with a blend of classic saison and Jovaru Lithuanian Farmhouse yeasts. The unique grain bill features both malted spelt and triticale from Sugar Creek Malt in Indiana. It’s the first time we’ve ever canned a Saison.

Lucia is dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc, a vinous, aromatic edge to complement the nutty, dry spelt and stunningly complex yeast expression. Taken in total, it’s multifaceted, compelling from unexpected angles, and impossible to represent succinctly – a fitting tribute, we hope.