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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.

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.


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!

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,

Silos at night

Spring 2022

By FoundersMessages
Spring in our region can be full of disappointment. It seems just when you think you’re done with winter, it comes back, leaving you seriously questioning why we live here! The recent snowfall after a chilly Easter weekend was one of those events. While our spring season is certainly unpredictable, it is part of living in the North Country.

On a more serious note, when we see what’s going on now in the Ukraine, complaining about the weather pales in comparison to the suffering and the atrocities being committed there. This war, like other events that we have no control over, can be disheartening and leave us with a sense of feeling overwhelmed. If you are anything like me, you want to do something. To keep my sanity and fulfill a need to act, I’ve developed a personal routine of doing something… even if it’s just a small gesture. Contributing to a worthy relief organization or writing e-mails to an elected official asking them to act is cathartic and can make a difference. For me, these gestures take away some of that hopeless feeling and helps me feel a little more empowered. Research also shows that even small acts can have positive impacts and inspire more involvement.
I’m sure most of you have heard the parable about a young boy walking along a beach after a storm, picking up washed-up starfish, and tossing them back into the sea one by one. An older man stopped him and asked why he was bothering – there were thousands stranded… what possible difference could it make? The young boy answered, “Well… it will make a difference to this one,” and he tossed it back into the sea.
The Common Roots Foundation has that kind of philosophy. We know the big issues can be overwhelming, but we also know that even small acts can have a ripple effect and bring needed changes. We’ve been inspired by our community and how they stood by us during difficult times. It made a difference to our company, our staff, and our families. It is hard to describe the feeling we had when we witnessed how much our community cared. Each act of kindness made a difference and inspired us to do more and create this not-for-profit arm of Common Roots Brewing Company.

On behalf of the Common Roots Foundation, thank you for your support in the past and for renewing your membership in 2022. If you haven’t done so yet, please consider joining the Common Roots Foundation and helping us to continue to make a difference in our community… one member at a time.


Double Fortune Beer in front of fire pit

Winter 2022

By FoundersMessages

The one thing we’ve learned in business and in training for different activities is you have to be consistent. Whether we’re making beer or trying to improve our time in a race or a score in disc golf, the key to success is developing good practices and routines. As with any athletic endeavors or successful organization, developing good habits early and sticking to them is critical.

It is also important to remember that even the best practices and plans may need to be revisited and reaffirmed to keep the desired outcome. The onset and re-emergence of COVID is an all too relevant example of an outside force that has required all of us to make adjustments to routines and habits we hold dear. As a business, Common Roots Brewery has had to adjust to an ever-changing business paradigm that the pandemic created and yet we couldn’t compromise the quality of the products or services we delivered.

The Foundation, even as a relatively new organization, was established on some very focused set of principles. Our mission to be a resource for positive change in our community is dependent on the consistent involvement with and by our community members. We started this organization with just ten people and have now grown to one with over 100 members. We’ve helped individuals, businesses and organization to the tune of over ten thousand dollars in grants in our first year. None of this would have been possible without the consistent focus of our Board and the generous support of our members and community.

As you look ahead to the promise and challenges of 2022, we hope you will consider either joining the Common Roots Foundation or renewing your membership at any level. Membership in the Foundation can be an easy habit to start and maintain…and one which we know will yield some very positive outcomes in our community.


The Weber Family

Holiday 2021

By FoundersMessages

Gratitude is a great word and one we feel deeply. In every sense, we are filled with gratitude for the amazing support we’ve seen both for our Company and our Foundation. This past year has been an especially incredible gift and we feel honored that so many of you have chosen to be part of this journey with us. Common Roots Brewing Company has had a banner year and your continued support for this idea of creating a community around beer has been nothing short of amazing!

Incredibly, you can now find CRBC products in ten states and even Canada! Due to this demand, we have implemented plans to expand our production in the coming year. Our local manufacturing partner, Fronhofer Design, will be building new tanks for us for a 2022 installation. Look for more news on our plans for expansion in the coming months and come help us celebrate our 7th Year Anniversary on December 19th.

The Common Roots Foundation just completed its first year of existence and your support has been phenomenal. As we look ahead to the winter months, it’s a good time to remember that for many in our community, these are difficult times. The Foundation was created as another vehicle for positive change in our region. If we learned anything from this past year, it is that so much more is possible if we work together. We invite you to please continue your support and help us in our mission to elevate our community and make it a better place for everyone. A gift of a CRF Membership for someone on your list is great way to pay it forward in the coming year.

Cheers to a season filled with hope and good health for all our community!

With Gratitude,
The Weber Family

Rainbow over Glens Falls

Fall 2021

By FoundersMessages
As many of you may know, I tore my Achilles tendon and recently had surgery to repair it. I’d really like to make-up a better story of how this happened, but in full disclosure, I did this playing a relatively calm game called pickleball. As disruptive and disheartening as this injury has been to me, thankfully it’s only a temporary set back.
In many ways (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) my injury has been a gift to me. My wife Robin, the annoying, eternal optimist love of my life, had been telling me this from day one. Begrudgingly, I now have to agree that she’s right yet again. This injury has given me the unusual opportunity to sit still, be reflective and be more of an observer of the world around me. This is not something that most of us think about and yet it can be a refreshingly interesting eye opener.
The world we live our daily lives in can become a rather routine and mundane place. We tend to pass people and places that have become merely recognizable objects, void of meaning except maybe as a reference point during our travels. Interestingly enough, when you have a dramatic change in your life, even if temporary, you may start to see those same people and places differently. For instance, I now see that abandoned building on South Street and I think of the endless possibilities it has. The old man who’s always on the bench at Stewarts… could he benefit from knowing more about services available to him in our town? The dangerous sidewalk on Garfield that the home owners can’t afford to repair…maybe we could get some volunteers and donations to fix that?

The word I like to use is “inspired”. The gift I previously referred to is a heightened ability to be inspired by the things you see in your daily life. The good news is you don’t have to be injured to be inspired. Take some time to look at your world from a different perspective and see what opportunities there are to create a better place for all of us. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

As a reminder, there are two ways that we here at the Foundation go about creating a better place for our community. One way is best described as reactive, meaning we’ll help when we are asked. The other way is proactive, where we seek out projects and causes without being asked – ones that we feel will benefit the community we’ve pledged to serve.

Our Foundation is now six months old. In that relatively short time, I believe we’ve accomplished much together. I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank Alex Kochon, our first director who helped us get our start…and now Sean Rafferty who has taken over without missing a beat. Through it all, our Board has worked selflessly to help us bring our vision of making the not-for-profit arm of the Common Roots Brewing Company a reality.

Cheers to making our community a better place for all of us!