Beloved N.C. Brewery Temporarily Closes After Co-Founder Falls and Dies: ‘We Are All Still in Shock'

The Wooden Robot Brewery said both of its tap rooms are closed "until further notice" following the death of co-founder Dan Wade

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  • Dan Wade, co-founder of The Wooden Robot Brewery in Charlotte, N.C., died Tuesday after a fall-related incident at one of the brewery's two locations

  • The brewer leaves behind his wife and newborn son, according to Jacki Keating, who helped organize a GoFundMe campaign for Wade’s immediate family

  • Nearly $100,000 has been raised through the online fundraiser

The co-founder of a popular North Carolina brewery has died following an incident at one of the company’s locations earlier this week.

The Wooden Robot Brewery, based in Charlotte, announced it had closed both of its tap rooms on Tuesday “until further notice” after Dan Wade died “due to an accident that occurred” earlier that day.

A spokesperson for Mecklenburg EMS Agency, also known as Medic, tells PEOPLE crews responded to the scene at 1440 South Tryon Street just after 1:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday “for a fall-related 911 call.”

One person was pronounced deceased at the scene, the spokesperson added.

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Josh Patton, who co-founded Wooden Robot Brewery with Wade, confirmed his friend’s death in a statement shared on Facebook. He asked the public to “respect the privacy" of Wade's loved ones "in this incredibly difficult time.”

“We are all still in shock and need time to process everything, but we will do our best to keep everyone in the loop for when we open up our taprooms again,” Patton said. “Your thoughts and prayers for Dan’s family, his wife, and his son are much appreciated at this time.”

Rick Benfield, vice president of sales and marketing at Blue Blaze Brewing, also based in Charlotte, said the community is “in shock” after Wade’s sudden death, according to ABC affiliate WSOC-TV.

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“Dan was such a big part of our brewing community, very well respected. A darn good brewer,” said Benfield. “It’s just a shame, especially at his young age.”

Wade leaves behind his wife and newborn son, according to Jacki Keating, who helped organize a GoFundMe campaign for Wade’s immediate family in wake of the “devastating loss.”

Keating described Wade as “a dedicated husband and father,” as well as “a hardworking and beloved member of our Charlotte community” who was “a cherished leader.” She also said Wade “poured his heart and soul into his work and his beer.”

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“Dan Wade was more than just a skilled brewer providing beer to the Charlotte Community; he was the backbone of his family, providing love, support, and stability,” Keating wrote on GoFundMe.

Nearly $100,000 has been raised via GoFundMe in support of Wade’s family following the brewer’s sudden death.

Keating said the donations “will make a lasting impact on this grieving family” and allow them “to focus on healing and rebuilding their lives.”

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“The Wade Family Fund is a testament to the strength of our community and our ability to come together in times of adversity,” she added.

The Occupational Safety and Health Division said it was notified by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department about the incident, according to WSOC-TV and USA Today.

“A compliance officer has been assigned to begin investigating the report,” they added.

The OSHD did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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