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Jess Mead

Group of people holding beers and smiling


By Foundation

SOUTH GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – The Common Roots Foundation announced $20,000 in grants to 10 organizations working to improve the quality of life throughout northeastern New York.

With these awards, the Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 2020 in the aftermath of the Common Roots Brewing Company fire, has channeled more than $75,000 to local projects focused on community wellness, environmental stewardship, and helping neighbors in need.

“Today’s awardees highlight some of the incredible efforts underway in our community to make life a little better, a little easier, a little safer,” said Bert Weber, President of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “We are lucky to be in a place where so many neighbors are looking out for others. On behalf of the Foundation, thank you for what you do. You are truly making a difference in the lives of so many.”

Spring awardees include:

  • Bikeatoga — bike rehabilitation and safety program
  • Climb for a Cure — colorectal cancer education and outreach
  • Girls on the Run — launching a new running program in South Glens Falls
  • Glens Falls Central School District Backpack Program — providing food to 125 students each weekend
  • Glens Falls Hospital’s Amanda’s House —  accommodation improvements
  • The Hyde Collection — new public programming
  • Lake George Association —algal bloom identification program
  • Prospect Center —  medical and first-aid supplies
  • Water Insecurity Correction Coalition — clean water project in the Adirondacks
  • YMCA — community garden and related education and nutrition programs

The Foundation raises funds year-round through tax-deductible donations, a membership program, fundraising events, and business partners.

Bert added, “I am heartened, but not surprised, by the continuous support of our community: more than 50 volunteers joined our team to clean up the Betar Byway during River Sweep; our legacy partner renewable energy company Boralex; weekly bike rides that raise funds—so many come together to allow us to further our mission and help make a difference.”

Applications for our fall awards are due November 1. To apply for a community grant, learn more about the Foundation, or become a member, please visit:

The next Common Roots Foundation fundraiser is the River Run for the Roots 5K which will be held on Saturday, July 8th. For details and registration, go to

Four people raising glasses of beer

Summer 2023

By FoundersMessages

I’ve been to quite a few celebrations this spring. Some have been milestone birthdays and others have been celebrations of life…each looking back at a friend or family member’s life. These have been important remembrances and often emotional events for family and friends to share. I’ve left many of these occasions thinking about that person and concluding, “well, that was a life well lived.” What is a life well lived? What stories do we want others to remember about us when we’re gone are questions to consider. I suppose the answer could be dependent on each person’s hopes and expectations and the length of time we are given to tell that story. That said, life will teach us, the time will pass no matter what we do, and we should make the most of each day’s gift.

A person’s individual story is influenced by family and the reverse is also true. As you’ve likely heard, Common Roots Brewing Company has agreed to purchase the CH Evans and Sons Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station. This opportunity came to us due to life circumstances that have become difficult for the Evans’ family. Neil Evans, the owner, and industry icon is struggling with a serious illness and had to make the hard decision to sell the business.

As part of this agreement, we will continue to brew some of the CH Evans’ famous beers into the future under the Common Roots brand and carry on the incredible story of one of New York’s most historic brands. It is an honor to do so, and we are hopeful this agreement has brought some peace of mind to the Evans Family and assurance that their story will continue to be written into the future. On a positive note, during this process we have become friends with the Evans family and have learned a great deal about the history that they are so rightfully proud of.

In retrospect, this has many of the elements of a good lesson for each of us to consider. What is the story we want people to know about us? Every day we have an opportunity to tell a new story through our family, our work, our actions, and the causes we support. The Common Roots Foundation, through the generosity of our members and supporters, has now awarded over $75K in grants and awards to support local organizations in the important work they are doing. All of us at Common Roots Brewing and the Common Roots Foundation, are extremely proud of this work and are grateful for this opportunity to continue tell our story in this community and beyond.

As you ponder what your individual story will be, we hope you will consider making the Common Roots Foundation part of that narrative. Together we’ve already had a positive impact on the lives of many people in our community. Lifting people into better circumstances is a good story and the more people that join us, the better it gets.

Tin coffee mug in front of a lake that reads, "What good shall I do this day."

Spring 2023

By FoundersMessages

“Expect good things to happen” has become a popular mantra here with the Weber Clan and one which allows us to keep a positive outlook on many of the uncertainties that life can present. Over the last few years, our Brewery and Foundation have certainly faced some challenges and somehow through it all, we expected something good to come from it. That said, we understood this expectation was not based on the idea that there won’t be work or to suggest a reliance on blind faith that everything will turn out. On the contrary, this phrase is really intended to be more of a rallying statement. Something that still requires a thoughtful process to consider the facts, formulate a plan and envision a positive outcome.

I will also note that coinciding with this mantra is a belief that having a strong visual in one’s mind of what that success will look like is critical to this process. Not having a strong vision for what you want is like starting a trip without an idea where you are going. Taken a step further… if you don’t know where you’re going…how will you know when you arrive? This expectation of good must have a strong idea of what that “good” will look like and what steps must be taken to get there.

At both the Foundation and Common Roots Brewery Company, we have a strong vision of where we want to be as an organization and a business…both now and in the future. Some of the real work comes in recruiting the right people and having them join us in creating that vision for a better outcome. Fortunately for us, we have recruited incredible staff and board members that not only understand the vision, but they also help us achieve it every day.

As we embrace the spring season with a renewed hope and excitement for the coming warmer months, all of us at Common Roots would like to recruit more people to share in the vision of a more sustainable future. Climate change continues to be the over-riding challenge of our generation. Solving it will require an unprecedented level of global cooperation and can certainly be overwhelming to think about, especially when the solutions seem so distant and beyond our control.

That said, wouldn’t it be nice to all start imagining a world that is less dependent on fossil fuels and more sustainable right here in our community!? The strides that have been made in renewable energy, electric vehicles and recycling have been impressive but won’t be enough to reverse global warming. One of the more frustrating hurdles in addressing the climate crisis is that far too many policy makers don’t believe the science or believe it is too late to do anything. We shouldn’t accept that vision for our children and the planet we leave them.

Here’s five things we can all do right now to help reverse climate change and be part of the solution:

  1. Contact your elected officials and demand they support climate initiatives. Support only those that have a proven record on this issue.
  2. Reduce the amount of energy you consume in your home, business, and in travel.
  3. Recycle and reduce the amount of waste and plastic in our homes, businesses, and communities.
  4. Support organizations that are actively solving environmental justice issues on a local, national, and global scale.
  5. Speak up and join organizations that are doing this work and volunteer whenever you can.

Expecting good things to happen for our planet is a mantra that we can all support and join in as a shared vision for the next generation. Let’s all do our share and start that vision today.

A Betar Byway sign in need of repair

Common Roots Foundation Proposes to Revamp Betar Byway Signs

By Foundation

The signage along Betar byway at the South Glens Falls Historical Park will receive some much-needed rejuvenation this spring as part of the Common Roots Foundation’s River Sweep community cleanup project.

SOUTH GLENS FALLS, N.Y. — Common Roots Brewing co-founder Bert Weber pitched a proposal to the Village Board Wednesday to help update the signage along the Betar Byway located at South Glens Falls Historical Park.

“I’m here representing the Common Roots Foundation this evening. It’s the not-for-profit arm of our brewery operation over there,” he said.

After a fire destroyed the first Common Roots Brewing location, Weber said the outpouring of community support in rebuilding the business inspired he and his fellow founders to create a community service arm.

“It was an idea that we had even before the fire. but obviously, after the fire, the reaction of the community, we really felt we have to pay this forward; so we created the Common Roots Foundation,” Weber said.

The foundation has existed for two years and has awarded more than $50,000 in grants and donations to area organizations that promote the ethos that the Commons Roots partners are passionate about.

“So, we’re looking at promoting an active lifestyle, improve the environment,” Weber said. “We’re looking at sustainability issues, and social justice issues and also trying to help others in crisis.”

As part of the foundation’s mission, Weber said its board has been looking for an ongoing land ‘adoption’ project, where it would sponsor a portion of public land within the village and provide maintenance and upkeep.

“We couldn’t think of a better project than the Betar Byway. We use it for our Run for the Roots. We use it as part of the River Sweep organization,” he said. “It’d be kind of an ongoing adoption for us. We’d always want to have something to do down there.”

Weber met with South Glens Falls Superintendent of Public Works T.J. Chagnon to discuss options regarding service projects the foundation could bring to the byway, and the two landed on renovating the path’s signage.

Weber proposed to the Village Board that the foundation either renovate, or replace the existing three signs, as well as some light landscaping around them.

The foundation plans to use its River Sweep event, scheduled for May 6 as a jumping-off point for the byway signs renovations. In addition to clearing debris from the banks along the Hudson River, volunteer teams will work to renovate the signs to help keep the area a picturesque and healthy place for people to visit and enjoy.

“We think the village has been a great place to build a business and we want to have more people here and pay the community back,” Weber said. “Obviously, you can’t make beer without water, so protecting that resource is very important to all of us.”

Rows of various beer cans

Winter 2023

By FoundersMessages

Having choices are generally considered good things in life, but is there such a thing as too many choices? Most people would say no… but having so many choices can sometimes create a dilemma or even confusion for the consumer as to what brand to purchase.

As the chief cook in our family, I enjoy the art of cooking and weirdly, even like to go to the market and select the items I want to prepare. That said, my time in the supermarket is not all joyful and I am amazed at the number of choices we have as consumers on any given product. How do I choose what brand to buy? Like most things I purchase, there can be a difference in quality, price, locally produced or big brand. That said, and for the obvious reason, I usually don’t have to purchase my beer at the grocery store. I do, however, make a point to visit that area of the market and check to see the Common Roots display and what the competition is doing.

Cans of beer in a cooler

I am always amazed at the number of choices that are now available in the craft beer display! As I stand there…I put myself in the customers shoes and try to imagine…now why would I choose CRBC over some other brands? Certainly taste, style, ABV, label design, and price all likely enter the decision-making process so…what else should matter?

If you are a regular customer of CR, you likely know we made a very deliberate decision early in our business model to use local suppliers and products in all aspects of our business. We’ve also made a substantial investment to reduce our waste stream and carbon footprint as a company and support a variety of sustainable initiatives with other local organizations. To further our mission to strengthen our community, we launched the Common Roots Foundation in 2021 and, with your support, have donated over $50,000 in support of this initiative. While none of these decisions necessarily improved our bottom line, we felt strongly that this was ultimately a more impactful way to do business.

All that said…how would a new or undecided customer know that and would they even care? Does it matter if the company or brand they support is a good community member that supports environmental sustainability and social justice issues? The answer we think is a “hopeful yes.” The question then becomes: “How do we get that message out and not sound like a marketing ploy?”

The answer, we believe, is to just keep doing what we are doing. We didn’t start this idea of building a community around beer because we wanted to monetize it. We saw the value of bringing people together over a beer for the common good and this honestly aligned more with what we value as a family and a business. Even in our little original taproom we saw the importance of gatherings to help one another, and we wanted to grow both the business and our community under that ethos.

Understandably, a critical part of any successful business is their approach to customer engagement. We know that in a competitive market with lots of choices, giving the customer another reason to support our brand will help us grow the business and the foundation. We believe that feeling good about supporting CR, the Brewery and CR, the Foundation is an important part of that engagement.

Sign that says "Brewed with passion, rooted in community."

In that light, we are introducing a new slogan that we will attach to our brand: “Brewed with Passion, Rooted in Community”. Our team felt that this best embodied what we want our customers to know. We love what we do, and we care about our community.

As we move into 2023, we trust this new slogan will also serve as a reminder to keep doing what we love and perhaps, give the consumer another reason to support this idea we call Common Roots.


Group of people holding beers and smiling


By Foundation

Since established in 2021, more than $47,000 total contributed to groups focused on creating positive change throughout the region

SOUTH GLENS FALLS, N.Y. – The Common Roots Foundation announced more than $20,000 in grants to nine organizations supporting community wellness, environmental stewardship and assisting those in times of need.

Founded in the aftermath of the Common Roots Brewing Company fire, the Common Roots Foundation is a nonprofit focused on sustaining and improving the quality of life throughout northeastern New York through grants and volunteering efforts. Since being established in 2021, the Foundation has contributed more than $47,750.

“When we first established the Common Roots Foundation, our goal was simple: to give back to the tremendous community that supported us through difficult times and continues to step up for their neighbors,” said Bert Weber, President of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Between our sustaining and new members, well-attended fundraising events, and our first Legacy Partner, Boralex, the Foundation has been able to support even more programs that are truly making a difference in the lives of the people we want to serve.”

Current awardees include:

  • Books Offer Opportunities Kids Succeed—provides 10,000 free books to low-income families;
  • Crandall Park Beautification Committee—updating and improving community centerpiece park;
  • Glens Falls Youth Center—provides educational, recreational and life-skills programs for disadvantaged youth (grades 5 – 12);
  • Habitat for Humanity—building and providing homes, this time for a family from Gabon;
  • St Mary’s Food Pantry—part of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY serving 100 families/week;
  • Tri-County Literacy—high school GED, English as a new language, and literacy tutor program;
  • Up Yonda Farm—outdoor recreation and education center;
  • Wait House—a homeless shelter for youth ages 16-24;
  • World Awareness Children’s Museum—hands-on cultural educational space for children;

“As a member of the greater South Glens Falls community for more than 20 years, Boralex and our employees are firmly committed to contributing to the vibrancy and economic vitality of this area,” said Erik Bergman, board member, and Director of Operations for Boralex, a renewable energy developer, owner and operator. “Working with the Common Roots Foundation allows us to further our mission to go beyond renewable energy and create sustainable, inclusive and healthy communities in the regions in which we operate.”

Grants range from $1,000 to $2,500 and are awarded for a specific program or project representing the Foundation’s three pillars: community wellness; environmental stewardship; and assisting those in need.

Previous awardees from spring 2022 and 2021 have included: Rise Housing and Support Services, Saratoga Shredders, Family Services of Glens Falls, South Glens Falls United Methodist Church, Pitney Meadows Community Farm, Graphite Mountain Trails, North Country Wild Care, Warren County Soil and Water, Saratoga PLAN, Wilton Wildlife Preserve, Town of Moreau Community Garden and Glens Falls Youth Center.

To learn more about the Foundation, apply for a community grant, or to become a member, please visit

Photo opportunity at our awardee reception will be Wednesday, December 14 at 5 p.m. at the Common Roots Brewing Company. Media interested in attending please contact

Homeless man holding a sign that reads "seeking human kindness"

Holiday 2022

By FoundersMessages

While driving home from the brewery just before Thanksgiving, I was listening to a program about immigration on our local NPR station. The man interviewed was asked how he felt when it seemed no one cared. He said something that struck me as very profound. He replied, “The heart cannot feel what the eyes do not see.”

I thought how true that is for many of us. It is hard to feel or have empathy for someone or a cause if we don’t see it or have been affected by it. This all happened on the same day that I came across a man experiencing homelessness on one of my favorite dog walks in the woods of Moreau Town Park. I have taken this trail many times and, on this day, after a recent snowfall, I came upon a man who had taken shelter in the woods. I apologized for disturbing him with my dogs, he made no eye contact, said nothing, and started to break his camp. I wish I would have asked him if he needed help but was honestly too startled by the whole experience.

We all know that, particularly during this holiday season, we have members of our community that are struggling and could use a helping hand. The hard truth is that these needs are year-round and not just during this holiday season. In that light, I am especially proud that, between the Brewery and the Foundation, we have been able to collaborate with several local organizations that not only “see” the problems, but they also act and lend a hand to help.

With your support this past year, our Foundation has contributed over $36,000 in donations to help lift our community in areas we don’t always see. I wish we could do more as the need is great and our resources are finite. During this special season, all of us at the Foundation and Common Roots Brewing Company are thankful for your continued support and willingness to be involved.

We are especially thankful to our corporate sponsor, Boralex Hydro, for their generous support of the Foundation and our mission to lift our community. If you haven’t done so already, please consider donating to or joining our Foundation to lend a helping hand to many of our local organization that continue to be our eyes and an open portal to our hearts.

Cheers and best wishes from all of us at Common Roots Brewing Company and the Common Roots Foundation!

Foundation Video Transcript

By Uncategorized

Building a brewery was – although my father and I maybe took the brunt of it – was a community, it was a family effort. It was family and friends; everyone was included in it. This was truly the brewery that the community built.

Beer (and breweries) I think is a great vehicle to do more than just sell beer. We thought, you can balance making beer, drinking beer, and still being a very active person and being socially conscious.

Bert and I both left a long career, and you’re losing a community at that point. And we walk into Common Roots after building this, and we found another community.

We want to help support the community, but I think we’re here as a steward of that. And I think that the trust the community maybe has is something that we helped develop throughout the last six or seven years that we’ve been in business for.

Before I left the brewery I would go around and I would just thank the brewery. Tap a fermenting vessel and say, “Thank you. This was good.” The night that I learned that the brewery had caught fire, it was probably a really good day at the brewery honestly. It was jamming. We were packed, all the fermenting vessels were filled, we had just packaged a bunch of beer, the distributors had picked up, we had a taproom full of happy people.

I remember hearing this crackle. And it’s the crackle you hear when you’re around a fireplace or outside or something. And I remember my heart sank.

It was hard. It was hard coming over the bridge. And seeing the smoke, the fire engines and… Yeah that was really really hard.

Our dreams go up in smoke, and it became almost like an out of body experience standing there watching this happen.

So many people just started showing up. And the building is still smoking. And there was this energy that was starting to fester. And it eventually became enormous and became contagious.

The night of the fire, we had this one idea of community. When the fire happened we realized we had created a community much larger.

We were able to rebuild. And now we can really say that this is the brewery that the community built. So what else can we do now to keep paying that forward, to keep that momentum going? Because if we can come together for this there’s so many things that we can come together to continue to do.

The opportunity to create the Foundation has always been part of our story. It wasn’t just because of the fire. But the fire really amplified that this is something we have to do and we were capable to do it.

A place is only something. You can burn this building down again, and Common Roots is still going to be here. Common Roots is a bigger thing. It’s a group of people who have all come together. It’s a community of people that have come together with this similar ethos and this idea of sharing beer, breaking bread and seeing what we can do for each other.

But to be able to stay in touch and have a heart, to remember, to be open, to give and share… These are all part of who we were before this, and now because we have the means, we have the community support behind us, we have the Foundation, it’s like the better it gets the better it gets.

We’ve been really fortunate to get to support different charities and organizations and individuals throughout our tenure as a company. From the ownership side, it is really rewarding to be a part of. And it’s also an educational experience for our staff and our community too, to see just how many organizations are in need out there.

The Foundation is our way of paying this back and paying it forward to a community that’s just been amazing to us. We use the word a lot but we’ve been humbled through this whole process and we’ve created this Foundation and we hope you’ll
think about joining us because it’s a way we can all join together and do a greater good here in the community.

Bert Fishing

Fall 2022

By FoundersMessages

As we get ready to welcome the autumn season with all its magic, it’s also a good time to reflect on what a good summer we’ve had. The summer weather, while exceptionally hot at times was, for the most part, a good summer. The hot days and comfortable nights were what we all love about Upstate New York.

As of this writing it has also been a dry summer and while that was good for our outdoor plans, it did make it harder for our friends in the farming community. The lack of adequate rainfall had a negative effect on crop yield and timing. Our drought conditions here were even worse in other parts of the world. By the time you are reading this, Robin and I should be on vacation in Europe and hopefully enjoying our long-awaited Rhine River Cruise… that is if the Rhine has enough water! This and other stories like it can bring the impacts of climate change down to a much more personal level to all of us.

In response to this crisis, Common Roots brews a special IPA each year for an Earth Day release called “Mom’s Calling”. It’s a delicious beer with a label indicative of the message and the dire conditions our planet now faces. A percentage of the proceeds of the sale of this beer is donated to our Foundation for the purpose of supporting local environmental initiatives.

While saving the planet sounds like a very lofty and insurmountable challenge, it is not one that we can continue to ignore. Even small changes and steps taken to reduce our impact on the planet can have a positive result. We are proud that Common Roots Brewing Company continues to take steps to become a more sustainable company and reduce our carbon footprint. Likewise, the Common Roots Foundation has had a positive impact by providing funds for local initiatives that support environmental stewardship and sustainably.

On a final note, the one thing that each of us can do this fall is to vote in support of candidates that have a pro-environmental platform. Saving the planet is not controversial and should never be politicized. Mom’s calling and we need to answer that call.

Cheers to a better tomorrow!

Concert in Crandall Park

Summer 2022

By FoundersMessages

This past July 3rd Robin and I decided we would attend the Glens Falls Symphony’s free concert in Crandall Park. The tradition has come back after taking a hiatus for a few years because of COVID. It was a wonderful slice of America and another reason why we love this community. The Glens Falls orchestra is a group of professional musicians totally supported by sponsors and organizations; therefore, making Glens Falls the smallest city to have its own symphony! If you haven’t attended one of their concerts, you should make plans to do so soon.

I love all kinds of music but listening to a large orchestra is especially enjoyable to me. Not being a musician myself, I am in awe of their individual talents and commitment to the art that creates this magical sound for the listeners’ enjoyment. Their selections for the evening, were a predictable mix of patriotic songs, show tunes and some pop music. The evening started out with the playing of National Anthem which I found to be especially moving on this evening. Most of the crowd stood and joined in singing the words. I did notice a group of young women who sat in silence and bowed their heads. Afterward I saw their matching shirts and the message: “Women’s Rights are Human Rights.” As a husband, father and now grandfather to amazing women and girls, I understood why they choose not to stand. While we may not agree with this for one reason or another, the fact that that they and others, came together as a community, was still something to celebrate. It was peaceful and respectful gathering of individuals of many backgrounds and beliefs.

The Foundation is also celebrating a very eventful season. With your help, we just awarded over $15,000 in grants to organizations that are making a positive change in our community. The gathering in Crandall Park was, in the end, a celebration of community and each person there had a personal reason to participate in their own way.

Just as the symphony depends on everyone doing their part to create that magical sound, the Foundation and the work we hope to do needs each of us to do our part and work together. Our strength and effectiveness are dependent on all staying involved in respectful discourse and actions. We know the most effective changes occurs at the grassroots level and the ability to work together for a common good. Thank you for your continued support of our efforts to create a community that celebrates an active lifestyle, promotes social and environmental justice and helps lift those who are in crisis.

Thank you,