BY DYKE HENDRICKSON
---- — NEWBURYPORT — The Newburyport Brewing Co. has been granted final permission to pour beer and though it appears Greenhead IPA will remain in the kegs for a while, Plum Island White is scheduled to be flowing tonight.
The Board of Zoning Appeals Tuesday approved “an expansion of an auxiliary retail use to permit” pouring and serving of beer.
The nascent company, located at 4 New Pasture Road in the business and industrial park, has obtained local, state and federal permits to brew and distribute beer.
Its first brands will be Plum Island White, Newburyport Pale Ale and Greenhead IPA.
Company officials say they will be pouring the Plum Island White tonight at the Port Tavern on State Street in downtown Newburyport to introduce the product to the public.
In addition to receiving their local license to brew and distribute the beer, owners Bill Fisher and Chris Webb also received permission to offer samples in a tasting room at their brewery.
When their operation fully opens this spring, pouring hours for the public will be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 5 to 9 p.m., and on Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m.
“We won’t be offering food,” Fisher said. “Our tasting room will serve as an opportunity for people to come in and taste our beer and meet the people who make it.”
The company will also offer music, both amplified and acoustical, in its 81-seat tasting room. Entertainers will include Fisher and Wells, who are residents of this city.
Both are musicians. To underline their interest in music, they have arranged to place a guitar pick on the top of each can of beer.
To repeat: The picks will placed on top of the can, not in the oft-gulped golden liquid.
The two founders say that the company will brew beer for distribution in cans and kegs. On site, they will sell “growlers,” large bottles that contain 4 pints of freshly brewed suds.
“I have been on the ZBA for 10 years and this is the first time we’ve had this kind of application,” board member Rob Ciampitti. “You’ve put a good plan together, and I don’t think it will conflict with the activity in the park.”
The ZBA approved the request unanimously upon learning that the site will provide adequate parking, will not be selling food and will not interfere with business and industrial uses of the park.
In addition to Ciampitti, members of the ZBA include Ed Ramsdell, chairman; Duncan LeBay, Jamie Pennington, Howard Snyder, Richard Goulet and Jared Eigerman.