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Jess Mead

Summer 2024

By FoundersMessages

I was reminded while visiting with some friends from the Adirondack Mountain Club that as humans we need to gather and be social. This should not have been a surprise but given the circumstances of this meeting, it brought to light this basic human need. ADK Mountain Club chose the Biergarten in South Glens Falls as their first meeting post-Covid. The members, due to Covid and busy schedules, had been almost exclusively meeting in the Zoom format. I think they were pleasantly surprised not only how much more enjoyable the meeting was in person but also the productiveness of the meeting. (I think the beautiful evening, beer and food didn’t hurt!)

We all know Zoom meetings were extremely useful for many reasons, yet most of us would agree, there is something much more meaningful about the human-to-human contact that was missed…and science agrees!

First, the human brain is large for our relative size as a mammal. Most anthropologists have agreed that our large brains developed, in part, due to our need to be socially dependent animals. We need each other!  The extra brain size is because we had to develop social skills for survival and cooperative interactions. Humans could not have evolved without being socially astute animals.

It’s also been proven that social gatherings are better for our health. Covid aside, the idea of getting together with other humans is good for your health. The Blue Zone Project…which looks at contributing factors that affect one’s health and why some people in the world live to over 100 years of age, found that one of the universal contributing positive factors is the ability to have meaningful social interactions and relationships. This is especial important to us as we get older and often become more isolated.

The Burning Man Project was recently studied by some sociologists from Yale. Burning Man gatherings and others like it in the rest of world, were found to help people feel more of a connection with humanity and become more willing to help distant strangers. It is what Emile Durkheim called “collective effervescence” …a transformative experience that helps people transcend the borders of self and connect with all of humanity.

Looking at the headlines lately, I think we can agree that we could all use some more connection and empathy for what other humans on the planet are dealing with now.

That said, all of us at Common Roots perhaps innately understood that good things can happen when we gather, especially over delicious beer and food. All our spaces at Common Roots have been designed with the idea that people need a positive setting to gather and keep building that collective effervescence. (BTW…sounds like a good beer name!)

Gathering together is good for your health, makes you smarter and probably a better person! All kidding aside, we plan to keep gathering for social good and we hope you’ll consider Common Roots as a place to gather for your next event.

Cheers to Summer Gatherings!

Spring 2024

By FoundersMessages

It has been a busy time here at Common Roots with some exciting news all around. The recent historic Solar Eclipse in our region certainly added to that excitement! Through it all, we’ve welcomed lots of new faces and new places to gather with old friends and make new ones. The opening of the Albany Outpost and our new event space and Café at the Bierhall & Barrel House has kept our team very busy.

On Eclipse Day, I personally struggled with the idea of staying local or heading north to experience totality. In the end, I opted to stay home and enjoy it at our Flagship in South Glens Falls. As the time of the eclipse drew near, we had a biergarten full of friends, customers, and our amazing staff listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and looking skyward. It was at that moment I knew I made the right decision. I was where I was supposed to be…and I was grateful! Any possible FOMO had vanished because I was thankful to be there in the company of so many good people.

As I was thinking about this edition of Lifting the View, I came across a quote from Ann Voskamp, a Canadian author, that seemed apropos. I wanted to find a message that could capture the importance of being in that moment because I really believe it made a difference:

I think this also says a lot about how we feel at Common Roots. Our journey both as a business and as a Foundation has certainly come with challenges and a certain amount of anxiety. Through it all, we’ve always seemed to find a reason to be positive and present in the moment. In fact, the one thing I feel that has always been our strength is the ability to appreciate the good things that are always present around us. Inevitably, that good is often found in the people we work with every day!

In that spirit, we would like to take this time to recognize and thank the incredible people that make up the human resource here in our company and in our Foundation. We wouldn’t be here without them, and for that we are eternally grateful.


Stainless steel brewing tanks with dark moody lighting

Winter 2024

By FoundersMessages

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!


Group of people watching a ribbon cutting

Holiday 2023

By FoundersMessages

A few weeks ago, we hosted a ribbon cutting event at our newest facility here in South Glens Falls, the Common Roots Bierhall & Barrel House. We had the honor to host several local dignitaries with a special appearance by the Lt. Governor of New York, Antonio Delgado. This was his second time visiting us at Common Roots and we were thrilled he was able to stop in with greetings and congratulations on our newest venture.

While it was heartwarming to listen to each speakers’ remarks, especially Christian as he spoke with such fondness of his grandparents and our incredible staff (proud Dad here!), it was the Lt. Governor’s remarks that struck a profound chord with me. After listening to Christian’s talk that morning, the Lt. Governor said that it occurred to him that “humanity is that common root that binds us all together.”

He went on to comment that CRBC and our Foundation were unusual examples of how a business could keep humanity in the equation of their decision-making process.

After hearing his comments, I admittedly had a lump in my throat. Our name “Common Roots” is very much based on this principle and yet we’ve never heard someone make that connection so eloquently in public. Humanity is one of those words that has even more meaning during the holiday season. The word itself may have different meaning to some but in this context, I would define it as the ability to be caring and wanting the best for others. Some may define humanity as simply being human… but that is too sterile a definition for me. As we’ve seen all too frequently, our inhumanity to one another is already well documented and sadly demands too many of the headlines in our daily news.

“Humanity is that common root that binds us all together.”

~ Antonio Delgado

On a brighter note, it is refreshing to welcome this time of year! Many of us tend to open our hearts and wallets more during the Holidays. Perhaps it is a natural reaction to the season’s message of peace or the change in the weather that triggers this response in us. Whatever the reason or cause, having more empathy and understanding of the plight of people less fortunate or in need is a good human trait worth highlighting. I think we can all agree, we could all use some more humanity in the world right now.

As we enter this season of longer nights and colder temperatures, we hope you’ll join us in shining more of a light on the humanity we see everyday in our community. With your support, our foundation and our company will continue to collaborate with other local organization to help bring a little more comfort, healing, and warmth to our part of the world.

The Weber Family

Cute little kids eating ice cream

Fall 2023

By FoundersMessages

The word acceptance has a nice sound to it. Accepted by friends when you were a child, accepted into college as a young adult or accepting a new job…are all positive experiences for us. Typically, with the act of acceptance comes the idea of change and that can be difficult for some of us.

Aging, and I can speak to this now with some experience, is another difficult adjustment for some but not one that is unexpected. Living a longer life will have its challenges but it still beats the alternative! I consider myself an active, healthy senior and this provides the opportunity to still be involved and contribute to my community. I feel very fortunate in that respect.

The changing of the seasons is another natural occurrence that some of us accept with optimism and others with dread. As a child, I dreaded the end of summer because it meant a return to school with the nuns at St. Theresa’s whom, let’s just say, I had developed a difficult relationship with. As a teacher, I still dreaded the end of summer, but for different reasons. Summer was a time to be with family, travel and often do a different job. I loved my teaching career, but the summer was special for many reasons and its passing was not always easy to accept.

The summer of 2023 was different. The changes to the climate that the scientists have been warning about since the 70’s came to fruition both locally and abroad. Record breaking heat waves, storms, flooding, drought, and wildfires were daily headlines and sure signs of a planet in trouble. The Canadian wildfire smoke this past summer hit me especially hard because it gave me an eerie and foreboding glimpse into how the future will likely look. We were told to stay indoors and refrain from certain activities and exercise! Is this a change we should be willing to accept as just a natural occurrence or is it just price we pay for ignoring science? Both are correct.

The climate crisis the world experienced this summer is a natural occurrence because we’ve ignored the science. That is a fact. The challenge for many of us now is whether we want to accept this climate change as the new reality or make the changes that are necessary to bring the planet back into a natural, healthy cycle.

We Americans, who have the largest carbon footprint on the globe, also have a unique opportunity to lead the world back from a future we will not want to accept. That said, to lead we must accept the science and be willing to make the changes necessary. That starts by agreeing that the Climate Crisis is a major threat. A PEW research survey from last March indicates that Americans rank the climate crisis as only 17 th out of 21 major issues that the government should act on.

What can we do? This version of Lifting the View is our contribution to keep the Climate Crisis on the forefront of what we hope is a new national discourse on climate. We’ve seen a glimpse of what a climate in crisis looks like this past summer and that is a future we shouldn’t accept. We all have reasons for acting on a problem and I’ve included a photo of one of my “reasons.”

We can change the conversation and keep the focus on solving this crisis. I hope you’ll join us.

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.