tamale guy

Naperville Brewery Names Limited-Edition Beer in Honor of Chicago ‘Tamale Guy'

Solemn Oath Brewery

Naperville's Solemn Oath Brewery on Friday revealed a new, limited-edition beer in support of Claudio Velez, Chicago's popular "Tamale Guy," who spent more than a month in the hospital with the coronavirus.

The beer "El Rey Del Tamal" - tamale king in Spanish - is a hazy paleta-inspired pale ale with strawberry, mango, and ancho chile, according to a post on the brewery's Facebook page.

"When Claudio was hospitalized last month, the beer in celebration of his unwavering work ethic took on new meaning as the city of Chicago rallied around him to aid him in his recovery," the post continued.

Velez had been selling his famous tamales to Chicago bar goers for nearly two decades until the pandemic shut down nightlife. This summer, the "Tamale Guy" opened his first standalone restaurant, but just weeks later, he was hospitalized with COVID-19.

On Oct. 1, Velez was released from Chicago's Rush University Medical Center, where a line of doctors and nurses cheered him on as he was reunited with family members.

A portion of the sales will go back to Velez and his family. The beer is available in draft and in four-packs at the brewery.

A "very limited quantity" is being sold at All Together Now, a bottle shop across from the "Tamale Guy" restaurant on Chicago Avenue in Ukrainian Village.

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