I recently had the pleasure of exploring a brewery nestled in my backyard. Well, not exactly in my backyard, but fairly proximate. Typsy Unicorn Brewing, with its dynamic husband and wife team, J.R. and Mika Rivera, has successfully brought craft beer, innovative cuisine, and an ambiance that truly reflects their distinctive personalities to an unlikely hidden gem located in Edgewater.
“What was the premise behind the name?” I asked J.R., who explained that they had tossed around ideas for a little while before making a decision. Mika used the term “unicorn” to describe them as a couple and trust me, once you meet them you will understand. They are kind and talented and it feels like you’re close friends as soon as you meet them. They went on to say that, in J.R.’s continuous pursuit of brewing excellence, he found himself quite often tasting a lot of the brew while creating it, thus the name “typsy.” And they spell it with a “Y” ‘cause Y not?
While they seem like long-time pros at running an establishment, this is actually their first venture in the hospitality game, together as owners. In fact, they were both in different careers for a long time before its grand opening which was only last month. So, how did a master mechanic and a trauma nurse transition into becoming the brewmaster and chef of a local brewery? Eight years ago, Mika gave J.R. a Mr. Beer home brewing kit as a gift. Despite finding some flaws in the home brew kit, J.R.’s home brews turned out rather impressive.
His talents were further validated when he entered a home brewing contest, earning three ribbons out of four beers he submitted. Subsequently, he was invited to join the brewing team at The Half Wall Beer House (where he is still making beers to this day). There, he swiftly took over the beer program, elevating the quality and flavor profile of their in-house brews. He quickly made a name for himself in the brewing world and enjoyed every minute of it.
Typsy Unicorn’s Brewing isn’t solely distinguished by its exceptional beer; it also boasts a culinary experience and ambiance that harmonizes seamlessly. Mika has curated an inviting environment featuring bars and tables constructed from tree stumps, Indiana Jones memorabilia adorning the walls, and TV screens playing old, soundless movies. It’s the ideal setting for a romantic date night. Though modest, Mika’s culinary prowess is undeniable. Initially downplaying her cooking abilities, J.R. quickly exclaimed, “She is lying! Her lasagna is incredible!”
Her culinary journey has even taken her to “Master Chef” in Atlanta, where she showcased her talents with dishes like roasted poblano pea soup, winning over even those who typically shun peas. Her sandwiches are unique, such as From Capri with Love, which is a panini with fresh mozzarella, heirloom cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, maldon salt and cracked pepper, and the King Louie, which is a fusion of a French dip and cheesesteak. Then there’s her homemade hummus with pine nuts, fresh vegetables and toasted pita points. I can personally vouch for this and it’s a 10 out of 10! She even received a chef’s “high five,” which comes in the form of a middle finger! It’s basically like saying, “break a leg” in the showbiz world, because it was so good!
Typsy Unicorn’s Brewing offers a unique “Tub Club” membership program, featuring tiers such as Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Platinum and Gold members receive complimentary beer during their visits, while Silver and Bronze members enjoy 20 percent and 10 percent off discounts. Members also get first access to exclusive events, such as the recent Beef Wellington Night, available by reservation only. We all know memberships have their privileges.
Inquiring about the origins of their beer names, J.R. shared that it’s often a spontaneous process. For instance, the Pink Cashmere brew transformed into the Time Warp, after the iconic song from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, unexpectedly played in the background.
When asked for advice for aspiring homebrewers, J.R. emphasized the importance of simply diving in and starting to brew. Mistakes are an inevitable part of the journey, so he advocates meticulously, recording his experiences. The focus should not be on achieving perfection from the outset, but rather on embracing experimentation and learning from the process.
My visit to Typsy Unicorn’s Brewing not only left me intrigued by their beer and culinary offerings, but also captivated by the epic story of the individuals who have transformed this locale into a delightful T.U.B. for socializing. The convergence of their dedication, the science that entails brewing, and the care they’ve invested in bringing something new and exciting to our community truly sets Typsy Unicorn’s Brewing apart. Oh, and if you want to know the story about this killer hat, you’ll have to go and find out for yourself!
Cheers! Bobby G out!