Sister Lakes Brewing premieres event space with artisan market, Lions Club fundraiser

Published 11:46 am Tuesday, December 7, 2021

SISTER LAKES — A sign that hangs beneath the tap list at a local brewery reads “fostering community one pint at a time,” and that is exactly what its latest event was all about.

Saturday, Sister Lakes Brewing Company, 92500 County Road 690, Dowagiac, hosted a Holiday Maker’s Market featuring local artisan vendors in its new Town Hall event space, as well as a Sister Lakes Lions Club fundraiser in the main taproom.

The brewery is owned and operated by the Morin family with the belief they have a social obligation to give back to the community. The Town Hall space, which opened amid the COVID-19 pandemic, was designed for private events as well as community events.

The Holiday Makers Market is the first public event hosted at the Town Hall space to help local artisans sell their creations as the holidays approach.

“A lot of folks are doing their shopping with the click of the mouse on Amazon, and these are all local artists, local makers,” said co-owner and brewer Brian Morin. “We want to support them and give them a chance to showcase their wares, as well as get folks in here to see the event space and potentially see if they want to have an event.”

Local vendors included Lunch Money Designs of Niles, Jen Deschaine of Dowagiac, Sill Laser, of Eau Claire, Water and Wheat Café of Coloma, Pete Nyce Pottery of Saint Joseph, The Golden Rule Jewelry of New Buffalo and more.

“Everything we do, we try to focus on the community,” Morin said. “If we can give folks a chance to showcase their craft and share our craft beer and food as well … what’s better than shopping with a pint of beer in your hand and checking out the local art?”

Lions Club Christmas baskets

In keeping with the community theme, the brewery also hosted members of the Sister Lakes Lions Club, which is raising money for its annual Christmas food basket donation to needy families in the area. The brewery donated coffee and hot chocolate for the club to sell and keep the donations from.

“Anything we can do to help,” Morin said. “That’s what we’re all about.”

Lions Club acting president Judy Pullins said the club generally hands out between 25 and 50 baskets every year, complete with everything a family needs to make Christmas dinner. According to Pullins, 100 percent of the donations go toward purchasing food, which will be packed Dec. 17 and handed to families Dec. 18.

“When you see these little kids’ faces light up, it’s just amazing,” Pullins said. “People are always so grateful that you can’t not want to help out.”

Lions Club member Luke Buchman said it is especially important to give back due to the hard times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been a rough year for a lot of people,” he said. “We should all come together more and be helping out people.”

Local businesses accepting Lions Club donations include BT’s Pub, Dockside Dan’s, Indian Lake Pub, The Strand, Sister Lakes Brewery, Wright’s Restaurant, La Perla Grocery, Propaganda Pizza, Sweet Thangs Restaurant, TJ’s Sports Bar & Grill, Jimmy’s Liquor Store, Luxe Parlor, Sister Lakes Hardware, Quality Marathon M-140 and Lakeview Inn. Dollar General also has a donation box for non-perishable foods.

What’s next

The brewery is set to host a full day of Christmas festivities Saturday, Dec. 11. Children and families can visit and take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus from noon to 3 p.m. free of charge in the main taproom.

After visiting with Santa, attendees can head over to the Town Hall for a dramatic reading of “A Christmas Carol” by storyteller Greg Weiss. An abridged children’s matinee performance will begin at 3 p.m., with a full performance at 5:30 p.m.

The brewery, which will host Greg Weiss for the fourth time, traditionally hosts the event on a Tuesday when the taproom was closed. However, with the new event space, Morin said staff will convert the Town Hall into a theater performance space.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children 13 and under. Ticket price includes refreshments provided by the brewery. Morin said the event typically sells out, so tickets should be purchased in advance in the taproom or on eventbrite.com by searching “Sister Lakes Brewing Company.”