Twin Sisters Brewing is the lead business

WHATCOM — Twin Sisters Brewing, in partnership with Sustainable Connections and Whatcom Family Farmers, has announced a new grant program aimed to help Whatcom County farmers.

A $1,000 grant will be given to a Whatcom County farmer to help support the farming effort, according to a May 8 press release from Twin Sisters Brewing.

Greg Zimmerman, director of marketing for Twin Sisters, said the company sources locally whenever possible for the sustainability aspect, but also for the quality of ingredients.

“We wanted to do a grant program that really put our money where our mouth was,” Zimmerman said. “We’re partnering with other nonprofits to build the community around us. It just made sense to invest directly into the farms and farmers where we’re actually getting our food from.”

Farmers are encouraged to submit a proposal of how they would use the grant to improve their operations. Representatives from Twin Sisters will review the proposals and choose five finalists.

Zimmerman said that then a team will be sent out to talk to the finalists and make a video that will be posted on social media to let followers decide which project to fund. The final decision won’t solely come from social media, though.

“The plan is to not have it just be a public voting process because we do want it to go to who we think deserves it the most,” Zimmerman said. “We’ll use the data from social media in our determination, but we’re not going to make it just a public survey.”

Twin Sisters hopes to offer several grants rather than just one grant around this time next year. A percentage of sales of its flagship brew, the Bellingham Green IPA, will go into a fund dedicated to the Farmers Grant Program.

Zimmerman said this grant program is more than just a way for Twin Sisters to continue to partner locally. So far, he’s been able to discover operations in the county he wouldn’t have otherwise heard of.

“What will be cool is that we’ll be able to give them exposure,” Zimmerman said. “There’s some small five-acre farms trying to do some pretty unique things in our community.”

It’s also a way for Twin Sisters to emphasize how significant Whatcom County is to its operations.

“We really get to demonstrate through action and not just a fork symbol on our menu,” he said.