Brew masters

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Dad’s Kiwanis work shapes generous entrepreneur.

Story by Cindy Conover Dashnaw

Tiffany Fixter has spread joy at a camp for children who have cancer and sought career opportunities for people who live with disabilities. She credits growing up in Kiwanis for a life spent helping others.

Her father, Robert, was a member of the Lincoln, Nebraska, Kiwanis Club, and Tiffany joined Key Club while attending Lincoln High School.

“I did a lot of volunteer work with my dad through Kiwanis,” says Fixter. “I think that kind of experience makes you a compassionate person, and that’s what led me into teaching people who have special needs.”

“Usually, jobs for people who have special needs are things like sorting or sweeping. I just said, ‘They could totally brew beer!’”

After a nine-year teaching stint in Missouri, Fixter headed up a day-care program in Denver, Colorado. After being laid off, she became a part-time coach to help people who have disabilities find employment. That’s where she had an epiphany. All it took was a conversation with a co-worker who brews beer.

“Usually, jobs for people who have special needs are things like sorting or sweeping,” Fixter says. “I just said, ‘They could totally brew beer!’”

An overwhelmingly positive response led to a Kickstarter campaign in October 2015, which raised a whopping US$127,000. Two months later, she discovered a turnkey brewery for sale in Denver, which fit well with her plans for Brewability Lab.

“We teach the craft and art of brewing to adults who have developmental disabilities, giving them a viable source of rewarding employment while also showing the world the talent that this population has,” Fixter says.

This story originally appeared in the April/May 2016 issue of Kiwanis magazine.

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