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Public Hearing On Ordinance To Allow Belmar Brewery Scheduled

The Borough Council is scheduled at its next meeting to take one of the last steps paving the way for a new brewery to replace the Freedman’s Bakery building at 8th and Main streets.

A public hearing and final vote on an ordinance to add “brewery’’ to the list of permitted businesses in the central business district is scheduled for the Dec. 11 council meeting, to take place at 6 p.m. at borough hall, 601 Main St.

Members of the East Coast Beer Company -- makers of Beach Haus beer -- addressed the Borough Council during a recent workshop session to explain their intention to convert the Main Street bakery into a microbrewery, complete with a storefront to sell small amounts of their line of four Jersey Shore-themed beers.

The company, founded in 2007, started selling beer in 2010 only in Monmouth and Ocean counties. It now distributes beer throughout the state and five other Eastern states: North and South Carolina, Conneticuit, Pennsylvania and New York, company officials have said.

East Coast Beer does not currently have its own brewing operation. It owns the recipes for its beers and rents space in established breweries to make its beers. The purchase of the Freedman’s site will give the company a permanent home. The company is under contract to purchase the site.

The new brewery would not be a new bar, however. It will mainly be a wholesale operation brewing beer for distribution. Tours can be arranged with a small tasting at the conclusion of the tour, company officials have said.

And although there will be a small storefront where customers could buy a small amounts of beer to go, it is not a place to walk in, sit down and drink beer.

“It’s not going to be a brew pub,’’ said John Merklin, one of the company’s founders.

The brewery is buying the whole building, including the storefront of the barber shop and the antique store. Upon closing of the deal, the company plans to incorporate both of those storefronts into the brewery plans.

The company intends to begin renovating the bakery immediately upon closing the deal.

“We’re going to be a destination for people,’’ Merklin said. “It’s going to be an attraction.’’

JOHN DILLMAR December 07, 2013 at 08:33 AM
The smell is a concern. The truck traffice should be limited to certain hours of the day. Say maybe between 7:30 am to 9:30 am. "Attraction" ......don't believe that either.
Chris Constantino December 07, 2013 at 10:57 AM
The smell? Really?? I'm not aware of 'smell' issues at Carton, Kane, Cape May, etc...and this isn't the crap that Anheuser Busch uses to make their garbage beer....corn and rice and mystery grain... Actually, the micro/craft brew industry is booming and has been an attraction where they have established. Better than a rodent infested bakery....that is now vacant and not attracting ANY business at all..

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