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Like a food swap, attendees will be able to share experimental home brews and favorites from their stashes as well as meet and mingle with beer enthusiasts in the community. While the event is in celebration of early official members, it is open to all local home brewers.
“Members and non-members alike will get the chance to drink some really crazy beers that people will bring out of their cellars and their homebrews that made us start this idea in the first place,” says Nicholas Lavelle, president of High Five Co-op. Attendees will even have the opportunity to taste pilot beers from the cooperative.
“We definitely encourage everyone to come. It is open, even if you just pop in for a beer and see what we’re about,” says Tiffany Ewigleben, secretary of the co-op.
“It’s much more of a community than just a hobby,” says co-op board member Eric Pell. He encourages home brewers to take the time to get to know suppliers and other brew enthusiasts in the area. Pell says the Sixer Mixer is the perfect opportunity for that.
The cooperative sold its first memberships at $150 beginning September 9, 2013. Since then, it has grown to include over 80 members and has hosted four informal meet-ups and membership buy-ins at various tap rooms in the area.
"We've seen a lot of interesting things brewing with the local area breweries and the most surprising thing to me was the amount of collaboration already present in the Grand Rapids brewing community," says Lavelle.
“[Community support] has all been really positive,” says Ewigleben. “That’s just the nature of the people that work within [the brewing] industry. They’re just cooperative in spirit.”
“It’s neat seeing all the breweries work together,” says Pell, praising the camaraderie in Grand Rapids brew culture. “Everybody gets along so well and that’s helped us greatly too with our membership party events and collaboration beers.” Pell says other local breweries are often enthusiastic to help with the goals of the co-op.
“Education is a really big component of what we are and what we want to do,” says Ewigleben. The cooperative hopes to teach home brewers about the process and how to expand their ferments by providing them with professional resources.
Soon-to-be GVSU grad, food and beer enthusiast, cat mom, Netflix fiend.
Reports on: Local food and breweries