Rockford home brew club members turning hobby into profit

The Forest City Brewers started 25 years ago. It’s a way for home brewers to connect, build relationships and expand their resources.

"The internet can’t taste your beer. So, when we do our meetings, and do our tastings at different parties and things like that, everyone gets to taste your beer." said Joe Mongan, President of the club.

The club currently has 100 members, and some of those members have turned the passion of the hobby, into a profit.

"Hey what would it cost to open a tap room? So we started talking in 2016 about it." said Jon Lambert, the head brewer at Hairy Cow in Byron.

"My business partner, Alex Cando and I were talking, and I just looked over at him and said you ever thought of starting a brewery?" said Heath Meyers, the co-owner of Urban Forest in Rockford.

It’s a business venture both Meyers and Lambert credit to the beer club. 

"To have that resource, to talk to each other about that in this sort of setting, I think it’s invaluable." said Meyers.

"They’ve been a great resource by doing the monthly tastings, and off flavor the different beers, so what’s good and what’s not so good." said Lambert.

It’s not just them either, Prairie Street head brewer, Steve Lenox, started out brewing from home 10 years ago.

Now he’s able host the club at the restaurant, and help members in any way he can. 

"It’s really gratifying to see those guys. The beer they come up with is great, I always try all their beer at the brew fests especially. And their stuff, it never disappoints." said Lenox. 

A resource the club is extremely grateful for. 

For more information on the club you can visit /http://forestcitybrewers.us/

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