I’ve been following the story of The Alchemist Brewpub & Brewery in Waterbury, Vermont. They suffered catastrophic damage to the brewpub when flood waters from Hurricane Irene attacked the town. The Kimmichs, founders of The Alchemist were very positive in the wake of tragedy, vowing to rebuild. The cannery was out of the flood zone, things were looking up. That is – until the insurance company informed them that the basement- where the brewery/brewpub resided was NOT covered.
That is has proved to be the nail in the coffin for the rebuild. In a letter soon published on their website:
Hello friends and fellow business owners.
First and foremost, thank you for all of your assistance and encouragement in the months following the flood. This experience was a challenge made easier by your outpouring of support.
We have made the very difficult decision not to re-open The Alchemist Pub and Brewery. While it is extremely difficult to walk away from the business we have spent our last 10 years building, this is the best option for us moving forward. There were many factors that helped us come to this decision. Primarily, we have recently learned that none of the contents in our basement were covered by flood insurance. Unfortunately, our basement was the lifeblood of our business — our brewery, our beer, all of our food and our offices were in the basement. Moving forward, we have come to the realization that re-building our basement brewery is not a viable option.
At this time, we are focused on reconstructing our building at 23 South Main Street. Zoning has been approved to re-build a 60-seat pub. John and I are determined to re-build as fast as possible to contribute to the vitality of downtown Waterbury. We are in talks with a few different restaurateurs to take over the space. We will find the best fit for Waterbury — someone who can continue to run the pub in a warm, friendly and accessible manner, and provide employment opportunities to our staff.
The Alchemist will continue to be involved in the village of Waterbury. As property owners, we will continue to put our best foot forward with the aesthetics of the building. It is our belief that without the day-to-day operations of the pub and brewery, we will be able to spend more time on community focused special events. Moreover, and probably most important, we will move our 7-barrel brewery to our new production brewery at 35 Crossroad. Once we have installed the brewery, John will be hard at work to supply the community with his creative and tasty small production beers.
If anyone has any questions or concerns about the future of our building or The Alchemist, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Jennifer & John Kimmich
Luckily, there will be more Heady Topper and other tasty canned delights coming from The Alchemist, as they focus on their production brewery. Sadly, the local watering hole seems to be gone for good.