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Beer that packs a punch...US brewer sued for exploding tank

By Ben Bouckley+

18-Feb-2014
Last updated on 18-Feb-2014 at 13:56 GMT

The immediate aftermath of the accident Franconia Brewing Company in February 2012
The immediate aftermath of the accident Franconia Brewing Company in February 2012

Franconia Brewing Company declined to comment yesterday on a lawsuit launched by two members of the public who claim they were injured after a beer kettle exploded.

Speaking to BeverageDaily.com yesterday by phone, a Franconia employee said he couldn't say whether the company would defend the suit: "The person who could comment on that isn’t here at the moment.”

Asked if the person in question were Franconia owner Dennish Wehrmann and when he would be available, the staff member added: “I don’t know, he’s out and about at the moment.”

As of today, Wehrmann had not replied to a further Facebook request for comment.

According to Courthouse News, two members of the fateful brewery tour in 2012 got more than they bargained for when a fermentation tank exploded and ploughed through a room into the main room.

You can see footage of the immediate aftermath in the embedded YouTube video. Just to warn you, some of the language used is pretty colorful. There is also a first-person account of what happened online .

Immediately after the accident in McKinney, Texas, Wehrmann told CBS11: “It was a scary moment for everyone. At this time we don’t know what caused the accident.”

“Plaintiffs were struck by the tank and other debris from the explosion,” the complaint reads, before adding that Jon Rudin and Erin Kirby are seeking damages for alleged negligence.

They accuse Franconia, Wehrmann and his head brewer Richard Horn of failing to properly inspect or operate the tank and associated equipment.

Founded in 2008, Franconia still pushes its brewery tours ($5/head) hard on line. “For only $5 per person, you will learn all about our beer brewing process, experience first hand that brewing beer is work and fun at the same time and get free samples of our different beer varieties.”

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