Your CBB pals have traveled to many a craft brewery for legitimate journalistic reasons. We all have our favorites, but we’d probably all agree that our all-time favorite trip was to Rogue Farms in Oregon (check out their latest crop report). Aside from the great beer and even better people, the setting was just awesome — out in the Oregon countryside, among the ingredients, way away from the hustle and bustle of a downtown, which would be the more common brewery location. It was like venturing to a great winery, only instead of a winery, we were drinking beer. What could be better?
This is why we fully support the initiative being taken by Harford, Md., County Executive Barry Glassman in proposing a bill that would add a farm brewery designation to the zoning code, to be defined as a brewery with an “agricultural processing and manufacturing facility” on a site with equipment and supplies used to process, produce and package malt-based liquors.
From the Baltimore Sun:
Glassman said he sees rural breweries as “an emerging economic tool for farmers,” explaining other parts of the country have seen events like bike tours that involve the participants stopping at local breweries.
“It is really an emerging market that we want a piece of,” Glassman told the council.
The bill would piggyback on a farm brewery license Glassman helped pass while serving as a state senator, he said.
The county bill provides the framework that matches the state law, while adding conditions such as requiring adequate parking screening and limiting operations to the hours of 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., he noted.
The bill also requires that basic ingredients, such as grains, for any beer brewed on the farm be grown on the farm. Applicable state and federal permits would also have to be obtained.
Hey, if some places are now cool with craft brewery self-storage facilities, this should be a no-brainer. This is definitely in the early stages, but if passed, this would be a super cool additional wrinkle in the East coast brewing scene.