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Landslide mucks up future for brewery project

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It's been a decidedly un-hoppy few weeks for a small-batch brewery and tap room venture that was in the works in Jordan, Minnesota.

The Business Journal reports that Tim Roets, owner of Roets Jordan Brewery Co., is contemplating his next move after a landslide damaged the historic building where he was preparing to start his business. The story said that Roets is considering a new location and seeking new investors after the disaster. He may launch a crowd-funding effort.

Roets had just signed a lease on the structure, which is built into a hillside, when waterlogged ground gave way on June 19. KARE had pictures of the collapse and the messy mud and debris that crashed through the thick limestone walls.

Structural engineers who surveyed the site concluded that while the structure was sound, hillside was still a hazard. Another team of seismic engineers will tour the property and make a recommendation this week, but shoring up the hill could cost over $1 million, Roets told the Journal. The cost wouldn’t be covered by insurance or federal assistance.

The brewery's Facebook page told fans to expect an update on plans next week.

Roets has already taken delivery of a truckload of brewing equipment customized for the Jordan site. The building, which dates back to the 1850's, housed a brewery 80 years ago. Roets chose it because the hillside contains a dense network of caves.

"We were going to make beer like the old brewers did it, in the caves," said Roets.

Growler magazine, which follows news from Minnesota's growing beer scene, called the plan for the Jordan brewery "...one of the metro's most ambitious." Growler reported that Roets had planned to brew by "...utilizing ambient temperatures and cave water in the chilling process, and smaller equipment that would function efficiently in a subterranean environment." The story said that if Roets moves to an alternate location, "that all goes out the window."

In the meantime, Growler noted that Roets is busy preparing to open another project based in the Jordan area, the Minnesota Harvest Winery; it will produce and sell homegrown ciders, meads, and graffs. Roets said the winery recently cleared the federal approval process and is awaiting state licensing.

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