Witchdoctor Brewing Co. hopes to start work on Southington location early next year
Joshua Norris, one of three owners of Witchdoctor Brewing Company, said the group is looking for a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals to sell alcohol in an industrial zone. They’re also looking to get a special exemption to park a food truck on the property.
On Tuesday the board continued the company’s application to “clarify some items,” according to assistant town planner David Lavalle, such as hours of operation and food truck hours. The matter will be considered at the Jan. 12 meeting.
The brewing company owners say they searched for a suitable space in the area and chose the former factory for its location and aesthetics. They’ll be moving into a space formerly occupied by a CrossFit Gym.
Brewing tanks will be visible from the tap room through glass in a partial brick wall. Boards and signs from the gym will be removed, a bar installed and tables set up before opening.
Norris needs approval to sell alcohol from the local, state and federal governments. While he’s optimistic about town approval, state and federal permits might be longer in coming.
“(Local officials) are all pretty excited to see us come into the town,” Norris said.
He’s got a team of contractors picked out and said he’ll begin once he receives building permits from the town.
Norris said he’ll invite food trucks or caterers to provide food at the tap room. He and his wife Allison have been brewing beer for about nine years and joined with a friend and brew master Daryl Adamaitis to start Witchdoctor. The Norrises live in Manchester and Adamaitis lives in Bristol.
Lou Perillo, the town’s economic development coordinator, is working to attract breweries and distilleries to the town’s former factory buildings. A distillery at 24 West St. will likely take advantage of the town’s tax incentive plan for breweries and distilleries. The tax break applies to breweries and distilleries that locate in industrial buildings that have been vacant or more than half vacant for 10 years or more.
The program offers a 100 percent abatement for the first three years, 75 percent in the fourth year and 50 percent in the final year.
Norris said he doesn’t believe he’ll qualify for the tax program since Factory Square hasn’t been vacant.
Perillo said he’s hoping to attract other businesses with the incentives but couldn’t yet release information about possible new breweries or distilleries coming to town.
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