Here’s an update on where we stand with establishing Briarscratch Brewery. As many of you know, I plan to build this brewery to stay true to the roots that created the whole idea…. close proximity to our source of spring water, and located in the Briarscratch holler where the brand was inspired. I want to establish the brewery in an existing building on my property in the holler off of Bursby Branch Rd. in Cottontown. This hasn’t been quite as easy as most would think. My biggest problem thus far has been getting zoning approval for the location. As the saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Well as with most things, we have options. My first attempt didn’t go so well as I prepared to approach the Zoning Board of Appeals to receive a “Conditional Use Permit”. My topic was quickly deferred basically on the fact that the older gentlemen on the committee didn’t know or see how or where this type of business fit into the Regulations on Agricultural Zoned Districts of Sumner County. The problem is, the paperwork that describes these provisions was all written in 1973. Until now, very few people have tried to create such a business type in these areas. If I wanted to open a brewery on the square, in the industrial park, or any other common commercially zoned area then I would be far past this part of the game. The thing is, that’s not how I’m going to do things! This is going to be a farmhouse style brewing operation. Almost “old world” if you will, with a new school Americanized brewing flare. I’m not looking for 100,000 dollars overhead, I’m looking to utilize my resources out here in the country to brew an incredible brand of “down home beer.”
So back to the zoning topic. I have been in contact with the County Planner who is working hard to update the archaic regulations that Sumner County has in place. He is a really nice guy who, along with many others, wants to see a business revolution take place here in our area. Next week the Planning Commission will be assembling for a work study. They will be discussing details of a possible amendment to Agricultural Zoned District Provisions that will include business that will promote a level of “agri-tourism”. This will include wineries and breweries! If everything is agreed upon (which seems to be rare in these county assemblies) then it will be put on the agenda and a public notice will be issued. The topic will then be presented at a public Planning Commission meeting hopefully as soon as September. If it passes, I can go before the planning commission for paperwork to approve my location and then its off to the other 5472936 things to fill out. But seriously, I can’t move forward until I have an approved physical address and I’m determined to make it here in the holler. Good things come to those who wait. Everything seems to be falling in place as it should. Until then I’ll be working my not-so-normal job and making my homebrew to share with as many of you as I can! Thanks for reading, keeping up, staying in touch, and supporting your local brewery and other local ventures.