New Brewing Company, Four Corners, Looks to Make it Easier to Open a Brewery

Categories: Brews News

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Yesterday Robert Wilonsky over at the Dallas Morning News (that feels like putting a shoe on the wrong foot) reported on a fast-tracked code issue aimed at easing restrictions on Dallas microbreweries. As it stands now, these small independent brewers are relegated to "heavy industrial" zones and in order to operate are required to obtain a special use permit, which can be tedious and costly to acquire.

Permits and zoning for microbreweries previously hadn't been an issue because there weren't any. But within the past year we've seen the birth of Deep Ellum Brewing Company, Peticolas and, now, Four Corners Brewing Company. All of this is good for the city, and whereas city code usually means more restrictions, in this case addressing the issue could help clear the path and make things easier for start-ups.

Four Corners is one of the more recent breweries to enter the business locally, and they paid a $6,700 filling fee to the city to move this permitting issue to the top of the line with the Zoning Ordinance Committee. Otherwise it would have remained at the back of the line and it could have been years before the issue was addressed. Essentially, Four Corners is asking the city to create a specific classification for breweries (the city added distilleries and wineries to the list as well) and simplify the permit and building process.

Recently I spoke with Greg Leftwich of Four Corners about his motivation for investing in the fast-track, "It was twofold. If you know anything about getting permits, it's a political issue and a complicated process. Part of the reason to pay was to fix it for everyone, which is tinged with a bit of patriotism and will hopefully help the whole city.

"Additionally, Dallas is behind other cities in the state in terms of breweries," Leftwich continued. "Hopefully we'll see a blossoming of the beer culture in Dallas."

Leftwich pointed out that Austin has more than a dozen breweries and Houston about 10. Creating a beer culture (imagine multiple brewery tours -- on these bikes!) would be great for the city.

The guys over at Deep Ellum Brewing Company are watching the issue closely and are understandably nervous about having the city fuss with the rules because (all together now) City Hall loves them some code. So much so that they have been known to strangle industries (hint: food trucks).

"We're not currently regulated by the city, instead by the state," said John Reardon of DEBC, obviously happy to have it that way. "One fear of ours is that we'll wind up with a bulleted list and more stringent regulations than we have now."

This morning the issue was discussed at the Zoning Ordinance Committee, and now the city will work on specific language for the ordinance, which they'll vote on April 5. It could reach the City Council in May.

It's always good to know that if you have an issue with city code all you have to do is write a big fat check to get it addressed.

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12 comments
Beerme
Beerme

no mention of lakewood brewing, what are they up to.

ObserverFan
ObserverFan

Can I just say I hate the DMN website's commenting section? Half the time it doesn't work when you try to expand the replies. Oh, and yay go local breweries!

Jpowell6358
Jpowell6358

Great article! Im following this on my new blog: dfwbeerscene.wordpress.com

I will post a link to the article and hopefully be able to get folks to start calling politicians to make sure this happens in a way which will not handcuff the infantile scene.

Dallas, we need breweries!

East Dallas Dad
East Dallas Dad

Dallas needs to come through on this and make it easier for the breweries. I'm tired of hearing about all the great local brews my friends in other cities have access to. 

McDoom
McDoom

I'd highly recommend everyone to get to the Saucer in Addison to try the Peticolas Great Scot. It's just a great scotch ale. 10 thumbs up.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

What happened to Jesse Hughey?  I notice recent brew stories haven't included said blog man reporter.

Mervis
Mervis

Sounds good. Was at FW Saucer tonight and no Peticolas yet. They did add the Deep Ellum Rye Pils which was pretty good, if you like lighter beers (ahem, most beer drinkers).

JesseHughey
JesseHughey

Still here, and hopefully will get back to writing again in time for Big Texas Beer Fest. I've just been busier than usual with my actual job here at the paper and other things. 

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Dude, I know I sometimes give you a hard time; but, I gotta hand it to you, you know yer beer.  AND, I have to admit, the stupid bit where I ask you if you are Jesse Holley, is, ummm, dumb. 

ps-Look forward to seeing some future entries-sir!

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Certainly possible.  DL was adopted, remember.

Mervis
Mervis

You are D.L.s relative, right?

JesseHughey
JesseHughey

Well, thanks. I was just impressed someone spelled my name right.

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