One of Astoria’s most beloved breweries and a top tourist destination, Buoy Beer, has partly collapsed.
The business posted a photo of the damage on its Facebook page around 7:15 pm on June 14. You can see the giant warehouse that holds its production facility, restaurant and bar crumpled in on one side like a tin can.
The post simply states: “We are safe. Thanks to everyone for reaching out.”
Based on the photo from that vantage point, it appears the side that was affected holds the brewing and canning equipment, not the restaurant. Journalists with The Daily Astorian who are on location report that the roads in the area are currently closed to traffic while police and firefighters respond. They also describe seeing beer cans floating in the Columbia River below the brewery, which opened in 2014. (Update: The Daily Astorian’s story from the scene includes a photo of those beer cans bobbing in the Columbia.)
The building, a former cannery, sits on a pier above the Columbia River. For the past two days, the river has been at a minor flood stage, running 16 feet high.
WW has reached out to Buoy for more information on the collapse. At this time, marketing manager Jessyka Dart-Mclean tells WW the company has no comment and is still assessing the situation.
Over the past several years, Buoy had been expanding its footprint on Astoria’s historic Riverwalk.
During the summer of 2020, the brewery moved into the Astor Building just across the path used by both pedestrians and a seasonal trolley from its pub and turned the former video rental store space into a giant, open-air drinking hall. The business then literally raised the roof on that structure in order to accommodate a new 50-barrel, four-vessel brewhouse along with more fermentation tanks.
Beer production was always meant to remain in the original location, a rehabilitated cannery, and a pipe bridge was scheduled to be built between the Astor Building and the current brewery. Also on the to-do list: the installation of a higher-speed canning line and even more tanks, some of which will be devoted to Buoy’s well-renowned lagers that need more time to ferment.
It’s not clear how far along Buoy was on those projects before the collapse.