SOUTH GLENS FALLS — The walls are up and a new brewery is taking shape on the site where the Common Roots Brewing Company was crippled by fire March 25.
The family-owned craft beer producer is aiming for a late-February test run of the new brewing equipment that’s arriving in pieces now, and it hopes to open to the public by the spring, said Christian Weber, co-founder and head brewer.
“We’re right in the mix of it now,” he said Thursday. “We have quite a bit of construction happening.”
The brewery will have a rustic-industrial aesthetic, with lots of glass and metal but also exposed wooden beams. Guests will see a large beer garden and expansive views of West Mountain.
“We’re really hoping to be publicly open by April,” Weber said. “The winter’s going to tell us what we can and can’t do.”
The Route 9 construction site got dusted with snow and got uncomfortably cold this week, but work continues. The shell of the main building is in place and the second part is being fabricated off-site.
The new brewery will be three times the size of the old brewery. The Webers were in the process of tripling the size of the original facility when flames swept through.
“In hindsight, I’m glad it happened before we got too far along,” Weber said.
The months following the fire have been exhausting and heartening at the same time, as Common Roots worked to keep its products flowing and its distribution network alive, while planning to not only recover from the fire but reopen with a better facility than before.
For the most part, they’ve been successful, Weber said. They’ve been running an interim brewery nearby. It produces only 30 barrels of beer a month, compared with 500 at the old place, but it has helped keep every employee on the payroll. There’s been help from other brewers, too. SingleCut North in Clifton Park, Two Roads in Connecticut and Torch & Crown in New York City have all brewed beer for Common Roots.
There have also been benefit events to help the brewer and its employees.
“It’s so incredibly humbling,” Weber said.
“They’re like brethren,” he said of other craft brewers, “there was so much support.”
Common Roots will create a side entity to help others in the community and repay some of the support the family has received in the past seven months; it will launch as soon as January. “We wanted to keep that alive and going,” Weber said.
A portion of the proceeds generated by sales of a new beer to be created just for this purpose will be dedicated as a funding stream for the new foundation, he said.
Common Roots was co-founded by Weber and his father, Bert Weber, a retired teacher. The pair started brewing together in 2005 and opened the doors to their taproom in December 2014.