SOUTH GLENS FALLS — Common Roots is establishing temporary roots down the street as it begins to rebuild from a devastating fire.
The temporary brewing and tap room opened last week at 30 Saratoga Ave. Company co-owner Bert Weber said the response from the community has been unbelievable and very humbling.
“It feels really good to be open, seeing our customers again,” he said.
Common Roots will be located in this new space for about a year, while the company rebuilds at its 58 Saratoga Ave. site, where an accidental fire on March 25 gutted much of the business.
“The fire was just a terrible event, but nobody got hurt. We’re very thankful for that. We always knew we had a great community, but this has been phenomenal. We’ve just been blown away,” he said.
The business is leasing the space from businesswoman Elizabeth Miller.
The tap room is located off Newton Street behind the Creative Styles Salon. It took about five weeks to get the space ready, Weber said. The bar is near the front of the space and some tables are in the back along with some cornhole games.
Weber said Fronhofer Design of Cossayuna designed the brewing system. Common Roots currently can brew small batches to serve the tap room. The company has contracted with some other breweries to produce batches of some of the more popular brews. Two Roads Brewing in Stratford, Connecticut, is brewing Last Light IPA.
Frog Alley Brewing of Schenectady and the New York City-based Torch & Crown Brewing Co. are also assisting. The brewing community is a very close-knit group, Weber said.
“They reached out to us after the fire, like so many other breweries, and said: ‘We have some capacity, we can open up some space for you guys, so if we can help, let us know,’” he said.
The business employs 20 people, with seven full-time and the rest part-time. Most of the employees have opted to stay. Some of the brewers are helping out in the tap room.
“We made the commitment right away to keep everybody, so they wouldn’t lose pay, health insurance,” he said.
A GoFundMe campaign has raised about $41,000 so far, which has been used to keep everyone employed and receiving benefits in the transition to the new space.
The owners are moving forward to rebuild. They pulled the last brew tanks out of the old building this past week and are getting ready to demolish the structure by the end of the month, Weber said.
“Then we’ll look to get shovels in the ground sometime in June to start the new construction,” he said.
The brewing system is going to be larger. The tap room will be on the Saratoga Avenue side. There also will be a courtyard on the Marion Street side that faces southwest, which will have nice views looking toward West Mountain, Weber said.
The plan by the Phinney Design Group features lots of glass inside, so people can see the brewing from inside the tap room.
The cost estimates are still coming in, but Weber estimated it would be just under $3 million worth of investment.
For now, customers are happy to have the temporary space. Steph Doyle and her daughter, Katie, both of Gansevoort, stopped by for a drink on Monday. The two said they had eagerly been awaiting the opening.
“It looks great — nice attention to detail. It’s clean and roomy,” Steph Doyle said.
Gail Jones, who lives nearby, said she is so glad that they are open and cannot wait for the new space.
“We love the brewery, the people. The Webers and their staff are outstanding people. They’re all caring, loving and happy and the beer is great,” she said.