A former coworker of mine from a magazine I worked at years before starting Craft Brewing Business updated his LinkedIn status a year or so ago to note he was a co-owner of Tidewater Brewery located in Wilmington. N.C. Fun! I messaged him to let him know about CBB and said to keep me updated. He said they were still pre-launch but he would.
Cut to this week, I get this message: “Probably not the PR we need but wanted to share with you…” with a link to this article: “One week before opening Tidewater Brewing Company devastated by Florence”
From the Port City Daily:
It’s a project that has been two years in the making that was destroyed in a matter of minutes. Countless man-hours have been poured into building Wilmington’s first co-op brewery and Tidewater Brewing Company was ready to open the week after Hurricane Florence hit — now, it’s going to take a little more time.
Brewery business plans and openings stall for all sorts of reasons — trademarks, zoning and construction issues and so on — but hurricane damage seems especially unfair. The final inspection was scheduled for last Friday with an opening scheduled for this week, but that was put on hold when they made the weather channel:
“Friday, at 9:30 in the morning one of our owners that had left town was watching The Weather Channel and the storm and sent me a picture of our building — on The Weather Channel — missing the roof,” Hall said.
The roll-up doors were fully ripped off and tossed down the street as well. The full news story is interesting to consider — stuff you wouldn’t consider unless put in that situation, like securing and gathering what remained to protect it from looting.
Insurance should be able to cover a lot of it, but for a pre-revenue venture, more help might be needed. To try and bridge the gap, the brewery has launched a GoFundMe page.
“Our goal with the GoFundMe page is to bridge the gap between what the insurance pays and what they don’t. We have spent a lot of money on this building – the building owner had spent a lot as well, we’ve had a good bit of money into this project. The GoFundMe is just to bridge that gap,” Hall said.
The good news is no one is hurt and everything destroyed can be rebuilt. Tidewater still plans to open, just later than anticipated.