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Libertine Brewing Co.’s plan to open new tasting room is denied

Libertine Brewing Co.’s space in Santa Maria.
Libertine Brewing Co.’s space in Santa Maria.

Libertine Brewing Co. is exploring new options after its plans to open a tasting room in Santa Maria were denied this week.

The brewery, which started with a brewpub in Morro Bay and opened a 9,000-square-foot production and tasting space in downtown San Luis Obispo last year, purchased 8,000 square feet at 2325 A St. on the south side of Santa Maria to serve as a packaging, aging and distribution facility, along with a 700-square-foot tasting room.

But the Santa Maria City Council on Tuesday night voted 4-1 against Libertine’s appeal of an earlier Planning Commission decision against the tasting room, citing concerns about disruptions to other businesses in the industrial area.

Libertine founder and head brewer Tyler Clark called the decision frustrating, saying that his plans were initially met with excitement and that officials never specified how the business would be disruptive.

The growing brewery, which expects to produce up to 2,500 barrels of its wild ales this year, will continue to use the space until it finds a new location to move the operations, said Clark, who declined to specify Libertine’s investment in the building.

“We’ll look for opportunities elsewhere,” he said. “We already have irons in the fire for new spots.”

Sally Buffalo writes about wine, beer and spirits. Reach her at sallybuffalo@gmail.com or on Twitter @sallybuffalo.

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