Hopskeller Brewery heavily damaged by fire

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WATERLOO, IL (KPLR) – An early Sunday morning fire has badly damaged a brewery in Waterloo Illinois.

A Fox 2 viewer shared cellphone video of thick smoke filling the nearby area.

The brewery had been a labor of love for years and was only open for a little over a month ago.

Hopskeller Brewery opened in downtown Waterloo Illinois about five weeks ago and it was quickly the place to be.  Just last night the patio had live bands, bon fires and beer drinkers.

Then at 8 am this morning the businesses sprinkler system set off an alarm.

The building the Hopskeller is located in is over 100 years old, with a new addition put on the back of the building.

Sean O`Riley and Justin Sexauer are the contractors for the project.  O`Riley says the owner wanted to make sure the new part flowed with the original and played off of the buildings history.

The Waterloo Fire Chief says the damage to the building is significant, and all of the floors will need to be replaced.

A challenge but Waterloo residents say they hope this isn`t the end for Hopskeller.

Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith says residents are devastated by the loss of the newest business in town.