Beer Activist Alert!

Hey LA Craft Beer lovers!  Would you like to enjoy more of what the Craft Beer world has to offer for LA?  Well, here’s how you can do your part…

The folks who brought you Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank, are planning a new, and even more spectacular project in Echo Park.  But…their liquor license is being protested by a small but loud group of residents.

We’ve dealt with this same sort of nonsense before, so you all know the drill.  Everyone (especially Echo Park residents) please show your support for this project by showing up to tell the City, and the Neighborhood Council how great this would be for your neighborhood.  This includes (but is not limited to the creation of new jobs!)  The Craft Beer world continues to flourish, even in our current economy, and has the ability to create community and a sense of locality for people of all walks of life.

There is a neighborhood meeting tomorrow night: Wednesday, August 18 at 7:00 pm at Barlow Hospital (Williams Hall)  2000 Stadium Way  Los Angeles, CA 90026

To learn more go to

Success, Round Two

Yes, success!  We made it through our public hearing on Wednesday evening, and the appeal against our conditional use permit was denied.  Big, huge sigh of relief.  Thank you to everyone who showed up to support us, and especially those who spoke on our behalf.  We appreciate it so much, and wouldn’t have been as successful without you.

So glad it’s over though.  Maybe now I can stop having those stress-related stomachaches, and sleep through the night without being waken by panic attacks.  But I doubt it.  At least now we can finally move past this part of the process, and on to the next bureaucratic hurdle.

I mentioned a couple posts back that our TTB (federal) license was approved, and we received it in the mail on Thursday.  Our ABC license has already been applied for, and is currently being processed.  Our building plans were approved by the Health Department a week ago, and were subsequently submitted to Building & Safety for approval.  Once we get that approval from Building & Safety we can pull our building permits and finally start the build-out.  At long last!  We’re so close, I can almost taste the sweet wort running from the mash tun!

Public Hearing, Round Two

That’s right.  Because it was so much fun the first time, we’re having another public hearing regarding our conditional use permit.

The hearing will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm at:

Ramona Hall Community Center
4580 North Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90065

We would LOVE to have some supporters there to cheer us on, so please feel free to join us.  As usual, there will be other hearings on that day, so the start time for our hearing may be pushed slightly.  Just be aware of that, and maybe bring a book or magazine to read while we wait.

As many of you already know, our conditional use permit was approved earlier this year, after our original public hearing, but the decision was appealed by a nearby industrial property owner.  His concerns are that our tasting room will create parking problems on the street, and that it will become a hangout for local gangs.  Obviously, if you are reading this blog, you’re probably accuately aware of how unfounded these concerns are.  Unfortunately though we live in a giant city, run by a giant bureaucracy, and we are still subject to all of the outdated processes that the city continues to use.  Joy.

Anyway, we hope to see some of you there tomorrow, to push past this one last, big hurdle on the road to our opening day.  Cheers!

The Results Are In…

Wooo Hooo!  Just got back from our public hearing, and our Conditional Use Permit has been approved!!!  I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my chest, and I can finally breathe a big sigh of relief.  So that’s what I’m doing right now…  Oh, and enjoying a celebratory drink or three!

So, what does this all mean?  Well, basically this approval means that the City of Los Angeles will allow us to operate a beer-tavern, with an attached microbrewery at this location.  In other words, we are allowed to commercially brew beer in our building, and to sell that beer to the public for both on-site and off-site consumption.

Now don’t get too excited just yet…We still have to get our approvals from the Health Department and Building & Safety, and we still need our state and federal licences before we can legally sell beer.  BUT – getting approval from the City of LA was probably the biggest hurdle we had to overcome, and now we’ve done it!

However, because we were already able to start the application process for all of the things I just mentioned, things are going to start happening very quickly now.  Be sure to stay tuned!!!!!

About the Public Hearing

Lately lots of folks have been asking about our public hearing, and if we need people to show up for support.  First of all, I just want to say thank you to those folks for their interest and encouragement.  And second, I’d like to say…yes!  Anyone can show up (since it’s open to the public), and we would LOVE to see some familiar, friendly faces there.

If you are so inclined (and happen to be free on a Thursday afternoon), here’s the details on where & when:

Los Angeles City Hall
200 North Spring Street, Room 1020
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(Enter from Main Street)

Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 2:30 pm.

If you do plan to attend, be sure to bring an ID (you have to go through a security check to get into City Hall), and probably a good book (it can get pretty boring in there).  Also, once you are in the hearing room if you’d like to give a statement, you’ll be asked to give your name and address (both written & verbally) before you say your thing.

I went to observe some similar hearings earlier this week, to have a better idea of how to prepare, and they’re really not that bad.  The atmosphere is definitely “official”, but its not intimidating.  The Zoning Administrator basically controls the flow of the meeting, and is constantly asking questions and gathering information.  Most hearings last around 30 minutes, but it all depends on the complexity of the case and the amount of public interaction.  Hopefully our hearing will go pretty quickly, and (more importantly) there will be a decision at the end.

Maybe we’ll see you there, but if you can’t make it, try to send some good vibes our way!

Save The Date

Finally some good news from the city!  I just found out they have scheduled an actual date for our public hearing, March 5, 2009 at 2:30 pm, in City Hall.

Although it is much later than they had previously estimated (mid-January), it feels really good to have an actual date to put on the calendar.

Now we wait some more, and continue to prepare.  If all goes well, our Health Department permits and Building & Safety permits will be finished around the same time…