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Brewery helps Lyons fight the flood blues

7:47 PM, Oct 10, 2013   |    comments
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LYONS - On Thursday night, a group of people gathered at a local microbrewery to enjoy some cold beer and hot food.

That wouldn't be newsworthy, except this happened in the town of Lyons, which is still closed to the general public since the flood.

A lot of locals were relieved to learn that the original Oskar Blues Brewery reopened - kind of.

They invited customers to their patio, where people could order burgers from the company's food truck.

None of the special small batch beers were on tap. Oskar Blues hauled up canned beer made in its main facility in Longmont.

Oskar Blues plans to open this way from 3 p.m. to close on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the time being.

It may not be just like normal, but it's still a comfort to the town of Lyons to get this place back open.

A month after the flood, there's no water or sewer, and much of Lyons is still in the cleanup stage.

"It's a huge setback and whether it can be rebuilt to the place it was, I don't know," said Cheryl Jansen, who never thought she'd see Lyons look like it does right now.

She was outside of a house Thursday, trying to save every scrap she could.

"I think I've cried every day once since I've been here," said Jansen.

Jansen and her husband David were planning to move in when they retire.

"After my dad passed away my mom bought this place and moved to Lyons and had a little antique shop here," said Jansen. "So when she passed away we decided to hang on to the house because we love it here."

The couple doesn't know if they can hang on to the house any more. It may not be salvageable.

They feel even worse for people who already live here.

"This is their only home," said Jansen. "This is where they live and work and go to school and everything's just in shambles right now."

Any victory, however small, is something to celebrate right now.

You can add the news about Oskar Blues reopening to the list.

"That is so cool," exclaimed Jansen. "We are going there for dinner tonight."

Moments to relax and socialize have been rare in Lyons since the flood.

The idea is to get that back.

"Create a sense of normalcy," said Chad Melis, marketing director for Oskar Blues and resident of Lyons. "A place for the community to come out and share a burger and share a beer and tell stories and get back on track."

Oskar Blues also launched a new non-profit foundation which already raised six figures.

It's been giving some of that money to people and small businesses in Lyons.

With the town closed, businesses struggle to stay afloat.

"Unfortunately we probably will lose some [businesses]," said Melis. "But with the funds we're raising at the foundation we're trying to save as many as we can."

Ask anybody here and they'll tell you, this town has already lost enough.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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