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TNK x Metric Coffee Co: 2019 Reissue

As they have it, Tomorrow Never Knows Fest is a celebration of “rising local indie artists as well as acclaimed national acts, including both musicians and comedians… a city-wide event, uniting six independent venues.” From its 2005 inception onward, TNK has been an annual, persistent celebration in the middle of the most brutal season giving Chicagoans reprieve through music and comedy. This 2019 iteration was no exception. With nearly sixty acts over five days, TNK again had a little something to warm everyone’s heart this January. For us specifically, this year was extra special because 2019 marked our third year pairing with Auditotree to fill their TNK mugs.

TNK focuses on community and independence, making it an exceptional collaboration for Metric. TNK’s Talent Buyer Patrick wrote about these common priorities: “Unlike most cities, the Chicago music scene remains very independent and I think it's extremely important to highlight that.” Not exclusive to Chicago’s music scene, our coffee culture shares this independence-- Metric independently owned since its establishment in 2013-- and throughout our second city’s resilient roots. Look no further than our shared persistence through harsh winters (as I type this it feels -15). Speaking to that persistence, Patrick affirms that the promoters involved with TNK work very hard to bring Chicago a special experience during a typically slow part of the year” because they understand our communal hustle can’t hibernate.

As previously mentioned this is our third year with the privilege of caffeinating TNK fest. I asked Jud, Audiotree’s Director of Business Development and Sponsorship, why Metric?; he kindly responded, “we’re just fans of what Metric does… the Metric family has been really good to us over the past few years...As a company, [Audiotree] wants to align [itself] with cool companies doing great work, and Metric has always been that.” Such generous sentiment made us all the more stoked to re-up our partnership in 2019. We crafted custom pouches of a personalized TNK Blend (notes: milk chocolate, cashew, raisin) for each of the sixty acts.

[Metric's Harris Nash, @harrisnash, w. our TNK Blend]

Also, at the Audiotree owned venues, we were excited to take our partnership further in the form of a cocktail with a kick. “It’s hard to serve coffee at a late night show,” Jud qualified. “We’d met with Jess Salgado [Metric’s Partnerships and Projects Manager] and Mark Mann [Metric’s Director of Operations]...Creating a cool cocktail was a high priority, but we weren’t sure which direction it should go. Thankfully, we have a super-talented cocktail genius by the name of Adam Jevne…He created the idea of doing a White Russian, but infusing Deep Eddy vodka with coffee beans.” Priority achieved (read as, drank).

Such creative projects with an emphasis on cultivating taste and design reinvigorate us over here at Metric. The desire to work with “cool companies” is mutually present and part of why we love this specific relationship with Audiotree’s TNK Fest. Their humans, such as Jud and Patrick, put into action ideas of fierce independence and community. With it a week in the rearview, we’re still excited by 2019’s smash and are already looking forward to what 2020 has in store for all our fellow, resilient Chicago humans and us.

TDWP X METRIC COFFEE COLLAB!

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the fine folks of The Devil Wears Prada. Via a mutual friend (and photographer), Anthony Barlich, Mike of DWP and myself quickly started communicating and dreaming up our collaboration. 

After a few emails and a cupping with the band, our aspirations are coming together in an exciting design and coffee (one hand picked by the band themselves along with the help of their designer Micah Sedmak who helped flesh out our ideas in to an awesome mug/bag combo)!

Without further ado, here are a few questions we asked Mike about our collaboration. 

Seven Questions w/ Mike Hranica from The Devil Wears Prada

1) Tell me a little bit about you?
Hi there, my name is Mike. I was born in Pittsburgh, raised outside Dayton, Ohio, and have lived in Logan Square, Chicago for the last eight or nine years.

2) What is the origin of TDWP?
TDWP started as a means of making the music we wanted to hear. I joined simply wanting to write lyrics and express myself. Twelve years later, here we are!
3) Besides music, what do you enjoy doing while not on tour?
When on tour or not, I spend a lot of time watching sports. I’m a sports nut. I just recently started playing hockey again; so earlier this year I brought gear out on tour and was able to play at a few different spots across the states. It was awesome. I also do my fair share of reading and writing. I’ve self-published three books and am trying to complete more work now.

 

4) When on tour, what are some of your favorite coffee spots here in the states and abroad.

A few that come to mind - one of a few Cafe Grumpy locations in New York, Madcap in Grand Rapids, and One Line in Columbus, Ohio. I find that Madcap consistently sets an exceptional standard. Prufrock and Kaffeine are two favorites in London, and shoutout to Outpost in Nottingham.

5) About the collab, what attracted you to the idea of doing a coffee partnership with Metric?

A coffee collaboration has been a dream of our’s for as long as I can remember, and a local like Metric is the perfect match. To put it plainly, Metric is doing everything right. Our experience with Xavier and the team has been wonderful. We’ve come together to create a cup of coffee we can back with utmost enthusiasm and satisfaction.

6) What can the fans expect from the bag & mug design?
As always, I worked with my best pal Micah Sedmak. Micah’s band headlined TDWP’s first show, which gives an idea as to our long history. Micah and I lived together, ran a clothing company together, and now Micah has done the past few layouts for TDWP releases. He lives just down the road: I’m often over there brainstorming merch ideas or in this case, coffee bag and mug design. We took a subtle jab at ourselves reflective of a Metric motto, that’s all I can say for now. We’re excited. We took our time and came up with the perfect visual presentation.

7) Last question: besides our coffee collaboration, what other collab would be your dream collaboration and why?

It’s only a matter of time until we bug a Chicago brewer long enough to release “prada pale ale.” I also have an idea for a mosaic IPA. Beer! We need TDWP beer! We were lucky enough to collaborate with Vans for a shoe years ago, and as of late I’ve had my sights set on a TDWP chuck taylor. Turns out Converse is hard to get a hold of, though.

All photos by Anthony Barlich.