Editorials

No crying in his beer after fire destroys his microbrewery dream

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.

There are some lessons in character behind Matt Schweizer’s dream to open his own business in Waterloo.

Schweizer’s craft beers were so popular at a fundraiser at Gibault Catholic High School, that he quit as a teacher, got his parents and others to invest and built a microbrewery and restaurant. He renovated a historic building in the process.

He was open less than a month and a kitchen fire destroyed all his efforts. He faced five feet of water in the basement. His historic building was so damaged that the AC crashed through the roof to the first floor. All his brewing equipment was damaged beyond repair.

Insurance and finances aside, that is a lot of physical labor and emotional strain to endure in pursuit of a dream. Imagine then having the wherewithal to spend nearly a year to do it all over again.

Many would have given up on the building, the business and the dream. Many would never have quit their day job to chase that dream. Many would have used other people’s money and gotten taxpayers to help out only to leave an incomplete building amid piles of dirt with an indefinite opening date.

There’s another small brewer in Waterloo near Schweizer’s place. It would be easy to believe Schweizer inspired their name: Stubborn German.

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