Our friends Michael and Alana Brower at Pigeon Hill Brewing are passionate about their Hops for Hope partnership because, like so many people, the cause is near and dear to their hearts.
In 1997, shortly after his third birthday, Michael’s cousin Jonny passed away from leukemia. “That’s the first devastating loss I really remember; I had just turned 12,” said Michael. “If you want to see a grown man cry, bringing up Jonny is a good start. Waterworks kick in as soon as I think about him.”
Then, almost a year after Jonny’s passing, Michael’s Grandma Brower lost her battle with colon cancer. “She was a strong woman and an incredible fighter, and that only made it tougher to watch the progression of the disease,” Michael shared.
Michael’s mother had a cancer scare, and Alana went through similarly frightening experiences with the women in her family. “Luckily, a scare is nothing more than a scare, but each time it happens, I lose sleep long after the threat has passed,” said Michael.
Breast cancer has also taken a toll on those close to Michael and Alana. Four of Alana’s aunts were diagnosed with breast cancer along with a close friend, and sadly she lost her grandmother to the disease.
“One of my girlfriends is a two-time breast cancer survivor … she’s under 40 years old,” said Alana. They now have a running team with 12 others called “Team Half Rack & Hot Wings” and run the Michigan Ragnar together.
In 2014, Michael and Alana joined Purple Community’s Hops for Hope program because they wanted to fight back against the diseases that have impacted their family and friends. As part of the program, Pigeon Hill Brewing sells growlers, t-shirts and donates a dollar for every pint of give back beer sold. Now in their third year of Hops for Hope, it is evident that their passion for the cause stems from a deep understanding of the reality of these horrific diseases. Alana said it best, “Cancer sucks. It doesn’t matter what cancer it is. It takes loved ones way too soon.”
Purple Community and Van Andel Institute are fortunate to have dedicated partners like the Browers and Pigeon Hill Brewing. During the month of October, we encourage you to stop by Pigeon Hill and grab a pint of Double Dunes DIPA. For every pint of Double Dunes DIPA sold, Pigeon Hill will donate $1 towards breast cancer research at Van Andel Institute.
Want to check out our other amazing partners? Interested in being a Hops for Hope location? Click here to learn more.