The Brookhaven Town Planning Board gave the go-ahead for the town’s first farm brewery.
In a 6-0 vote, the planning board approved converting an existing 4,084-square-foot barn at Waterdrinker Family Farm & Gardens into a brewery and accessory tasting room.
The approval came after the planning board delayed voting on the Out East Brewing project at its May 13 meeting and gave the public 10 additional days to offer comments after residents voiced concerns about traffic congestion, parking and noise.
The town received 96 comments: 57 in support and 39 opposed, according to a town spokesman.
“We’re extremely excited — all three of us, said Kirk Weiss, of Center Moriches, managing member of Out East Brewing, speaking on behalf of himself and partners Joseph Weiss, his brother, and their friend, Nick Giuffre. “We’ve been working on this for a very long time.”
Based on the planning board’s feedback, the farm brewery, which will grow products that will be used in its products, will not allow party buses from April to October.
The farm brewery property is a 5-acre lot at the northeast corner of South Street and Wading River Road.
“This farm brewery marks the first of its kind in Brookhaven. The owners know that they have a tremendous opportunity as well as a tremendous responsibility to the community,” Brookhaven Councilman Dan Panico said in a statement. “I trust that they will live up to that responsibility and will begin the agritourism future of this Town.”
Since May’s meeting, the farm brewery team has been answering questions from the community at the Waterdrinker farm stand. The company wil be rebranded Long Island Farm Brewery.
Weiss said he hopes to have construction completed by the fall, but he was reluctant to set a definitive time period.
“We’re ready to move,” he said. “It’s hard to put a time to it. Once we get a building permit, we’re ready to roll.”
“We’re just extremely excited,” Weiss added, “and we’re hoping to build something the community can enjoy and the town can be proud of.”