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In June 2017, the Town of Deep River wrote and adopted zoning regulations for microbreweries and micro-wineries, and now John Waldron, a Westbrook resident, is looking to open a brewery in the industrial complex at 6 Winter Avenue, which is zoned for village industrial zoning.
“There is not much we can say about the brewery until after the public hearing on the matter, but this is the first brewery and/or winery that has come forward with a proposal for this kind of business in town since we wrote the regulations,” said Deep River Zoning Enforcement Officer Cathie Jefferson.
A public hearing to discuss the new brewery application has been set for Thursday, April 18, at 7 p.m. at the town hall. Waldron declined to comment ahead of the hearing.
Following a growing trend of small breweries opening in the state, Waldron is proposing to manufacture beer onsite for sale offsite as well as in its tap room. The application states the business would brew between 300 to 600 barrels of beer per year, fermenting the beer in stainless steel holding tanks and packaging it in cans, growlers, and kegs.
The brewery would be open during regular working hours for brewing and the tap room, which is 2,000 square feet and can seat between 70 and 90 people, would be open for business Wednesday through Sundays and offer darts, pinball, foosball, and other table games, as well as hosting theme trivia nights and local bands. Pre-packed snacks will be available, and food trucks will be invited onsite.
If all goes well, the hope is to explore offering outdoor seating in the future.
Currently, according to information from the Connecticut Brewer’s Guild, as of September 2018 there were a total of 80 operational breweries in the state and the beer scene has been growing since the state legislature amended liquor laws in 2012 to allow breweries to serve beer on their premises. Prior to the law change, breweries could only give tastings and were required to obtain a liquor license in order to have an operational taproom.
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