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November 18, 2011

The Alchemist Pub and Brewery Will Not Reopen

Foodnews-alchemistFollowing months of mounting challenges, Jen and John Kimmich have decided not to reopen The Alchemist Pub and Brewery.

The 10-year Waterbury landmark was devastated this summer by Tropical Storm Irene, which flooded the basement and filled the dining room with waist-high water. According to an email from Jen Kimmich, "Our basement was the lifeblood of our business — our brewery, our beer, all of our food and our offices were in the basement. Moving forward, we have come to the realization that rebuilding our basement brewery is not a viable option."

Despite months of work with the brewery's insurance company, the couple recently learned that none of the contents of the basement were covered.

Instead, the Kimmiches are focused on rebuilding the 23 Main Street pub, without the brewery. "John and I are determined to rebuild as fast as possible to contribute to the vitality of downtown Waterbury. We are in talks with a few different restaurateurs to take over the space," says Jen Kimmich. "We will find the best fit for Waterbury, someone who can continue to run the pub in a warm, friendly and accessible manner, and provide employment opportunities to our staff."

The seven-barrel brewery that formerly filled the basement downtown will be moved to the recently opened Alchemist Cannery and Tasting Room at 35 Crossroad, also in Waterbury. "Once we have installed the brewery, John will be hard at work to supply the community with his creative and tasty small production beers," says Kimmich. Hopefully, she says, those brews will be served on tap at the pub that takes over for the Alchemist. Look for more information in next Wednesday's Seven Days.

Eva Sollberger visited the former pub four days after Irene and captured footage of volunteers ripping out the bar.

This is extremely unfortunate. The Alchemist was a great spot for a beer and delicious food and was clearly a vital part of Waterbury's downtown. Hopefully this doesn't happen to too many businesses in Waterbury or other areas in VT that were hot hard by Irene.

Best of luck to Jen and John.

This is terrible news. Best of luck to Jen and John.

Anyone know how much $$$ they would need to re-open?

I would gladly do another fundraiser to get the Alchemist back. It was one of the main reasons why I moved to Waterbury and is without a doubt the heart and soul of this town. SAVE THE ALCHEMIST!

It was awesome. A major loss for afficionados of high quality brews.

The Alchemist was crowded. The Alchemist was noisy. THE ALCHEMIST WAS GREAT!!!! It was there that I had my first sweet potato fry with garlic mayo. It has been the site for special family nights out. Now, it is hard to contemplate lights out for the Alchemist. Yes, we should seek to shun attachment. Therefore, I hope for a reincarnation of a new Alchemist. Thank you all at the Alchemist for providing such a wonderful, friendly, and enjoyable place and experience.

Their new canned beer is wonderful and available at a few great local retailers (Hunger Mtn, Healthy Living, Beverage place in Winooski). Buy it to support them!

Probably the most iconic business in Waterbury. State complex woes, Alchemist, and everyone screwed by insurance companies. Waterbury needs some good news real quick.

I am an RN in massachusetts and frequently find myself heading up to waterbury to my favorite brewery of all time... I will gladly work overtime shifts at my hospital to help support the reopening of The Alchemist...please don;t let a legend die

It is with sadness that I am writing this note. After dealing with floodwater at my own employers business, my thoughts go out to those who own and work at the Alchemist.
Irene did more devastion than anyone wants to think about. The Alchemist was the catalyst for a "new Waterbury. It brought other businesses in and made Waterbury more vibrant. I am sorry for the loss to the community, the employees and the owners.

although i am sad to see the alchemist go, i've in reality only been there once because there was always such a dauntingly long wait (too trendy/hip for me)! while i understand the community has lost a wonderful restaurant/brewery/business, i encourage you to check out the other treasures in waterbury and support other (locally sourced) restaurants who have been more or less severely affected by the flooding: michael's on the hill, the hen of the wood, and the reservoir (which offers a huge selection of amazing vermont beers!) to name a few. farewell to the alchemist, and cheers to the businesses that are able to - in true vermonter fashion - prevail.

Big News! Making the best of a bad situation takes some serious decision making. I toured the basement once and although it was the pipeline to a thirsty bar, it had its limitations of space.
I bet many more creative Alchemist beers are on the horizon for you lucky Vermonters. And what treat to sip on an IPA from a can a state away, all the while bellied up to the bar in my mind.
Thank you! Keep brewing!

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