(Advocate file photo).

Red Deer’s Sawback Brewing Company wants to open a microbrewery in industrial park

City council approves first reading of bylaw exception

Another microbrewery could soon be setting up shop in north Red Deer following city council’s initial approval for a zoning exception.

The Sawback Brewing Company is interested in opening a microbrewery on its property in Units 1-2, 7023 Johnstone Drive in Golden West Industrial Park.

The applicant currently has a development permit for the manufacturing, processing and distribution of beer, and for sales for off-site consumption. But the Sawback Brewing Company wants to expand its services to include the purchase and consumption of standard-sized amounts of craft beer on site as a tasting room service.

Presently, only small free samples can be given out to customers.

Although the site’s I-1 industrial zoning does not currently allow for a microbrewery and tasting room, city administrators recommended in favour of first reading for a bylaw exception.

The rationale is that the proposal is consistent with the principles and standards of the Municipal Development Plan, which supports mixed land uses and economic diversification. Administration also considers the proposal similar to restaurant use, which is currently listed as ‘discretionary’ in the zoning.

Staff noted that other Alberta municipalities do allow microbreweries to operate in industrial and commercial zones.

Two letters were received by city council on this application — one was in favour of it, and another one was against “another drinking establishment”— citing concerns about safety and odors.

Since city staff had recommended in favour of the bylaw exception and deemed that the property can accommodate a microbrewery, city council unanimously approved first reading on Monday.

A public hearing will be held on July 9.


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