By Andrea Harwood Palmer
Common Roots Brewing Co. is open at its new, expanded facility at 58 Saratoga Ave. in South Glens Falls.
The 15,000-square-foot facility is on the site of the company’s original brew house that was gutted by fire in March 2019. It is open seven days a week from noon to 8 p.m. for to-go sales only from the new taproom.
It will open with beer-to-go service and outdoor on-premise seating, as allowed by guidelines imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A gastro pub-style menu will be rolled out with food to go.
Phinney Design Group in Saratoga Springs designed the structure. V&H Construction of Fort Edward built it.
Christian Weber founded the company with his father, Burt Weber, in 2014.
“We understand it’s a destination spot for a lot of people,” said Weber. “The experience of coming to Common Roots has always been really important to us. Right now, the only thing more important than the experienced and the culture, is safety. Safety is our number-one priority so our staff and customers have a safe and comfortable experience.”
The facility has a restaurant with a state-of-the-art kitchen and wood-fired pizza oven, in addition to an expanded tap-room, conference room for events, four Tesla charging stations outside, an expanded biergarten with two fire pits.
With the re-opening, Common Roots has brought on new professional positions to the team. Dan Biddiscombe, former general manager of Downtown Social, joins the management team. Also added were Chris Grasso and Rich Wilson, both formerly of City Beer Hall, and Greg Hutchinson, formerly of Three Penny Taproom.
“We put in a much larger brewer system. When we burned, we were doing around 5,000 barrels a year. When we open, we’ll be doing around 8,000 a year. When we’re fully operational, hopefully sometime over the winter or spring, we’ll be closer to around 12,000 barrels a year,” said Weber.
At the time of the fire, Common Roots was the 23rd largest brewery in New York state, out of over 700 breweries, according to Weber, and were in the top 8 percent of breweries in the country in terms of volume.
“We distribute down to New Jersey and throughout New England. When we open, we’ll be even larger than we were before,” said Weber.
Now that Weber and his team are back in their own facility with the brewing system to which they are accustomed, they will be rolling out new brews with regularity.
“When we had the temporary taproom up and running, we were doing quite a few fun taproom-only beers on our three-barrel pilot system. There’s a lot that we kept under wraps. So, we have a lot of beers ready to go,” said Weber.
The menu will change throughout the seasons, depending on what is in season and what can be purchased in bulk locally.
“That’s really important to us—to maintain our relationships with our farmers and our local food systems already in place,” said Weber.
The Common Roots brewing system is built by Fronhofer Design LLC in Glens Falls, a subsidiary of Fronhofer Tool Co. in Argyle. The system is entirely automated and can be run from a smartphone if necessary, he said.
“We’re really excited about the level of beer we’ll be able to produce in terms of consistency and maintaining a super high quality. When it comes to beer, that’s what’s most important—coming out with something that is high quality and consistent,” said Weber.
“It was definitely interesting completing this project during a pandemic,” he said. “We were so humbled last year by the community’s outpouring of support after the big fire. We’re so thankful for our community. We look forward to later down the road when we can have a big celebration.”
By Andrea Harwood Palmer