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Flooded Brewery Cleans Up and Plans New Product - ‘Raging River Ale’

August 1, 1993

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) _ Steve Zuidema longs for the day when it’s business as usual.

In eight months of running the Front Street Brewery, he has seen far too little of that. His place has been closed since June 28, and it’ll be another four weeks before he reopens.

Zuidema is among hundreds of Main Street merchants across the waterlogged Midwest who have watched the flood bury their businesses.

He estimates he’ll lose $100,000 from his two-month closing, not counting the $20,000 in home-brewed beer he dumped out of tanks in his flooded basement.

″That,″ he said, ″was not an easy thing to do.″

Zuidema stayed open this spring when the first flood hit. The second time, he couldn’t - water submerged the basement and main floor of his restaurant- bar.

″The first flood was like a punch, falling down and getting up,″ he said. ″This next one was like a knockdown.″

He’ll have to take out more loans to pay bills, delay the purchase of a new car, and ask for patience from bankers and suppliers.

″We had dreams,″ he said. ″We had a five-year plan. We were going to own this thing. I don’t know how many years it’ll take now.″

But he has plans for the future, including selling a new bottled beer.

Its name? ″Raging River Ale.″

″We’re not taking advantage of the situation,″ Zuidema said. ″We got creamed in the flood. This is a way out.″

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