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Plan Commission to Discuss Allowing Microbreweries in Downtown Hudson

Brew pubs, microbreweries, wineries and distillery operatios currently are not allowed in the city's G-2 (general business) and G-3 (central business) districts. But a change could be coming soon.

Right now, it's against zoning ordinances to operate a brewery, winery or distillery in the City of Hudson's historic downtown district, but a discussion at Thursday's Plan Commission meeting could set the groundwork to change that.

Hudson Community Development Director Denny Darnold said he is bringing the generic discussion to the Plan Commission to explore the possibilities of allowing some small-scale operations to the city's downtown area and general business district on the hill. He said he has received multiple inquiries about the subject, one of which was a plan to turn the Dibbo's property into a brew pub and banquet hall with commercial and residential spaces upstairs.

"If we can limit the size of these operations so they don't overwhelm a neighborhood, is it something that the city would be open to," Darnold said. "The purpose of the discussion is to see if we want to change the zoning code to permit smaller scale breweries, wineries and distilleries in the downtown area. Those types of establishments might be associated with a restaurant. They may have a tasting room. Those types of things could be a tourist attraction."

The meeting takes place at Hudson City Hall at 7 p.m. and public input is welcomed. Darnold said that no final authorization would come at the meeting, but the discussion could prompt him to draft changes in the code, which would be subject to approval by the Plan Commission and Common Council after a public hearing.

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yomammy January 31, 2013 at 12:56 PM
wow...really? why WOULDNT you?!?!?!?! It would probably bring too much business to downtown...better not allow it.
Frank McGruber January 31, 2013 at 02:57 PM
Yes! Do it! Though, I'm pretty loyal to New Glarus because their stuff is just plain awesome. But, I'd love to see a quality microbrewery in Hudson.
Jim Bob January 31, 2013 at 03:01 PM
There a micro brewer building a facility in New Richmond because of the restrictive laws in Minnesota. Brady's Brew Pub operates in New Richmond downtown and seems to fit quite well and it draws a lot of business. These types of businesses are a popular trend and one would think Hudson would be an ideal location with the river front and all. Does anyone know when this ordinance went into effect? Sounds like something from early in the last century.
Micheal Foley January 31, 2013 at 03:04 PM
It's a zoning thing. Brewing is an industrial activity. If they change the ordinance, it would still limit the size of the operation. They don't want a huge beer factory in the middle of our downtown area.
yomammy January 31, 2013 at 03:56 PM
They only an operate in the area they have..... plus there IS a brew company in hudson--and they have a tap room. American Sky on the hill....go there.
Micheal Foley January 31, 2013 at 03:58 PM
American Sky is in an industrially zoned area, not a commercially zoned one.
Micheal Foley January 31, 2013 at 03:59 PM
If the zoning code were changed a year ago, perhaps American Sky would have opened up downtown instead.
Concerned Citizen #1 January 31, 2013 at 04:02 PM
We can't change the 2009 comprehensive plan right?
Micheal Foley January 31, 2013 at 04:05 PM
This wouldn't change what land is zoned for industrial, commercial, residential, etc. This would just allow for small-scale brewery-type operations on commercially zoned land. It's a similar process to what the city did to change the rules to allow for an indoor shooting range.
Concerned Citizen #1 January 31, 2013 at 04:10 PM
let's get our drink on then....CHEERS.
yomammy January 31, 2013 at 04:29 PM
agreed...for once :)
Concerned Citizen #1 January 31, 2013 at 04:44 PM
yomammy....good stuff....glad to see we can agree time to time...
Cheryl Olson January 31, 2013 at 04:57 PM
It takes beer to bring people together. :)
Concerned Citizen #1 January 31, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Molly, did they (presumed to be the planning commission or council) give you an indication on why you were overruled? Why you were not allowed to open your brewery downtown a year ago?
D Paul Rode January 31, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Lets get this in. Great idea!
Molly Murphy Harris January 31, 2013 at 05:34 PM
Dear Concerned Citizen #1, thank you for your question, we were told it was against the current zoning laws. Good news is our brewery is doing very well despite our industrial park location. We have a taproom that is open Thursday & Friday 4-8pm and Saturday 2-8pm, with tours on Saturdays at 3pm by reservation. Our beer is sold in bottles and on tap throughout Hudson as well as the St. Croix River Valley area. We are truly grateful to the city and community of Hudson, they have showed us tremendous support and welcoming. For those of you who haven't heard about us yet, we are located at 1510 Swasey St. in Hudson. Molly Harris~ American Sky Beer-Hudson Brewing Company
Concerned Citizen #1 January 31, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Molly, appreciate the answer. I've tried American Sky Beer and it is great. I do find it funny that a year ago you were told it was against the current zoning laws, but now apparently a changing of those laws is now being considered. What a difference a year makes.
Molly Murphy Harris January 31, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Thanks for your support "yomammy"! And yes Michael, if the zoning laws would have been changed a year ago, we would have chosen for a location downtown. Molly Harris~ American Sky Beer- Hudson Brewing Company And yes, Michael
Molly Murphy Harris January 31, 2013 at 06:10 PM
Thanks for your support Concerned Citizen #1, it is amazing how much can change within such a short period of time. I believe, the consideration for change is being driven by numerous inquiries about this particular zoning law in regards to Brewpubs, Microbreweries, Wineries and Distilleries. Good news is all of these business opportunities are continuing to be growing trends!
yomammy January 31, 2013 at 06:26 PM
I like your location been through there a few times.
Micheal Foley January 31, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Would you still want to be downtown if the new ordinance only allowed small operations or small batches?
Wendy Hanson January 31, 2013 at 08:49 PM
A brewpub in downtown Hudson sounds fabulous - and much classier than many current downtown establishments.
Hudsoner February 01, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Molly, what kind/style of beer are you guys brewing? I would love to have some Alt Bier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altbier) that I learned to like in Düsseldorf/Germany. Would you guys want to brew it?

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