As residents of suburban Woodridge continue to grapple with the devastation left by Sunday’s tornado, the owners of Skeleton Key Brewery are picking up the pieces after their building was rendered unusable by the storm.
Surveillance footage reveals how quickly the storm has come and gone, ripping the roof off the building and leaving a horrific mess inside.
âI heard through the police scanner when they said it was’ extreme structural damage at 8102 Lemont Road,â Brewery co-owner Emily Slayton said.
Slayton is devastated, but says she is thankful that no one was inside the building at the time of the storm.
She says her husband and brother had just finished renovating the building before the tornado hit.
âWe had just done an extension. We’ve been working on it throughout COVID, âsaid Paul Slayton. âWe just opened it in February. Things had finally started to turn and come back, and it was all gone in a day. “
Now the Slaytons are getting a helping hand from the local brewing community as they help the Skeleton Key team move kegs, sell crates of beer, and show their support during a tough time.
âWe have so many people here,â said Paul Slayton. âThere are people here today who are helping us collect the beer we have. Many of our friends put our beer on tap. It means the world to us.
Another brewer in the area set up an online fundraiser to help, and she raised over $ 70,000 in a single day.
âIt speaks to the industry in general,â said Charolette Converse, director of social media and marketing at Microphone Brewing. âEveryone here is very tight-knit, we are all friends. We’re all in the same boat, and it’s something they would have done for any of us.
Recovery will be a long road, but the spirit and generosity of the brewing community is shining brightly.
âIt has been the longest two days ever,â said Vikki Reid, general manager of the brewery. âWe will try to continue to support each other, being very positive that all of these people come forward. We will continue to hug each other, share our love, and show so much gratitude. “
The brewery equipment still appears to be in working order, but it will need to be located in a new building. The Slaytons say they hope to rebuild the facility, but will focus in the short term on keeping their staff well and supported.