The Roof Is On Fire

 Aftermath: A scene from behind the serving area after the fire on April 16, 2018.

Aftermath: A scene from behind the serving area after the fire on April 16, 2018.

Well..that was awful.

In the weeks leading up to our one year anniversary on April 21, Matt and I were busier than ever considering it was the off season. Any time we weren’t open to the public we were making small, but meaningful updates to our quirky little hole-in-the-wall brewery and dreaming up fun and new brews. Hell, we had even mapped out the rest of our special brew releases throughout the rest of the year. That was until the night of April 16.

It seemed like spring might actually be in the air. You see, we’d started out the year with some pretty killer weather, so it was no wonder people were taking advantage of it. The windows to the brew space were open and Matt could smell BBQ wafting in with the breeze; Only it turns out that BBQ smell wasn’t as innocent as he initially thought. As Matt was wrapping up his small batch brew session, something seemed off..the smell of smoke seemed too close. You can see in our security footage Matt walking around the space, walking outside, and then returning still unable to determine where the smell was coming from.

He left the brewery at 8:05pm and arrived home by 8:15pm. I should mention that Matt’s a volunteer with the Capital City Fire & Rescue, so he’s used to getting alerts on his phone about fire assistance needed. By 8:19pm Matt’s CCFR alerts were ringing off the hook, messages from friends and fellow business owners near by began to flood our phones and we finally found out where that smokey smell was coming from. When Matt arrived on scene flames were seen curling on the ceiling of our little basement brewery.

I’ll spare you the details of the amount of tears shed. The fire marshall conducted his investigation the following morning and found that there had been a faulty ballast in one of the fluorescent lights in the brew space. My guess is that it had probably been there damn near the time the manufacture started making the lights in the 1950’s.

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It’s been 168 days since the fire. We’re gearing up to open our brewery and taproom at a new location as the Franklin Street space sits virtually untouched since the night of the fire.

Kelly Barnaby