BRICK – A proposed ordinance would allow microbreweries to open in the township, which would permit a business to brew and sell malt alcoholic beverages in limited quantities, which is currently not permitted.
“There is no definition in the state law for microbreweries, so as part of the ordinance the number of barrels that could be produced a year is outlined at not to exceed 15,000 barrels per year,” said Council President Art Halloran during a recent council meeting.
The contents of the 31-gallon barrels could only be consumed on the premises and only in connection with a tour of the brewery, or for consumption off the premises in a quantity of not more than 15.5 gallons a person.
Although no microbrewery has applied to open in Brick, Mayor John G. Ducey said he wants to make it as easy as possible for small businesses to open here.
“We’re changing with the times,” Ducey said after the meeting. “Surrounding towns have these awesome establishments for people to enjoy, and we want to be part of it.”
As of 2013, the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control could issue a limited brewery license which permits microbreweries to brew and sell malt alcoholic beverages in limited quantities.
Establishments with the limited licenses are authorized to sell the malt alcoholic beverages at retail to consumers on the premises in connection with a tour of the brewery.
An entity that holds this license from the state for the smallest barrel production can apply, but the township is limiting the number of barrels to be produced annually so it doesn’t become a production distribution site, Halloran said.
With this ordinance change, someone who wants to open a microbrewery in Brick would not have to go before the Board of Adjustment, but they would still require site plan approval by the planning board. Zoning, engineering, and construction permits would be required, which is standard for any new business alterations, Ducey said.
Microbreweries would be allowed in the B-2 Business Zone, the B-3 Highway Development Zone, and the M-1 Light Industrial Zone.
In other news, Councilwoman Marianna Pontoriero returned for only the second time since announcing in March that she had been diagnosed with aggressive head and neck cancer.
“I’m just off radiation, as of Friday, so I have now gone through two back-to-back surgeries and 30 rounds of radiation, and I can say that I have now successfully beat cancer,” she said to audience applause.
Pontoriero said she wants to use her experience as an opportunity to branch out to other cancer survivors in Brick.
“We have a new part of Brick Hospital which specifically caters to cancer patients, so I want to take this opportunity to maybe reach out to them, find out what the needs of the patients are in Brick, and maybe use this experience as a way to reach out and see if we can provide services for the needs of our residents in Brick,” she said.
“We have a real-life councilwoman up on our council, which we are very honored to have,” noted an emotional Councilwoman Heather deJong.
The second reading and public comment on the microbreweries ordinance will be held during the next council meeting, which will be on Tuesday July 11 at 7 p.m.