Sunday, October 05, 2008

Fire strikes Free State's production plant

I received the following email today from the Free State Brewery in Lawrence, KS. While I am happy for them that no one was hurt, this must be a big hit. I doubt that hops are insurable.

Dear Friends,

I’m sure that by now many of you know that a fire struck our nearly completed production plant in East Lawrence this morning. The damage was extensive and we do not know the full extent or implications of the fire damage as yet. The structure is intact as near as we can tell, although we will not know the full story until we are able to have engineers come in for a full assessment.

The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation and we are leaving that evaluation to the experts. Fortunately, the building was not occupied at the time and there were no injuries to anyone involved in the fire fighting effort.

Although we lost a substantial inventory of raw ingredients stored in the building, we are still able to continue production at our current levels downtown. What is now on hold is the planned expansion of our wholesale production and distribution. Needless to say, this is a significant setback, as we were hoping to begin brewing in the next couple of weeks.

Finally, our heartfelt thanks to all of our friends who pitched in or offered their help as we struggled to evaluate the situation today. Our thanks also, to the Lawrence Fire Department who handled the situation with professionalism and kindness. We were impressed with their efforts. As a community, we should be proud of these men and women for their service. We will keep you apprised as we move along and as answers appear.


Steve Bradt