(Above: the in-progress home of Alloy Brewing; below: third place ribbon and Alloy Brewing Erik’s Red Runner from the 2015 MN State Fair Homebrew Competition; photo are via Alloy Brewing)

Alloy Brewing, which looks to be Coon Rapids’ first brewery and taproom, is hoping to garner a following before opening its doors.

The beer enthusiasts are welcoming would-be patrons to the Coon Rapids Civic Center for a free tasting this Sunday (2 to 6 p.m.) as they begin crowdfunding for their project.

Brewing partners Jason Horton, Steve Tschida, Nick Lehmann and Rob Falink have gained enough accolades in the home brewing world – including 16 awards in 2016 – to convince them they have a shot at the big time. They hope to open their brewery and taproom, housed in a 5,500-square-foot former mechanics garage at 2700 Coon Rapids Blvd. NW., in mid-2017.

Until then, beer drinkers can enjoy a one-day sneak peek at the brewery's six staple beers – an American/German lager hybrid, an Irish red ale, an American IPA, an oatmeal stout, a  cherry lime witbier and a Belgian strong. There will also be a seasonal brew, the “Holidaze,” a spiced old ale.

“We just wanted to get our name out there,” Lehmann said, “to get a grass roots movement going.”

The foursome – along with wives Katie Lehmann, Christina Horton and Pattie Tschida– are currently awaiting federal approval to sell the starting spate of beers. From there, they plan to grow in the former garage. The location will have four garage doors that can be opened in the summer and lend an airy feel.

Lehmann said the quartet has brewed each of their staples “30 or 40” times but have together made over 170 varieties. They’ve kept 140 recipes and are still developing new ones.

“We pride ourselves on our staples,” Lehman said. “But we’ll always try to find that one beer for whoever comes in the door even if it isn’t a big beer drinker… we really like to hit all gamuts.”