by Andrea Palmer
Christian and Bert Weber have opened the temporary taproom for Common Roots Brewing Co. at 30 Saratoga Ave. in South Glens Falls.
The brewery was issued a Certificate of Occupancy on May 7, and held a soft opening for the temporary taproom later that day.
The temporary building is owned by Elizabeth Miller, who reached out to the Weber shortly after a March 25 fire badly damaged their building just as an expansion had begun.
“The optics of the temporary location being right next to the original site are important,” said Weber. “Being able to see the new building as we put it up, as construction continues, as progress happens this summer … It’s important to us that we’re right in the middle of the action.”
Before the fire, Common Roots had just started Phase 1 of a two-part expansion. They purchased the property next to the original site, and had the lots combined. The brewery was to add more production space. Hilltop Construction was involved in the planning process for the past year.
“This isn’t really the way we wanted to go about it,” said Weber. “This is a very nostalgic building to my family. My dad and I built it, and it’s tough that it won’t be there.”
Common Roots will take the entire building down as well as the house next door, and start construction in early summer.
“We’re working with a design group and the Village of South Glens Falls, and we’ll hopefully be moving along pretty quickly,” said Weber.
The bar from the original site is being used as the bar in the temporary taproom, along with new counter space built in to accommodate space.
Said Weber, “There’s a lot of moving parts. We’re looking to get back on our feet very quickly. We want to be a big steward of the community and getting back to our community roots. That way if anyone else has this happen, we can lead the way through this as well for them.”
The community has assembled behind Common Roots, with various fundraisers. Other breweries, individuals and businesses have spearheaded the fundraising efforts. Proceeds are being used to cover insurance gaps in payroll coverage for people working at the brewery during the transition.
“We’ve never been on this side of such a support system, and never expected something like this. We’re humbled,” said Weber.
The Webers are keeping the full staff on payroll, finding work to keep them employed. Insurance does not cover the benefit and salary packages of all employees.
“We’re working with banks now for additional financing. It’s going to be a different facility … What it comes down to was the building didn’t matter. It’s about the people, and the community,” said Weber.
“The hard part is already over,” said Weber. “Now it’s time to move on.”
by Andrea Palmer