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After spending two decades playing in rock bands and touring the country, brothers Jason and Justen Parris both needed a new creative outlet. They chose making beer from home.

Jason Parris, 42, has worked at Rock Island Brewing Company for 10 years, booking acts and organizing beer events, like the three-year River’s Edge Homebrew Festiv-Ale. Justen Parris, 40, is an engineer at the Exelon nuclear power plant in Cordova, Illinois. They played in the band Driver of the Year together, Justen on drums and Jason keyboards/vocals. “I would travel and taste beers on either coast. You could really taste different areas of the country. I figured out that I can make beer, too.”

When they started it 10 years ago they liked that homebrewing involved a “potion-esque” process, It was like magic. “You could just add these certain things and you create beer. We had the desire to make other than the standard beer you have on the market, the beer we were making was just as good — or better — as anywhere else.”

There was another immediate plus: Of all the hobbies you could have in the world, this is the one to get your friends to love you. After years of practice, their hobby grew. “There’s a uniqueness to what we’re going to do that starts with ingredients you won’t find commercial beers.”

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