5 friends turn love of brewing into a community business

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VAN WERT, Ohio (WANE) – Five Van Wert, Ohio friends are getting a lot of local buzz for their new idea to start a brewery. They hope their entrepreneurial dreams will bring the community together.

The company is called the High Five Brewing Company and the story starts with Andrew Watkins.

“I started brewing with my old man when I was a kid,” he said. “He was in the craft beer scene late 90’s, early 2000’s. Then I joined the military and it carried on from there. I learned how to brew through a bunch of other guys and got out, carried it on.”

Next, add in Ethan Watkins, Jackson Young, Brad Balliet and Nick Greve. You could catch them brewing away at their Whiskey Wednesdays Club, sharing their original brews with friends.

Then the thought hit them. Why not turn this hobby into a business? The ball really got rolling last month.

“The response has been overwhelming and great,” explained Greve. “In less than two weeks we’ve already hit 1,200 likes on our Facebook page.”

They say you can expect two things from High Five Brewing when it opens. One, a local taste – the corn, grains, malt, hops, honey and other ingredients will all be from the region.

You also can get ready for a good time.

“The best part of craft beer is obviously not only the taste, but the experience,” said Young. “Most people like to socialize when they drink. That’s kind of our overall goal, to bring together the community that we’re all from and we love.”

The guys hope to finalize a location by this fall and open their doors to the public by next summer.

To learn more visit their Facebook and GoFundMe campaign.

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