Microbreweries on tap

Pints can be poured and kegs can be tapped, all filled with locally crafted beer as city council opened the doors to microbreweries.

Pints can be poured and kegs can be tapped, all filled with locally crafted beer as city council opened the doors to microbreweries.

Council approved a bylaw amendment enabling the development of microbreweries in Red Deer, a use was previously not addressed.

The amendment allows microbreweries to be developed in two districts – Riverlands and Railyards – areas that are being redeveloped.

Christi Fidek, Red Deer City planner, said the City owns 29 per cent of the land in Riverlands and 14 per cent in Railyards.

It requires that a maximum of 70 per cent of the floor space of the microbrewery be used for the production and packaging of locally produced beer. The other 30 per cent would be a pub, drinking establishment, tasting room or restaurant.

The amendment aims to develop the small scale production and packaging of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages as well as the distribution, retail or some form of drinking establishment.

In consultation with area land owners, the city received two letters one supporting and one opposing adding microbreweries as a discretionary use in those two neighbourhoods.

Discretionary use means approval is still required for the development of microbreweries.

“The letter of opposition did not state their reasons for opposing microbreweries,” said Fidek.

While there are no applications the city is dealing with for a microbrewery development, the city has received inquiries about developing them in the future.

Charlie Bredo wants to open a microbrewery, called Troubled Monk Brewery, this summer in Red Deer. They have already purchased the equipment and are looking to hire a brewmaster shortly.

“If everything goes as planned we plan on opening in June or July,” said Bredo. “We want to be in Red Deer.

“Having a retail component helps the bottom line.”

Immediate plans to not include a restaurant, but would include a drinking establishment on site.

Council debated the necessity of the 70 per cent limit on the production side and its impact on business-owners ability to profit having to be more than just a brewery. Councillor Tanya Handley was concerned about the 70 per cent requirement and the idea of putting an industrial component into the redeveloped areas. She was the only person to oppose the amendment.

Councillor Frank Wong wanted to add microbreweries as discretionary uses in all commerical districts.

The Drummond Brewing Company, a Red Deer microbrewery, had a site specific bylaw developed in order to operate. It is located in the Edgar Industrial Park.

Up until now microbreweries were not addressed in the city’s land use bylaws.

Kevin Wood, Drummond Brewing Company owner, started his business seven years ago working with council to get his site specific bylaw

“Breweries are tremendous value to the community,” said Wood.

Wood questioned the value of limiting the production side of the brewery and spoke in favour of opening the doors to more brewery development.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

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