Brew­ery gets OK for re­tail sell­ing

Blue­print Brews own­ers get per­mis­sion in in­dus­trial zone

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Dan Sokil dsokil@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @dan­sokil on Twit­ter

TOWA­MENCIN » A planned brew­ery in Towa­mencin has now cleared one last hur­dle, and hope to be open within weeks.

Blue­print Brew­ing Com­pany, a trio of lo­cal brew­ers op­er­at­ing in an in­dus­trial space on Gehman Road, re­ceived their con­di­tional use ap­proval Wed­nes­day night, the last ma­jor ob­sta­cle be­fore open­ing their doors to the pub­lic.

“We’re look­ing to open next week­end, at this point, in the 640 square feet that we’ve been granted,” said co-owner Ja­son Scholl.

Scholl and co-own­ers Cory Mc­Don­ald and

Kyle Fetch, along with at­tor­ney Kim Freimuth, made their fi­nal ar­gu­ments to Towa­mencin’s su­per­vi­sors Wed­nes­day night, seek­ing con­di­tional use ap­proval to al­low re­tail sales at a brew­ery within the town­ship’s lim­ited in­dus­trial district. Plans for the brew­ery were first an­nounced and dis­cussed back in April, and over the sum­mer the group has worked through sev­eral steps of the ap­proval process, in­clud­ing a zon­ing change to al­low the sales of dozens of their spe­cialty brews and blends, in­clud­ing gluten-free beers.

“A craft beer bar is a bit dif­fer­ent than some of the lo­cal es­tab­lish­ments we’re used to in our home­towns, where it’s large amounts of cheap beer, un­til late in the night, with maybe a lit­tle more rowdy crowd than we’ll have,” Scholl said.

“There’s a lot bet­ter beer th­ese days than those. It’s ev­ery­where, and craft beer is dif­fer­ent types of bet­ter tast­ing beer, bet­ter qual­ity, bet­ter in­gre­di­ents, and just a bet­ter at­mos­phere to drink it in,” he said.

The brew­ery al­ready oc­cu­pies two ad­ja­cent 3,200-square-foot spa­ces at the end of an in­dus­trial park on Gehman Road, and of that to­tal roughly 640 square feet near the front en­trance of the right-side unit would be used as re­tail space for sales of beer brewed and stored on the rest of the site.

Scholl and Freimuth de­tailed how the lat­est ver­sion of their plans meet the town­ship’s codes and con­di­tions: the re­tail space only oc­cu­pies 10 per­cent of the to­tal area, would be phys­i­cally sep­a­rate from the man­u­fac­tur­ing area, would have a sep­a­rate en­trance marked with the com­pany’s logo, and re­tail cus­tomers would have no ac­cess to the brew­ing area. Oc­cu­pancy would not ex­ceed 50 peo­ple, and fire alarms, sprin­kler sys­tems, and se­cu­rity cam­eras have al­ready been up­graded.

The pro­posed re­tail hours of op­er­a­tion would be from 3 to 10 p.m. Mon­days through Thurs­days, Fri­days from 3 or 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Satur­days from noon to 11 p.m. and Sun­days from noon to 6 p.m., times that Scholl said are meant to be al­most ex­actly op­po­site the of­fices that make up most of their neigh­bors.

“From speak­ing to folks on site, they typ­i­cally end up leav­ing around 4 p.m., maybe 5 p.m., so right as we’re turn­ing the lights on, they’re turn­ing their lights off,” he said.

Only prepack­aged food like pret­zels would be sold in­side, and food trucks would be in­vited to the site to sell in the park­ing lot; Fetch said the group al­ready has “about ten on the list right now,” with of­fer­ings depend­ing on when trucks are avail­able. The plans call for a ded­i­cated 16 park­ing spa­ces specif­i­cally for Blue­print, plus a sep­a­rate park­ing area for food trucks, and ac­cess to the rest of the park­ing for neigh­bor­ing busi­nesses if needed, all of which Scholl said met the town­ship’s cri­te­ria of a use com­pat­i­ble with the area.

“It’s the op­po­site hours, it’s the co­pi­ous amounts of park­ing spa­ces, it’s the quiet­ness and the abil­ity to not bother many folks back here, and a good use for a ware­house space that may oth­er­wise be va­cant,” Scholl said.

The board voted unan­i­mously to grant the con­di­tional use ap­proval, and su­per­vi­sor Laura Smith said “Cheers!” af­ter the votes were cast. Fol­low­ing the ap­proval, Mc­Don­ald joked the doors would open “in about 15 min­utes” for the trio to cel­e­brate, and they said the re­tail area would likely open to the pub­lic on or around Oct. 21.

“We’d open to­mor­row, if we could make that hap­pen. Re­al­is­ti­cally, let’s give it a week and a few more days,” Fetch said.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Blue­print Brew­ing Com­pany, visit www. Blueprint­BrewCo.com, search for “Blue­print Brew­ing Com­pany” on Face­book or fol­low @ Blueprint­_Brews on Twit­ter.

DAN SOKIL — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Ja­son Scholl, co-owner of the pro­posed Blue­print Brew­ing Com­pany brew­ery in Towa­mencin, and at­tor­ney Kim Freimuth show the brew­ery’s lo­ca­tion in­side an in­dus­trial area on Gehman Road in Towa­mencin.

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