Metro-East News

Hopskeller Brewing Co. reopens after fire

Hopskeller Brewing Co. to reopen later this summer

Matt Schweizer is seeing Hopskeller Brewing Company in Waterloo come together after a fire shut the place down in 2016.
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Matt Schweizer is seeing Hopskeller Brewing Company in Waterloo come together after a fire shut the place down in 2016.

Hopskeller Brewing Co. had only been open about a month when it was ruined by fire last year.

Five feet of water filled the basement of the building that dates to the 1850s. An air-conditioning unit caved in through the roof to the first floor. And the brewing equipment was deemed unusable.

Hopskeller Brewing Company in Waterloo, Illinois, will be closed for several months after an Oct. 23 fire.

The damage was heartbreaking, but brewmaster Matt Schweizer immediately vowed to rebuild.

Now, nearly a year later, the Waterloo brewery will celebrate its reopening at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, at 116 E. 3rd St.

“This is been one heck of a journey. Thank you for staying in touch, for your support, and for what I hope will be many continued good times!” Hopskeller posted on its Facebook page earlier this week.

Earlier this year, Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith said he was “excited about getting Hopskeller open.”

He praised Hopskeller and several other businesses that have invested in rehabbing older buildings downtown.

One of these businesses includes another craft brewer, the Stubborn German Brewing Co., which opened last year at 119 S. Main St.

“We’ve been able to save our downtown where people are actually wanting to put a business in downtown,” Smith said in June. “Waterloo’s downtown has really become viable.”

BND reporter Mike Koziatek contributed to this report.

Cara Anthony: 618-239-2471, @CaraRAnthony

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