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'The Alchemist, 2003-2011'

Posted by Steve Greenlee  August 29, 2011 10:58 AM

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More bad news out of Vermont this morning. It appears Hurricane Irene took out The Alchemist, the renowned brewpub in Waterbury that makes Heady Topper, a beer that many people consider to be the finest India pale ale in the world.

Alchemist owner John Kimmich sent out a tweet last night that read: "The Alchemist Pub & Brewery. 2003-2011 Like a phoenix from the flames, we shall be reborn..... the floodwaters have inundated the pub....."

The hurricane struck as the pub has been preparing to release its first beer for sale outside the South Main Street premises: 16-ounce cans of Heady Topper. That, apparently, will still happen.

A post this morning on the Alchemist website reads: "Disaster strikes Waterbury. The Alchemist Pub and Brewery was ruined in a once in a generation flood on Sunday night August 28, 2011. While the cannery is fine and on target to open this coming Friday, the Pub will be closed for the foreseeable future. With our endless thanks and gratitude to our loyal and returning friends, customers and fans, we will be back. Stay tuned..."

UPDATE (12:05 p.m.): I just received an email from co-owner Jen Kimmich: "The pub is completely totalled," she wrote. "Our brewery and all of the beer inside are ruined. It will take a long time to rebuild. My guess is that the building will be gutted and rebuilt. On a good note, our canning line is running today and we are preparing for a Friday opening. Wish us luck!" 

Gary Dzen

About 99 Bottles

Gary Dzen writes about craft beer here and in the Globe when he's not covering the Celtics for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GaryDzen.

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