The people have spoken, and they want their beer

With a wealth of com­munity sup­port, the St. Ben­jamin nan­obrew­ery could come to life in South Kens­ing­ton.

Tim Pat­ton, brew­mas­ter and own­er of Saint Ben­jamin Brew­ing Com­pany, had the com­munity’s full sup­port for his pro­posed nan­obrew­ery and brewpub at a zon­ing meet­ing of the South Kens­ing­ton Com­munity Part­ners last week.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, at the Fin­anta build­ing at 1301 N. 2nd St., the as­sembly of 26 un­an­im­ously voted in sup­port of the pro­ject, which would bring a com­bined nan­obrew­ery - one step smal­ler than a mi­cro­brew­ery - and brewpub to 1710 N. 5th St.

Now, the SKCP will write a let­ter of sup­port to the city’s Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ments to back Pat­ton’s plan, and Pat­ton will file his ap­peal with the board this week and meet with it in Au­gust or Septem­ber.

The in­dus­tri­al build­ing at 1710 N. 5th St. is zoned to al­low Pat­ton to brew, pack­age and dis­trib­ute his beer from in­side, but he has pro­posed zon­ing vari­ances to al­low for a brewpub for pub­lic use and the sale of mer­chand­ise and beer to-go.

He said he wants to keep the brewpub open un­til 2 a.m. each night to provide loc­als, par­tic­u­larly those in the ser­vice in­dustry, a place to grab a good late-night beer in a re­laxed en­vir­on­ment.

Leah Murphy of SKCP, who ad­dressed the meet­ing, asked if any­one had any ob­jec­tions to the brew­ery’s late hours, and one voter in sup­port called out, “I need that!” as oth­ers at the meet­ing laughed.

The brew­ery’s build­ing is set up so that the first floor, at first, will be used for both the brew­ery and brewpub area. Pat­ton said he’d later ex­pand us­able space to the second and third floors of the build­ing, and he will have to re-ap­peal to the zon­ing board for that fu­ture ex­pan­sion.

On the ground floor, he’ll park his de­liv­ery truck in the gar­age con­nec­ted to the rest of the struc­ture. He said the truck doesn’t pose many traffic prob­lems—he can’t back the truck in or out between the hours of 3:30 and 7 p.m., dur­ing rush hour.

When asked if the brew­ery would emit a smell, Pat­ton as­sured the group that the only no­tice­able odor might be sim­il­ar to the smell a bakery would pro­duce.

Pat­ton dis­cussed some of his oth­er ideas at the meet­ing, such as the en­ergy-ef­fi­cient LED light­ing he in­tends to in­stall along the ex­ter­i­or of the build­ing.

He said he also would in­stall se­cur­ity cam­er­as, which would be­ne­fit the com­munity’s safety. He said that these in­stall­a­tions, as well as the every­day use of the brew­ery, would pro­mote “eyes on the street.”

As he spoke of the in­creased se­cur­ity the brew­ery could bring to the neigh­bor­hood, voters nod­ded in agree­ment.

“I thought there would be at least some op­pos­i­tion [to the pro­ject],” Pat­ton said in an email mes­sage after the meet­ing. “I’m glad the com­munity really wants me to be there.”

Pat­ton said he hopes to open the brew­ery some­time this fall and would like to have the brewpub open by the end of the year.

To learn more about the Saint Ben­jamin Brew­ing Com­pany, vis­it ht­tp://blog.stben­jamin­brew­

Star Man­aging Ed­it­or Mi­kala Jam­is­on can be reached at 215-354-3113 or at mjam­is­

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