Orange brewery granted pouring permit
ORANGE — Parched residents are one step closer to having their thirst quenched and a local brewery now has the final ingredient it needs to quell that thirst after the selectboard approved a Farmers Series Pouring Permit to Honest Weight Artisan Beer LLC, Wednesday night.
Brewery owners Jay Sullivan, of Hubbardston, and Sean Nolan, a native son of the North Quabbin Region who recently moved back to Orange from the Boston area, first set up shop in the Orange Innovation Center earlier this year. After shopping around the area for a suitable location, they settled on the re-purposed Minute Tapioca, and later Bedroom Factory because of its ideal location along the Route 2A corridor and ease of access. In the OIC they found ample space and a flexible host which was more than willing to accommodate their needs. Needs that included the moving of a handicapped access ramp to the building, the creation of a new window and door facing the parking lot, and numerous improvements to the space inside needed to create a state-of-the-art brewery.
The two explained at the public hearing before the selectboard Wednesday, that with the federal and state permits they now have in hand, they already have authorization to give out small samples, similar to what breweries and wineries offer in liquor or grocery stores. With the Farmers Series Pouring License the brewery would be able to sell customers a 14-ounce glass of beer while on tours or waiting to purchase other products such as merchandise or a half-gallon “growler” of beer.
The Farmers Series Pouring License is a relatively new license, they explained, as it has only existed since 2013 and was drafted as a means to support smaller breweries.
In response to a question from selectman Kathy Reinig about whether or not the brewery will be a place where people congregate, Sullivan explained that that decision falls to the customers themselves but noted that while the brewery has 1,000 square-feet of tasting room space, there is no television and no extended hours. It is not going to be a bar. Thursday and Fridays they will be open until 8 p.m. and Saturdays until 6 p.m.
“One way to put it is, we don’t have seating,” joked Nolan, who added that there are plenty of barrooms around if that is what you are interested in and noted that their beers will be of the pricier variety due to the size of the brewery and the quality of the brew itself. “This is not the kind of place you’ll go to on a Friday night to tie one on,” he said. “It’s closer to wine tasting land than barroom land.”
Sullivan said that they are going with locally sourced ingredients when they can, including barley from Hadley and hops from Northfield. The bar facade was constructed from re-purposed wood pallets and the bar top was designed and created by Josh Doub, of Royalston.
Reinig said she has heard only good things from the local business community about the brewery. Selectman Walter Herk noted that he often goes on brewery tours and looks forward to visiting the new brewery when it formally opens.
There was no objection or comment from the those present at the meeting except police chief Craig Lundgren, who, when asked if he had any concerns about the opening of a brewery remarked smilingly, “I’m getting thirsty.”
When asked Friday about an opening date Nolan said that a firm date has not been set yet. “We have to make sure the beers we have in fermentors are awesome first,” but added that they should be ready to nail down a date in the coming days.