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.stbenjaminbrewing.com.
Star Managing Editor Mikala Jamison can be reached at 215-354-3113 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.