“It’s like we threw a long bomb into the end zone and we completed the pass. And we scored. It actually happened.”
The words of David Gill, the president of the board of the Marquette Brewing Cooperative which today (Tuesday) opens Drifa, the new brewery in south Marquette.
Today’s opening is for the 350 co-op members only. Thursday it’ll open to the public. Everyone’s welcome.
So why does the opening feel like a Hail Mary pass?
Because there’s only a handful of beer co-ops in the country, and when Gill and a few other pioneer members started hatching the idea back in 2014, its seemed like a long shot. They needed to find member support for the idea–at $99 apiece–and they needed to find a lender.
They found both.
They’ve been renovating the building near South Beach for the last several months and they received their liquor permit a few weeks ago. Meantime, general manager Heather Ludwig–out of Titletown in Green Bay–has been hiring and training staff, and head brewer Matt Burling from Jasper Ridge in Ishpeming has been brewing the beer.
Seven brews so far, eventually it’ll be thirteen.
“It’s just a great feeling of relief and excitement to walk in and see our dreams come to fruition,” Gill says.
Initial plans call for Drifa to be open seven days a week, roughly from noon to late at night, although Gill concedes those plans are tentative, subject to change. They don’t don’t quite know what to expect.
No problem, though. They’ve already overcome long odds. Whatever lies ahead should be easy by comparison.