Magalia man devastated over loss of custom-built brewery

Roger Preecs says he has no plans to rebuild his beloved brewery, but he's hoping its legacy will live on.

Posted: Mar 29, 2019 5:07 PM
Updated: Mar 30, 2019 6:17 PM

MAGALIA, Calif. Roger Preecs says he has no plans to rebuild his beloved brewery, but he's hoping its legacy will live on.

Roger Preecs, 64, has spent decades perfecting his home brew recipes. He built his backyard "Feather River Brewery" in the woods of Magalia in order to make enough money to live, but he decided not to expand. Preecs says he enjoyed his low-key lifestyle, and his philosophy on what makes a good beer.

In 2016, Action News Now visited his brewery.

"I like a beer that has no bitter aftertaste," he said. "It just wisps away, and you're ready for another sip."

Last November, Preecs was vacationing on the coast when the Camp Fire tore through his property, destroying not only his house but also his beloved brewery. He now stands in the rubble of what used to be his entire life. 

"This was the fermentation room where all these tanks are," he said. "There's a kettle and a mash ton next to that." 

Preecs says he can't shake the pain of losing decades of hard work. 

"You know, I really didn't think it would keep bothering me like this, but it just keeps hovering over your head," he said.

Preecs says at his age, he has no plans to rebuild. He says there are a few interested buyers in Oroville, and he's hoping they'll come through and buy the company, the recipe and keep the name.

He said that his brewery was a labor of love. 

"If I was a money guy and just had people do it, it wouldn't be any big deal to me," he said. "But all the sweat and tears I put in this business, that's what hurts."

Preecs plans to hold on to his burned property, and he may do a little bit of building for camping purposes. He jokes that there's no shortage of wood. Many trees were left standing, but most of them are burned. 

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