This past December I was returning home from a local holiday concert when I heard the news that our neighbor and friend had passed away. He had just celebrated his 90th birthday the previous week and we made plans to get coffee together at our new Café at Common Roots. Kendall was a good man who had a long and fascinating life. He loved to hear about the brewery and wanted very much to see the new space we had created there. Sadly, I missed that opportunity to grab that coffee with him and hear more of his stories.
In the weeks since his passing, I’ve looked out at his house across the street from us and still feel a bit of sadness. It was somehow always comforting to know Kendall was there. The house itself is a solid structure but looks a bit tired and Kendall, while he was very comfortable there, didn’t feel the need to update things. He loved having visitors, especially if you brought your dog. As I look out at that home across the street, I wonder who will live there next. Will it be a young family? How will they change the house? Whoever the future owners are, I know I will always think of Kendall being there. I hope it’s a family with a dog…Kendall would like that.
This past autumn, CRBC began the lengthy process of acquiring the C.H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station. As most people know, Neil Evans, the owner, had become ill and he and his family made the difficult decision to sell the business to another family brewery, Common Roots. In the weeks since the sale was announced, we have been working extremely hard to breathe some new life into the old structure. We loved this old building and what the Evans’ family did to convert it into a brewery and restaurant, but it was ready for some serious updates.
As we’ve gone through this process, we’ve tried to be sensitive to the incredible history of the previous owner while bringing our unique brand and company ethos to this historic structure. As we’ve been doing this renovation, I can’t help but wonder what our new neighbors in Albany are thinking. Since Neil’s passing in June and the shutting down of operations last Fall, I can imagine a lot of people are wondering what will happen to the old Pump Station. What will the new owners be like, and what will they do in the future?
As we all soon gather in this new space, I can imagine that Neil would be happy knowing the building he initially transformed will once again be a place to gather and celebrate. As old friends and neighbors leave us, it’s nice to honor their memory by re-imagining and transforming their space into something new and welcoming again.
In the next few weeks, we are very hopeful that the renovations will be completed, and we can open the doors and welcome everyone back into this beautiful space. The new business is now called Common Roots Brewing Company – Albany Outpost. We are extremely pleased with how it has been transformed and cannot wait to share it with everyone!
While we still have some work to do, it cannot be overstated how excited we are to be in downtown Albany. All of us here at the Common Roots family are looking forward to becoming part of the new revitalized downtown scene. Cheers to old friends and the opportunity and privilege to make new ones here in 2024.
On behalf of all of us in the Common Roots Family, we wish everyone a healthy, prosperous, and more peaceful New Year!