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Sister Lakes Brewing Company hosting first anniversary party Saturday

When the Morin family launched the Sister Lakes Brewing Company last year, they had a simple philosophy in mind: create a place for their neighbors to gather and enjoy some great food, drink and company together.

These past 14 months, that focus on community has turned the local brew pub into one of the greater Dowagiac area’s most popular destinations.

On Saturday, the owners will invite its customers to a celebration of everything they have accomplished together during the Sister Lakes Brewing Company’s first anniversary party. The event will be from 1 to 11 p.m. in the back parking lot of the brewery, 92500 County Road 690, Dowagiac.

The party will feature live music from several area bands and artists, including ClusterPluck, Nate Holly, Retro Pop Shuffle and Slim Gypsy Baggage. Staff will also serve grilled and smoked meat dishes, as well as beers from the regular menu as well as several new brews specially made for the anniversary party. They will also host a raffle and bags tournament.

Tickets for the event cost $20, and may be purchased at the brewery or online on the SLBC website, sisterlakesbrewing.com.

“[The party] is a way to get all of our customers who have supported us this past year together,” said Joe Morin, one of the owners of the brewery. “We are so appreciative of them and their support, so we wanted to celebrate that alongside them.”

Joe, along with his brothers Brian and David and their father, Jerry, began working on transforming an old hardware store into what would become Sister Lakes Brewing Company in late 2015. Joe and Brian, who were avid homebrewers, wanted to create the business with their family members as a way to share their passion for craft beer with their neighbors, as well as to give their neighbors a place to kick back and enjoy a night out with friends.

It is that friendly and convivial atmosphere, on top of the establishment’s excellent selection of craft beer and diverse food menu, that keeps customers coming back, the owners said.

“This place is kind of like an extension of our own homes,” Joe said.

Although the business opened its doors in June 2016, the owners decided to hold off on hosting their first anniversary party until August, when the Sister Lakes community is at peak attendance, they said.

The owners will fence off the back lot of the brewery for Saturday’s party, where they will set up a stage and lighting rig for the bands to perform on. Performances will take place throughout the afternoon and evening, so guests will be able to come and go as the please throughout the party. The taproom will remain open as usual.

The staff will brew up several special beers for the party, including an American Red Ale they are dubbing “Rescue 21,” in recognition of the new vehicle the Sister Lakes Fire Department recently added to its fleet. A portion of the sales of the beer will be donated to the department.

They will also sell a New England IPA, a variation of the popular Indian Pale Ale that is gaining popularity among craft beer fans across the country, as well as bringing back their Bourbon Barrel Aged Wild Ale.

To complement their drinks, customers will be able to purchase some dishes straight from the brewery’s grill, including brisket and brisket burgers, jumbo brats, and grilled corn.

The owners are aiming to have around 350 people attend the party, they said.

“We want to thank the community for supporting us,” Brian said. “Without them, none of this would have been possible. We want them to know we appreciate them.”

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